Monday, July 17, 2017

Kotas Reviews Mountain Dew-S-A

July 4th, long past us at this point, has always been a somewhat controversial holiday. On one hand, it celebrates the signing of the one of the biggest "And go fuck yourself" letters ever written, and on the other, it celebrates that by encouraging pyrotechnical displays not much safer than playing out in Uncle Bill's Machete Shack and Rusty Nail Emporium. Still, as Apu Knockoff #47 would say "Celebrate your country's independence by blowing up a small part of it!" Lucky for us, we're past that an onto the stupid stunt foods! Ladies and Gentlemen, let's look at Mountain Dew-S-A.

Well, A for effort, if not grammar.
You know, I don't know that the world needed a patriotic soda, but by Uncle Sam, Mountain Dew is gonna give it to ya! Look at all that majesty, what with the fake 3D effect stars, and random assortments of red, white, and blue space. I also find it amusing that Dew is repeated twice on the label, which makes for a striking, if stupid, logo. So, this is actually a combination soda, containing three different flavors of Mountain Dew: Code Red, White Out, and Voltage (Red, White, and Blue sodas respectively). All three are mixed together to create...this hybrid soda. I have to give them credit, it's certainly an interesting take on patriotism and soda. Let's see how it looks in the glass!

Light Purple is clearly the color of Freedom. 
Well, that was...expected. As any primary school teacher will tell you, mixing Red, White, and Blue together gets you a lovely shade of purple, and this soda does not disappoint in holding up the color wheel's prediction. I guess this is why it comes in cans, eh? But who cares how it looks, it's how it tastes that matters, right? Right! Let's drink up!

As to how it tastes, I will quote a friend of mine who dared try it with me: "It tastes like someone melted a Bomb Pop down and drank the liquid". That pretty much sums up the flavor. It has distinct elements of all three component sodas, with Code Red being the most prominent, but the other parts combine to make an interesting and decent tasting whole. I rather liked it, but it's not something I would want over another soda. It is definitely something I would want every now and again to change up my soda experiences. Thumbs up, Mountain Dew, this is pretty good!

On the FACE Rating System, I give it 1 Smiley Face. The theme is sort of all over the place, and the color is fabulous, but this "formerly only the province of soda fountain experimentation" tastes pretty decent. If you are in a mood to celebrate 'Murica, give a whirl. I certainly like it better than actual Mountain Dew. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Kotas Reviews Pepsi Fire

Well, the Summer is upon us and that means stifling heat and suffocating humidity! Isn't that great? Well, I don't know about you, but when it's hot outside, I often reach for a cool refreshing beverage to help chill my inner self, and hopefully distract me from the fact that parts of me are dying at this very moment! Hooray! And what better way to start off a bunch of beverage reviews than by one that is as refreshing as it is weird. Ladies and Gentlemen, let's take a peek at Pepsi Fire.

Pepsi used to be the hip, cool upstart to take on the soda behemoth known as Coca-Cola. In the 80s it was the choice of the Pepsi Generation, the winner of the Pepsi Challenge, and maker of one of the best promotional items ever. Still, it never quite managed to overcome its stalwart foe, and started introducing gimmicks to fire off in the vicious Soda Wars. From clear soda, to adding lemon to Cherry Vanilla flavoring, Pepsi was always the leader of soda gimmicks, with Coca-Cola not far behind...except maybe this time. I honestly never would have considered adding a cinnamon flavor to a cola of all things, but, seriously, how bad could it be?

Well, it LOOKS like a regular old soda, perhaps with a tinge of red. The packaging is about what I would expect from Pepsi, with the logo covered in a stylized flame and red being the prominent color of the label. The word "FIRE" is bold and eclipses the size of the word "Pepsi", which is a bold choice. The effervescence upon opening the cap is...well, it's intense. It sort of tickles, no...stings the nose with promises of something that burns. It is mildly unpleasant, but it doesn't linger too long. 

Drinking this is sort of like drinking a ginger beer, but with a lot less ginger and a lot more cinnamon flavor. The "burn" is about the same as a mild ginger beer. A little harsh, but not terrible. The cinnamon flavor doesn't go with the cola flavor AT ALL though, and just makes the whole thing taste sort of weird. Not very refreshing either, because the cinnamon clings to your tongue more than is comfortable. 

On the FACE Rating System, this gets 0 Faces. I finished the bottle, and it was sort of different, but not something I would really ever seek out again. It kind of reminds me of a low rent Fireball Whiskey cash in, to be honest. Maybe someone out there will love this, but I did not. Still, worth a try if you like novelty sodas. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Kotas Reviews Scotch in a Can

Summer is a time for hanging out on the porch, sitting around with your friends, and may partaking of the occasional adult beverage to wash your cares away. But sometimes you want something a little fancy, but not TOO fancy if you know what I mean. Sitting on the porch with people in flip flops doesn't exactly say "sophisticated drinker". So, what do you do if you'd love some, say, Bowmore 25, but just aren't classy enough? Well, have I got a beverage for you. Ladies and Gentlemen, let me present to you Scottish Spirits Single Grain 3 Year Scotch Whiskey...

Yes, this is a real thing and does exist. It was Memorial Day when I brought this out to liven up an already spirited porch discussion of board games. The more savvy drinkers were, ahem, somewhat aghast at the very existence of such a thing, but this ain't my first time drinking booze from a can. Naturally, it was decided collectively that the only way to truly experience this was in the form of shots. So yeah, it's Scotch in a Can, and the label is...well, fine, I guess. I mean, at least it doesn't say Victory Scotch on it, right? Oh, and it has a little rubberish cap cover so you can "save" any leftover scotch in the can without having to try and transfer it to a flask, decanter, or the sink drain. Neat, eh? Let's drink up!

In the Harvard shot glass, because I'm fucking classy.
You know, I was actually pleasantly surprised by this Scotch. For one thing, it did not taste like turpentine, or distilled sadness. For another, while I wouldn't call it good, it was very distinctly Not Bad. At $6 can, or roughly 10 shots, I wasn't expecting much, but I certainly wasn't expecting it to be drinkable, let alone "not bad". I'm sure a real Scotch aficionado would have terrible things to say about it, but it was relatively smooth, and the flavor was okay. This is way better than I was expecting, and several at my table shared that opinion. To be fair though, we'd already had a few rounds by this point, so your mileage may vary.

On the FACE Rating System, this gets 1 Smiley Face. It was way better than I expected, and certainly has enough novelty factor for me to bring a can or two to outings so I can force encourage others to join me in this particular brand of dumpster drink diving. It will NOT however open you up to the wide wondrous world of Scotch Tasting. It does not really pretend to be more than it is, and for that, it has my respect. Give it a whirl!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Kotas Reviews Jelly Donut Oreos

National Doughnut Day has come and gone. Ostensibly a holiday to celebrate the glory of the humble doughnut, it's really just a marketing scheme cooked up to push delicious fried dough treats into your food hole by several corporate entities who seek to make a profit off of doughnut awareness. What better way to celebrate than a corporate entity producing a shameless cash in variant of its signature product? Ladies and Gentlemen, let's take a look at Jelly Donut Oreos.

Sure, why the fuck not.
Honestly? I'm not a huge fan of jelly doughnuts. This is not to say that filled doughnuts aren't enjoyable, but the jelly filling used in most commercial doughnuts is less like jelly and more like a robot's version of what it think jelly should taste like, soullessly extruded from various nozzles to satisfy its cruel human masters. They are okay, is what I'm saying. Still, I can honestly say I've never felt the need for a cookie version of this, even if my beloved Oreos are so desperately trying to make me love them by including a doughnut flavor. I mean, their Cinnamon Bun Oreos were pretty tasty, so maybe pastry lightning can strike twice? Let's find out!

That's lookin' real good there Lou.
The packaging is nice, though I wonder at the efficacy of specifically pointing out the "jelly flavored center", when it is plainly obvious what it is supposed to be. The scent is vaguely chemically flavored sugar-ish, with an unrecognizable yet still "berry-ish" overtone. Honestly, I'm not that impressed with the look of these things. I don't know what they were going for, but what they got was "Golden Oreo that someone used to stop the bleeding from a shaving cut", and that's not super appetizing. Seriously, this is some lazy ass shit right here. Take Golden Oreo, drip a few drops of "jelly essence" into it, and bam, charge $2 extra for the privilege.

The flavor is a forsaken wasteland of "meh". Basically, it tastes like it looks: Like a Golden Oreo that someone dripped a melted Jolly Rancher on, and oh man is this flavor not good. It's not poison, and I didn't gag. It's not even "okay". The package sits untouched by me or my spouse for over a week. Even my kid has only asked for one, though it may just be she forgets they are there. I don't care for Golden Oreos much anyway, because the "vanilla" cookie just doesn't have the same robustness of the chocolate, and the vanilla creme really needs a contrast, not a compliment to work. This is all of that with some shitty jelly-esque nonsense on top. What a waste of everyone's time.

On the FACE Rating System, these get 2 Frownie faces. A meh cookie with a lazy gimmick that sucks leads to much disappointment. There is nothing doughnut like about it anyway. Unless you feel like eating someone's mistake, stay the hell away from these and get some actual good cookies.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Kotas Reviews Twinkies Ice Cream Cones

Ah, the glory and menace of Summer is finally starting to beat down upon us! June is traditionally the start of the "summer season", even if it isn't the official calendar start, and that's okay. I'm more into the pop culture of summer than being a super stickler about dates and whatnot. After all, we live in a time of "Christmas in July" as being a thing, so the rules are clearly very flexible. Anyway, I'm not here to talk about that, but instead a sweet treat to beat the heat. Ladies, Gentlemen, and I dunno, Lizardfolk, let's take a gander at the Twinkies Ice Cream Cone.

When life gives you lemons, throw them away and eat ice cream!
I can hear the complaints now. "Didn't you already review this?" In response, I say, "No. Because Ice Cream Treats are distinctly different from plain ice cream". And I would be correct. So, here we are. Premade Ice Cream Cones, such as the venerable Drumstick, have been around since, well, 1928, and have been a staple of the freezer aisle for a long time. The only other version of this I have seen is the Nutty Buddy, currently produced by Purity Dairy, and the Twinkies Ice Cream Cone is a very close match to both the packaging and overall shape. Fun fact: Nutty Buddy Ice Cream Cones share a name with a Little Debbie snack cake and a brand of athletic cup! The more you know!

Protect me, cone!
Yeah, this thing pretty much looks like a Twinkie themed Nutty Buddy. The packaging is spot on with the Twinkie theme though, and that is always something I can appreciate. Opening this took me back to my grade school days when having enough pocket money to purchase a Nutty Buddy from the school cafeteria made those last few days of school extra less terrible. Well, let's rip it open!

That's a lot more yellow than I was expecting, really.
You know, this thing looks kind of odd. The ice cream (and its attendant soft cake...uh, sprinkles? Bits? Cake bits.) is almost perfectly shaped and formed into that "just squeezed from a decorating bag" swoosh. The chemical smell is fairly obvious, way more so than in the pint of Twinkies ice cream. The flavor...well, the flavor is certainly there. The very yellow parts are very sweet, with some of the birthday cake ice cream flavoring as the pint version, but they have an extra...gummy quality that isn't bad, but has a very Not Ice Cream mouth feel. The chemical notes are very pronounced, and the cake bits are larger and way more obvious than in the pint. It's not a bad flavor, but it is a strange one that makes you ask the question "did I accidentally eat some sort of decorative fondant instead of ice cream?" Once you get through that, though, it appears the stuff below it is just Twinkies Ice Cream, which means it is quite good. The cone itself is on par with a Drumstick cone, right down to the tip of the cone being filled with chocolate. All around, pretty tasty. 

On the FACE Rating System, these cones get 1 Smiley Face. As a Frozen Confection, they hold up pretty well, tasting pleasant if a little too artificial and gummy in places. The price of this particular treat keeps it to a "sometimes" food, and I would definitely recommend the straight ice cream over this version any day of the week. Still, I recommend going out and trying them if you like ice cream cones but hate actually putting them together. Welcome to Summer folks, it's gonna be a bumpy ride!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Kotas Reviews Fireworks Oreos

Summer is upon us. The glorious, if rain-filled, temperate climate of Spring is rapidly giving way to the oppressive face melting heat of summer, driving all but the most resilient of outdoors folk back inside as God intended. Before we all have to baste in our own gravy when we step outside though, we get to enjoy at least one more weekend of decent weather, and with it, a holiday. That holiday is Memorial Day, and what better way to celebrate than with Pop Rocks. In Cookies. Ladies and Gentlemen, let's pop into Fireworks Oreos.

Gandalf never thought of THIS, now did he? So many dead hobbits if he did though.
First, a shout out to [REDACTED], who sent these all the way from the fabled bee pastures of...well, around his house I guess. I salute you [REDACTED]! Anyway, I really would have expected these to come out closer to July, what with that giant firework using holiday that shows up then for us United Statesians. Still, we do love to blow stuff up, and fireworks are associated with summer. The packaging is quite distinct with a solid patriotic vibe to it, and lots of red and white starburst firework graphics that go well with the traditional Oreo blue. There's even a giant star that lets us know that within there is "Popping Candy". What the hell, Nabisco, couldn't shell out money to Pop Rocks Inc. for the cross promotion? I mean, I get it. One does not often think of Pop Rocks and Oreos as "pairing well", but shit, ya done shelled out for PEEPS of all things, so, what's up with that? Let's tear it open!

Well, that was slightly underwhelming. I guess I shouldn't have expected any sort of explosion upon opening the package but a part of me hoped for it, you know? Ah well, the cookies themselves look and smell like Oreos, though the creme itself is full of colorful candy bits. The taste is almost exactly what you would expect. Oreo, but with Pop Rocks, er, "popping candy" shoved into it. You can probably get a similar effect by eating an Oreo and some Pop Rocks at the same time. Licking the creme itself produced a much more active set of pops from the candy, presumably because the saliva/candy interaction area wasn't blocked by as much cookie. Overall, these taste pretty good. I mean, Oreos are delicious and the Pop Rocks add some novelty without really detracting from the experience, except for a bit more crunch. It was even relatively decent in milk, though the popping sensation was weird.

On the FACE Rating System, these get 1 Smiley Face. They are good as a seasonal thing, and the execution is exactly what you would expect, along with it actually being pretty tasty, so two thumbs up on that front. I would say these would go great for a backyard cookout or patriotic celebration, but they aren't really and every day kind of thing unless you are some sort of Pop Rock fanatic. Pick some up for the novelty, but pass me the regular Oreos on most days.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Kotas Reviews Twinkies Ice Cream

Well, it's catch up time around the ol' blog. I've had several people now send me things to try or bring them to me at various social outings solely for the purpose of reviews. In this second part, I have been lax, so I'll be taking an opportunity to catch up on those. Anyway, it's summer time! Summer always makes me think of the ice cream shop my dad would take me to to get a malt occasionally when I was a wee lad. They had weird flavors (like bubblegum or gummy bear) and something always seemed a little wacky about the whole operation. Still, I believe even they would tilt their heads sideways at what I'm about to show you next. Ladies and Gentlemen, let's dive into Twinkies The Ice Cream

Photo from:
Before we get into this, let me throw a very well deserved thank you to [REDACTED]. They provided me with this at about 1am on a Saturday Night when I was feeling a little tired and it was a welcome surprise on a hot summer night. Kudos, mysterious benefactor! Now, on with the show. 

So, it is no secret that I love Twinkies. I don't know what it is about these things that makes them taste wonderfully artificial, but man, I can't get enough of it. I should get enough of it, considering my waistline, but that's neither here nor there. I will admit that I never in my wildest flights of fancy thought "You know what these would be good in? An ice cream flavor!" Still, this is the world we live in now. I must say, they got the packaging exactly right. Twinkies themed all the way, with a picture of the ice cream itself. Solid presentation, let's tear into it.

The ice cream itself looks just like it does on the package: lightish yellow with chunks of a cake-like substance. But I know what you are asking. How does it taste? Well, have you ever had birthday cake ice cream? It's sort of like birthday cake, but it has these incredible spikes of sugar that represent the "sprinkles" or whatever, that sort of detract from the somewhat cakelike flavor? Yeah, this is a much better version of that. The cake flavor is strong, but not overwhelming, the "sprinkles" have been dispensed with, and the cake-y bits add just a little bit of texture to break up the general creaminess. In short, this is the birthday cake ice cream we've all been waiting for. I will say this: it tastes NOTHING like a Twinkie. Not even a little. But holy jeez is it freakin' tasty. I tore my way through a pint of this stuff like a starving mutant lizard beast through a foolish explorer. It was super tasty, and I immediately wanted more once it was gone, and then went out and did a little dance of joy. I am super serious about that.

On the FACE Rating System, this gets 3 Smiley Faces. This is the best rendition of birthday cake ice cream I've had to date. If you like birthday cake ice cream, shovel some Twinkies Ice Cream in your face right now! If you are looking for "Twinkie as a frozen dessert experience" though, you will come away disappointed 'cause this is barely Twinkie-esque. Still, stock up now. This is a limited edition!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Kotas Reviews Thin Mints Cereal

Girl Scout Cookies are an icon of American food pop culture. Every spring, dozens of impromptu cookie stands blossom from store fronts, pending boxes of cookies you basically just can't get at any time of the year. Sure, there are near enoughs and look alikes galore, but none of them can match the true essence of the Girl Scout Cookie. Or can they? And can they make it a breakfast cereal? Ladies and gentlemen, let's dive into Thin Mints Cereal.

What a racket, eh?
The Girl Scouts have been selling cookies since 1917, and Thin Mints since 1956. While similar to the Keebler Grasshopper, the Thin Mint manages to outdo even that venerable snack in the field of mint chocolate cookies. The perfect amount of crunch coupled with a solid mint flavoring and a chocolate coating that accents rather than overwhelms, the Thin Mint has been a favorite around the Kotas Household for over a decade. Of course, the transition to cereal format has been the death of other flavors over the years. Still, I'm a known cereal advocate and the thought of a cereal version of one of my favorite cookies held lots of appeal. Let's take a look!

Well, it looks like the stuff on the box. Not sure it's Thin Mint material though.
The scent coming off these things is basically the mint from Thin Mints, along with a hint of chocolate. It's not exactly like smelling Thin Mints, but it's pretty darn close so points for that. The cereal pieces themselves look a lot like...well, flattened Cocoa Puffs. They hold up well in milk, but...well, that ain't all there is to this is there? To sum up in the words of the Internet: 

The flavor is decent on the mint side of the equation, but there is hardly any chocolate to back it up. The first crunch has an "okay" amount of chocolate to go with the mint, but it vanishes extremely quickly leaving you with mint, milk, and generic cereal flavor. You know two flavors that don't necessarily go well together? Mint and Milk. Chocolate would give it contrast and mute the creaminess of the milk that really makes the mint taste weird, but thems the breaks. Shame, I had high hopes for this one.

On the FACE Rating System, these get 1 Frowny Face, mostly for disappointment. I was hoping for something truly interesting, and I have to admit that they tried to make a faithful version of the Thin Mint. Still, how you can screw up the chocolate part and expect me to accept a "mint cereal"? Oh well, perhaps they did a better job on the other Girl Scout Cookie cereal. Still, expectations are low. If you really want mint to go with sub par Cocoa Puffs, these are right up your alley. For anyone else? Pass.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Kotas Reviews Lay's Chicken and Waffle Potato Chips

Occasionally we here at Kotas Reviews intend to review something, but it slips through the cracks. Gets lost in the shuffle, skipped over, or otherwise pushed aside until later. Sometimes it's much later. So imagine my surprise when I found a bag of these things tucked away in the pantry. Ladies and Gentlemen, let's take a look at a new twist on an old classic, Lay's Chicken and Waffle Potato Chips.

Better late than never, eh? Well...
So, these were a part of the Lay's All Stars promotion, where they take popular flavors from previous promotions like Do Us A Flavor and Flavor Swap and bring them back for a limited time. Because why the hell not, really? These hail from the very first Do Us A Flavor contest, back in the halcyon days of 2013, when life was simpler and..well, simpler right? RIGHT? Anyway, I didn't have them then, so I guess I'll have them now! The packaging is actually pretty nice, with a pretty yummy looking picture of chicken and waffles next to a lone potato chip. I also enjoy sky blue as a packaging color. Well, let's tear it open.

Well, they can't all be winners.
I'll be honest, these things look like plain Lay's chips. This is a triumph of flavor dust concealment, because the smell is equal parts savory and sweet, though they mix in a weird, yet non-offensive sort of way. They aren't quite as heavily scented as, say, the Szechuan Chicken chips were, but they get the point across. It's not quite chicken-ish though. The flavor holds more chicken essence, but the "waffle" part is almost non-existent. There is a bit of sweetness that almost tastes like syrup, but not quite. It's decent enough, but it doesn't wow me. The balance of flavors isn't really there, skewing heavily toward the chicken part, without any doughy or mapley flavors, just some sugar thrown haphazardly into the mix. Not bad, but certainly not what I think of when I eat chicken and waffles.

On the FACE Rating System, these get 0 Faces. They are okay, but I wouldn't seek them out. There is a bit of novelty factor to consider, and I do love the packaging, but most of you should really just pass on this. It's very mehtacular. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Kotas Reviews Bacon Pringles

Man, is bacon totally 2015 or what? I mean, sure, we are still left with the survivors of the Great Baconating that occurred a while back, but bacon is totally on the outs as a stunt food these days. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Still, we see the occasional product come out that touts as its main attraction some sort of bacon enhancement, like today's offering. Let's take a gander at Bacon Pringles.

You don't often see a long handled sandwich maker pressed into service as a bacon fryer.
The humble Pringle is not often featured here, due to its vast array of mouth experiences even before every food producer took a train to Flavor Country. They occasionally come out with a new spin on an old favorite, like "Xtreme Pizza Flavoring" or whatever, but they are generally content with their fourth place in the Chip Hierarchy, behind Lay's, Doritos, and Cheetos. Basically the answer to the question "What happens when you tell an engineer to make potato snacks that aren't greasy, broken, or stale before you even buy them", Pringles are the preferred snack of anyone who likes things neat and tidy. The can itself is typical Pringles, with a picture of frying bacon somehow magically levitating a Pringles chip above it. They don't really fuck around with fancy shit at the Pringles factory these days. Of course, we're not here for the can, but for the chips inside. What happens when you shove bacon into them?

When I popped the top it smelled like a Bacos truck crashed into said factory. It's not...bad, exactly, but bacon bits, specifically the glorious artificial masterpieces of chemistry known as BacOs (which have zero meat content) are meant to be used as an accent and topping, not a main flavor. They are therefore usually VERY intense when eaten in more than just a small amount. The chips themselves have a brownish flavor dust that doesn't look terribly appetizing, but I chomped my way in anyway.

Let me just say, these Pringles take it to the bacon limit. Very fake smokey, very fake bacon-y, very STRONGLY flavored these are. They aren't bad, and pretty much taste like a handful of BacOs with perhaps a bit of potato to give it "body", but they aren't something I'd want to eat a ton of either. I could see maybe crushing them up and throwing them on a salad if you are too lazy to sprinkle both bacon bits AND potato sticks onto your greens, but you just can't eat a lot of these at once without hitting bacon overload.

On the FACE Rating System, these get 0 faces. They are interesting, but they don't really rate as particularly good, unless you are in the habit of eating a jar of bacon bits as a snack, in which case these might be up your alley. It's a bit much for me, with the fake bacon flavor just being a little too much for me. Good on a salad, not by the fistful. Give them a whirl if you REAAAAALLY like bacon bits, but I wouldn't go on any sort of quest for them or anything.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Kotas Reviews Black Abbey Brewing's Metatron

Ah, Nashville. My original home town and burgeoning brewery and distillery hub. I'm not exactly sure why Nashville has become such a place, though perhaps the draw of Hot Chicken calls to beer producers, but it is what it is, and that's not a bad thing. One of these days, I'll have to do a drink tour of Nashville and make pilgrimage to these shrines to Hops and Barley, but not this day. No, instead we look at our first barrel aged beer as we investigate Black Abbey Brewing's Metatron.

Now that is some fucking majesty right there ya'll.

According to their site, the good people at Black Abbey named the brewery out of a sense of respect for Martin Luther. Personally, I think that's just good storytelling, but whatever works I suppose. The bottle's label is pretty damned impressive. It's got the awesome Black Abbey logo, the word "Metatron" in a kick ass font, and there's signatures and shit all over this boss. It looks pretty solid, is what I'm saying. Let's pop the cork!

It's...lighter than I imagined.
I'll be honest, I don't know what barrel aging does for a beer, but I've never had one before and I wanted it to be special. Plus, the name "Metatron" has a special place in my heart as of late. I mean, who wouldn't want to have a name that literally means "angel who speaks with the voice of God"? That's just super rad sounding. The scent is very malty and...earthy? It smells very interesting, very much "beer" with something else. I guess that's the barrel aging? Let's take a sip!

Sweet God in Heaven, why hast thou forsaken me? The flavor of this beer can best be described as "rag squeezin's". It's sour, bitter, stale tasting, and plain all around nasty. I wanted to be sent to beer heaven, but instead I got thrown into beer hell. I managed to get through the first glass from this bottle, which by the end had sort of made it up to "well, it's not poison", but the second glass was...cloudy. Perhaps that's simply a characteristic of this beer, or barrel aged beers in general, but it didn't look "interesting", it looked gross. I poured it out along with whatever remained in the bottle. 

On the FACE Rating System, this gets 3 Frowny Faces. I didn't die, so that's a thing, but this claims to be angelic while actually being quite the opposite. I wouldn't sic this on the Robot Devil, let alone anyone I actually liked. Okay, I kind of like the Robot Devil. Still, stay the hell away from this!

Kotas Reviews Yee Haw Brewing's Billy Beard Maibock Beer

Happy Cinco De Mayo! You know, there's something magical about the way Americans will disdain a culture for decades, heaping shame and scorn upon those who merely want to follow their unique traditions, but as soon as they realize there's a holiday celebrated that gives them an excuse to drink, they wholeheartedly appropriate the shit out of it. I am of course talking about St. Patrick's Day, but I digress. Today we celebrate the victory of the Mexican Army over the French in 1862, and maybe imbibe a refreshing adult beverage while we're at it. So of course the beer I'm reviewing isn't related at all. Let's take a look at the Billy Beard Maibock Beer.

He wore an onion in his belt, which was the style at the time.
Yee-Haw Brewing is based out of Johnson City, TN, and they've been around for a few years. They make a decent variety of beers, including a Dunkel that is fantastic, and many seasonal brews. Billy Beard is their Spring Seasonal offering, and frankly the packaging drew me in. Isn't it fantastic? Just absolutely screams "funky" and I love it. It's the kind of picture I would have wanted on my dorm ceiling when I attended college. Still, the label isn't everything, right? Let's crack it open. Figuratively anyway.

If it's brown, drink it down!
Well, it looks like beer, and it smells like beer. They claim it was brewed with honey, but I can't detect any in the aroma. The first sip is, well, it's like drinking from a bar mat. Full of unique flavors that are mostly all revolting, with a couple of actually decent tastes hiding somewhere in there. Maybe I just don't like Maibocks, but I did not care for this beer. It's got a bad sour taste going on that lingers on the tongue and punishes you for having dared to drink this. After a few quaffs, that feeling does go away and the beer becomes...well, not GOOD but it loses a lot of its sourness and settles into just being a mediocre beer. Like drinking a mid-range wheat beer without the orange slice. Funky, in a bad way. Sadly, once you start a new bottle that horrid taste returns for a few gulps. One thing it does have going for it is that it's pretty high gravity at 7.3%, which helps explain why I was able to finish the six pack. Hooray?

On the FACE Rating System, this gets 1 Frowny Face. It's beer, and it'll get ya nice and buzzed, but you have to sit thorough some awful flavors to get to "meh". It is absolutely not worth the effort to acquire, unless you are some sort of microbrewery completionist. The label is fuckin' rad though, and I want that as a poster for my den.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Kotas Reviews the Cadbury Creme Egg Cookie

Spring is in the air, flowers are blooming, rain shows up to ruin things, and yes, for some reason rabbits are delivering eggs that are either brightly colored, made of candy, or both, for reasons that vaguely relate to religious holidays. Still, that's not gonna stop confectioners from cramming different treats into a single, gloriously terrifying object of consumption. Also, cookies! Ladies and Gentlemen, let's take a gander at the Cadbury Creme Egg Cookie!

There's a joke about white cookies here...nah, just gonna leave that one alone.
Cadbury Creme Eggs. I've spoken about them before ages ago, when I pointed out their off season Screme Egg product, but I've never really talked about how much I adore these little chocolate morsels full of diabetes. I'm not sure why I love them so much. Usually I don't go for super sickly sweet treats, but these Creme Eggs are a different story. First manufactured in 1963, they remained a staple product of Cadbury until 2015, when the recipe changed to no longer use Cadbury Dairy Milk as the shell, replacing it with a cheaper, less tasty chocolate. I still like them though. Still, I've not seen them in cookie form before. The packaging is consistent with Cadbury's current branding, and includes a picture of the cookie itself in both whole and "open" forms. There is also some sort of contest. Uh, neat, I guess. Let's crack it open!

Fell apart it did. Just like a real Creme Egg!
Not sure what I was expecting really, but it is exactly as pictured on the package, which is rarer than you might think when it comes to candy and cookies. The creme itself is a little odd, but it's a softer, believe it or not sweeter version of the fondant found inside a normal Creme Egg. The chocolate...well, it ain't great, but the proof of a cookie is how well the cookie part stands alone and with the rest of the confection. 

Well friends, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this is the absolute WORST FUCKING COOKIE I've ever had the displeasure of putting between my jaws. It tastes like someone laced a biscuit with cough syrup flavored with the tears of children who were served this disaster of a "snack". The rest of it really tries to actually taste decent, but this cookie, like a wronged and enraged Kibler Elf, snatches any hope of such an outcome away and laughs at your pain. It is just awful and makes me wish irritating harm upon those who begat it upon this good Earth. My daughter is not known for her refined palette having joined me in eating worms a while back, and she took two bites and never touched them again, despite being left within easy reach. When a 3 year old won't touch a cookie, you know it is a heaping pile of failure.

On the FACE Rating System, these get 3 Frowny Faces. How do you FUCK UP a chocolate cookie for goodness sake, while besmirching the good name of Cadbury by taking its signature treat by shitting out a nigh poisonous cookie? Whoever it is, they should be fired immediately for gross incompetency, and made to wear a sign that says "I hate children and unicorns" for a year and a day. Stay the hell away from these, and let us never speak of this abomination again.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Kotas Reviews the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino

We are in a shining age of food promotion ladies and gentlemen. New exotic flavors of old favorites are being released, limited editions abound in the grocery aisles, and restaurants are feverishly trying to find the Next Big Thing that will bring you into their doors. All in pursuit of that ever shrinking "disposable income" slice of the economic pie. So, this takes us to our new trend. The Time Limited Edition. Let's take a look at that rarest of beverages...the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino.

Fucking Majestic, right?
Starbucks is not known for its stunt foods. Other than the occasional seasonal offering that gets super popular for no reason (looking at you, Pumpkin Spice, uh, Everything!), Starbucks keeps the menu pretty stable and doesn't try too many "outrageous" promotional things. Until now that is. So, I don't know if you know about it, but "unicorn food" has been a food trend for a year (and since the New York Times is reporting on it, soon to no longer be a trend at all). The idea behind it is to take ordinary boring regular food and make it "magical" by adding an assortment of colorful dyes, marshmallows, sprinkles, or whatever to make it more cheerful or "unicorn-esque" if you will. Yeah, I don't get it either, but whatever. So this is the Conglomocorp Version of such a whimsical online trend, and boy howdy does it look it. 

So all of this leads us to the actual Frappucino itself. Well, it's brightly colored purple and blue, the sprinkles on top are cheerful, and who doesn't love whipped cream? This thing looks like something a unicorn would definitely excrete is what I'm saying. The chemical engineering here is incredible, and the visual is absolutely amazing. It is popular too, since I had to go to two different Starbucks to track one down. The closest Starbucks to my house ran out in a unicorn-based frenzy of purchases. Lucky for me, there's like 2 more Starbucks within 5 minutes of the first one I tried. At the second one, one of the baristas expressed disbelief in having a store run out of the things. She then proceeded to show me the box the various mixes came in. I left a good tip for her. Still, on with the show. Let's have a taste!
My initial sip was sort of meh. I was all "this is what people are raving about"? It was generically sweet, but it didn't have much flavor at all, which is NOT what I want from my purple-blue-besprinkled hallucination drink. So I gave it a tiny stir. Well howdy flavor, there you are! It tastes like a liquefied Sweet Tart, though occasional periods of "more sweet" and "more sour" occur as you drink it. I am given to understand it is made with a mango syrup at some point, but I tasted no hint of mango. There was a vaguely "berry-ish" overtone to both the sweet and sour portions, much more so with the sour, but it's the kind of fake flavor you get with "berry" flavored gummy snacks. The sprinkles on top are delightfully Warhead sour, for those of you familiar with the candy, and I enjoyed them very much. Once the drink blended a bit better, I enjoyed the heck out of it. I love sweet and sour candy and this hits all those marks effortlessly.

On the FACE Rating System, this gets 2 Smiley Faces. It's a stunt food that basically manages to pull off the effect it is going for, and what it is going for is something I dig. I couldn't help but grin ear to ear when I was buying this because it looks so completely insane, and the flavor, while not insane, is unusual and delicious, if completely artificial. I rather liked this drink, and I may pick up another one before its time runs out. Only available until April 23, 2017, so get out there and get one before they are gone. Unless you hate Sweet Tarts, then totally skip this one. Still, I predict that if this is popular, it will be like the McRib. Something you only see periodically through the year, and something completely fabricated in a chemical plant.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Kotas Reviews the Loaded Taco Burrito

Taco Bell is one of those places where every 3 months or so they come out with a "new" product, which is really just a new combination of their standard ingredients. I mean, what is a Double Decker Taco other than just a regular taco with a soft taco coating? The "Triple Double" Crunch Wrap is just a Crunch Wrap with a bigger portion of the same old crap scooped into it. So what happens when Taco Bell has zero fucks left to give? Ladies and Gentlemen, let's take a look at the Loaded Taco Burrito.

They just didn't care. Though, really, what were you expecting? A unicorn?
This is a triumph of either laziness or not giving the least shit about how people perceive them. I mean, it is literally the Taco Burrito. Taco Bell isn't exactly "authentic" Mexican food, but they at least paid lip service to the idea that it was based on real recipes or styles of Mexican food. This? This is "eh, fuck it. Cram a taco into a burrito and call it good". Even the advertisements assume you already thought of this and that Taco Bell is just "crazy" enough to do it. I admit that ordering this made me feel like I was in a "show within a show" or at least in this case, a commercial inside a show. This is something the Simpsons writers from 10 seasons ago would come up with to mock the very idea of stunt food, and we are. Let's eat!

Well, this is another case of something being "exactly what it says on the tin". This was in fact the contents of a Taco Supreme, along with some "crispy tortilla strips", in a burrito. "Meat", lettuce, cheese, tomato and yes, even a bit of the ol' sour cream, with a bit of crunch in a convenient tortilla wrapper. And you know what? It was actually pretty good! I mean, sure, it's just a Burrito Supreme with a few tortilla strips in it, but it totally worked! They add a bit of body and texture to an otherwise humdrum food experience, and the price was right at $1.49 (at my local location anyway). See? Sometimes good things come from not giving a shit.

On the FACE Rating System, this gets a Smiley Face. It is not my favorite Taco Bell Product but it's a fairly filling item at a good price. If you like Taco Bell food (and yeah, I realize that doesn't apply to a lot of you) definitely pick one up to try. This will not change your opinion on Taco Bell though, so don't expect miracles. It is a testament to how recklessly not caring can result in a good thing. Not a great thing, but good.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Kotas Reviews Power Rangers

You know how it is, right? You grow up in a small town, and you got some troubles in your life. Maybe a parent left your life and you are upset about it. Perhaps a close relative is sick or your grades are slipping because you've overloaded yourself. Maybe you just screwed up something socially and now you are some sort of outcast. Then you and 4 of your friends/acquaintances/some randos get superpowers from an alien being who is basically a head in a jar with a wacky robot sidekick. Typical Tuesday really. Ladies and gentlemen, let's take a look at Power Rangers!

Mass Effect has really gotten weird.
I'll be honest, I'm a huge Power Rangers fan. I know it's cheesy and goofy as hell, but as a lifelong kaiju movie and superhero fan, Power Rangers (and its ancestor Super Sentai) hits a lot of the right entertainment notes for me. Plus it has like 24 seasons worth of material, and usually people can find at least one season they really like. Good martial arts action, fun monster and robot designs, crazy weapons, a a touch of charm make Power Rangers into generally an entertaining romp, though not without its missteps (Operation Overdrive is a travesty). That said, how does it hold up on the big screen? There have been two previous Power Ranger theatrical releases and both of them were, at best, "not a complete shit show". It's Morphin' Time! With some spoilers! Skip to the end for a summation and review.

Our movie opens with a Red Ranger crawling through the muck of a battlefield, wherein he retrieves the power coin of a dying Yellow Ranger, who is also an alien. Our Ranger has retrieved all the coins from his fallen comrades and places them, along with his own, in safe keeping, just as he calls down a meteor strike to take out him and his foe, Rita. This is our introduction to Zordon. This happy scene is followed with a sequence of a high school prank gone awry as Jason, our hunky football star lead, is in crippling accident that ruins his chances for ever playing for the NFL during the course of which is a pretty explicit masturbation/bestiality joke. Go go Power Rangers! 

We follow him through is first day of detention, where we meet Kimberly, who's done something vaguely bad that causes her to lose her friendships and cut her hair, Billy, a mildly autistic kid who is picked on by the bullies at school and has a penchant for exploding lunch pails, and...well, that's it. Jason stands up for Billy, who in gratitude offers him use of his van if Jason will come over and help him. In addition, since Jason has an ankle bracelet for his house arrest, Billy can fix that too. Because, you know, science or some shit. This leads to a number of shenanigans that vaguely introduce Trini and Zach, and the whole gang is together when Billy blows up a wall and exposes some "weird ass glass" that they find the Power Coins in. Then there is a wacky chase scene where they bond to outrun a train horribly. Then they wake up with super powers, and begin to explore both their new powers and their burgeoning relationships to each other. 

Ultimately this is a film about teen drama and finding friendships that happens to have some Power Rangers stuff bolted on top of it. The acting is all pretty solid, with a great cast and some good writing. The Teen Drama isn't so much of the "after school special" variety (compared to say, a 90s TV show), but it does feel like this is a series of television episodes that has a bigger least until the last 20 minutes of the film or so, which I'll get to in a bit. I liked the characters, and even cared about them, and I wanted to see them succeed. Elisabeth Banks is clearly having a blast chewing all the scenery as Rita, and Malcolm's Dad is kind of weird as a less obviously benevolent Zordon, but it works out. Bill Hader as Alpha 5 did not make me want to punch things, which is always good. 

There are some twists and turns along the path to the epic (I guess) climax. Zordon's main motivation in getting them trained up and morphing is that it will allow him to come back from being just "dude in a wall". The teens have to learn to morph...and they suck at it because it requires the Power of Friendship or the Heart of the Cards or something, and Billy is basically the only one who is really trying at some point. Kimberly is clearly a not nice person who is trying to do the right thing and still occasionally fails. Rita straight up kills a Ranger (Well, along with Super Drowning Skills), which is less of a setback than you might think. Still, when the film is ending, I felt like the team really pulled together to save the day. The film might not have impressive skill, but it's got heart!

Of course, now we get into the more questionable parts of the film. So, Rita kills Billy by throwing him into the water at a dock and maybe zapping him too? Hard to tell, but it mostly seems like he drowned. The other Rangers pull him out, and he eventually is resurrected, but I was like "Dude, at the beginning of the film you held your breath for like, 10 minutes, and you were underwater here for maybe 2 or 3." Goldar looks like absolute garbage. While I mostly liked the individual Zord designs, the stand outs being the T-Rex and the Pteradon ones, the Megazord looked like Optimus Prime forgot to put on clothes and then decided to go be in Pacific Rim. Krispy Kreme must have paid out the fucking nose for its incredibly plot relevant product placement in this film, as LITERALLY the location of the "source of all life" Zeo Crystal. I did laugh when they also failed to move the Megazord right after forming it, but that bit ruined the momentum of the scene. I would have liked to see some more action scenes too. Some of the "for fans" lines were reeeeeeaally shoehorned in awkwardly, particularly "Make my Monster Grow!". The end of the film just rushed through a bunch of stuff to get to the final action sequence.

On the FACE Rating System, this film gets 1 Smiley Face. I rather enjoyed it, and it had some great callbacks to previous Ranger series (and cameos by Amy Jo Johnson and Jason David Frank from the Mighty Morphin' days). The acting was a step above Power Rangers in general, and the script mostly worked within its bounds, even if there were holes the size of Zords in the plot at times. It's a big, not too smart Teen Drama with some Science Fantasy parts tacked on. If you are a Power Rangers fan, you should go see it. Everyone else...maybe wait for the Redbox and a time when your brain won't nitpick some stuff. If you are into CW shows, this should make you happy. Goldar sucks though, and oddly I really wanted a doughnut when I walked out of the theater. May the Power Protect You!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Kotas Reviews Lay's Beer and Brats Potato Chips

Oh man it's my favorite time of year again! The sun is starting to peak out more, the cold weather is (slowly) being replaced by warmer days, the monsoons are showing up with more frequency, and yes, the Lay's Do Us A Flavor promotion is back again! These periodic flavor experiments fill me with delight because while they aren't always good, they at least show that Frito Lay is willing to think outside the box and really let their creativity shine by taking suggestions from the public and turning them into marketable goods for which the originator will get no compensation, no matter how popular they become! Hooray capitalism! Anyway, this year's chip adventure begins with Lay's Beer and Brats chips. Let's take a gander.

Sausage fest joke? Sausage fest joke!
I guess I was a little too bitter before, since this time there is a prize for coming up with "the best" flavor, which amounts to one MEEEEELLION dollars, or roughly equivalent to the spare change that the CEO pulled out of his car seats last Thursday. The packaging is surprisingly, uh brown, though DAT SAUSAGE, amirite? The beer looks remarkably like the beer from the old video game Tapper. Honestly, this theme surprised me, but upon reflection it makes absolute sense. One of the best times I've had at a cookout was scarfing down wieners and chips in massive quantities and washing it all down with cheap beer, and if they could encapsulate that experience in a potato chip, it would certainly save me the embarrassment of buying shitty beer. Let's crack 'em open!

Considerably less sausage than I was expecting. Less beer too!
Well, these are certainly chips. They have an amount of flavor dust on them, but they are not completely covered in it. The scent is vaguely backyard grill out, but not what I would call "bratwurst". Definitely sausage-esque though, so you know, decent effort. Of the beer there is but the faintest note of something that might be "shitty domestic", but really, it's hard to tell. Let's dig in, shall we?

The flavor is definitely savory and meaty, though identifying a particular type of "meat" would be difficult. I suppose you could call it roasted sausage, but I suspect that if I didn't know what it was supposed to be, I'd probably consider it just "meat-ish". There is more of the beer-ish flavor here, but not much. Still, it is definitely "shitty domestic" beer flavoring, so it's got that authentic American Backyard Cookout feel to it. You'll probably be surprised to hear that, despite it's inability to be a spot on flavor, it is very tasty on it's own merits. The savoriness compliments the potato and salt excellently, and the little bit of beer like overtones help clear the palette after eating (though not entirely). 

On the FACE Rating System, this gets One Smiley Face. These are very munchable, though if you were expecting a distinct "Beer and Brat" type flavor you will be somewhat disappointed. Definitely go try a bag if you are into savory chip flavors, and honestly, these would go great with Beer and Brats. Perhaps not Lay's finest effort, but it certainly isn't the Wurst!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Kotas Reviews Logan

I've been watching X-Men movies since the first one came out in 2000. Admittedly, after the mediocre X-3 and the abysmal Wolverine: Origins movies, I fell out of love with the series. I hear good things about some of the other films though, and I hope to find time to see them eventually. Still, when heard about the premise of Logan I knew I had to see it. Getting to see Hugh Jackman's last turn as the character, along with Patrick Stewart? Yes, please. Saddle up, it's gonna be a bumpy ride.

I know that look.
Image Source:
I am going to try and keep any spoilers to a bare minimum, or keep it to stuff revealed in the opening moments of the film. A lot of what I'm going to talk about is in the trailers and such, so it shouldn't be too spoilertastic. Anyway, we open on Logan blearily waking up and stumbling out of the limo he's in, only to discover a pile of gangbangers trying to strip his tires. This goes about as well as you'd expect, though Logan looks like he's been through an inordinate amount of shit as of late. His hair is graying, his clothes, while presentable, are worn, and his wounds heal, but not like they used to. In fact he looks very scarred, which wasn't something you'd ever expect to see on the Wolverine.

Later on, Logan is confronted by a cybered up fellow named Donald Pierce, head of the Reavers. They're looking for someone, and want Logan to call them if he finds that someone. This goes about as well as you'd expect, but Logan doesn't just go apeshit on this guy, and for good reason. He's got bigger problems.

Eventually we get to see Professor Xavier, or Charles, as he's referred to here, and I have to give credit to Sir Stewart here, you feel the age of the guy. He's old, decrepit, and his mind is slipping away. Given that mind is also one of the most powerful weapons on the planet, that thought should scare you. It certainly scares Logan. Still, obligations being what they are, Logan is caring for him, along with a mutant named Caliban who is a mutant tracker and an albino, and thus, doesn't have a lot of career options.

To sum up, mutants are dying out as no new ones have been born in years. Logan is the last of the X-Men, and just trying to make enough money to survive and eventually whisk Charles off to the ocean to get away from everyone. Mostly because Charles has seizures that psychically paralyze everyone around him in incredibly painful ways, and Logan seems to be one of the few that can fight through it to get him his medication. It's...grim, dusty, and filled with emptiness of the soul, but things pick up when Laura shows up, showing off some very familiar claws...

From this point the movie is basically a road trip movie with three people just trying to get through the journey: Charles, Laura, and Logan. The plot isn't too complicated (at least for this part of the film), but the interactions between these three really sell the movie, more than anything else. This is a tightly focused character piece about a man dealing with regret finding some way to muster up the ability to have one final adventure. There is a ton of emotion and meaning conveyed with body language and inflection, which goes to show how skilled the acting is here. Sure, it's not perfect, but damn if it isn't firing on all cylinders at times. Then there are the fight scenes.

The cinematography here is actually really well done. You feel the hurt that Logan is in, and the fights are frenetic, brutal, and gore filled, but not to the ridiculous levels shown in the much more comedic Deadpool. There is a touch of realism and grittiness in the fight scenes that normally isn't present in films about dudes who can pop claws out of their wrists. Every crunch, every stab, every flip is there to be felt and make the audience just cringe in shared empathy, even for the nameless mooks who I'm sure were just two weeks from retirement.

There are some interesting parallels between Logan and Charles I want to touch on. In a lot of ways, Professor X and Wolverine were opposites. One has incredible physical prowess, the other mental. One is nearly feral with rage, the other as calm as a lake in spring time. This movie sort of flips it all on its head. Now Charles is the one nearly mad (at times) due to his age and the ravages of onset mental deterioration. Logan has to be the responsible one, the one who keeps his cool because it wouldn't do to have the bachalorette party in the limo flip out when you accidentally pop claws. On the other hand, both men suffer from a similar malady: Their most powerful weapon is now slowly killing them. The adamantium in Logan's skeleton is finally, after all these years, overwhelming his ability to regenerate and boy howdy does it show. Seeing Charles curse and be incredibly childish while Logan has to take on the more parental role is heartbreaking, but it is just so well done.

There are a lot of feels in this movie, so be prepared for a few (or maybe a lot of) tears. Even something as cheesy as an old western is made pretty damn meaningful, and sometimes the victory isn't pretty or sweet, or happy. Still, it is very fitting, and a good way to send off the character. Whoever wrote the very last bit should get a fucking raise too. It did not end the way I thought I wanted it to, but it ended in a way I think was just right. Even if I didn't know it. This is a Western wrapped in a road trip that throws its superhero trappings on just long enough to remind you where it came from.

On the FACE Rating System, Logan gets 3 Very Sad Smiley Faces. If you don't understand that now, you will after you see the film, because you should see the film if you are a fan of the X-Men, the characters, or even just Hugh Jackman or Patrick Stewart. Damn good film. Oh, it also has boobs in it. So you know, there's that. Man, this film couldn't have been made if Deadpool didn't do so well, but boy am I grateful that it exists. Just go see it!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Kotas Reviews Peeps Oreos

Easter Season should be the biggest deal of the year. Spring has sprung, the sun is shining, food is plentiful, and pastels are in fashion. Still, I suppose a fat guy in a red suit has more marketability than a bunny that poops out brightly colored eggs. Even the Cadbury Bunny's peddled treats, delicious as they are, still make one vaguely uneasy if you think about it too much. Then again, the whole egg/chicken motif brought us the humble Peep. Good or bad, it's here to stay. So of course they would make an Oreo out of it. Ladies and Gentlemen, Children of Most Ages, let's take a look at Peeps Oreos.

Not since Victor Frankenstein has the phrase "My God, What Have I Done?" been so appropriate.
Nabisco has been on the ball as of late with their flavors. Love them or hate them, they are exactly what you would expect from [Object] + Oreo. The Peeps Oreo is no exception. The packaging is glorious, with the bright yellow and pink colors highlighting its duel Peep/Oreo nature. Nabisco went with the vanilla Oreo as the base here, and I think that was a good choice. Chocolate and Peeps have never been particularly good together, because the overwhelming chemical sugariness tends to turn the chocolate into mostly texture. Vanilla and...uh...Peep should compliment instead. Good call. Also, the easy open package is in attendance. Let's rip it open.

Not much to say about this one. I wanted screaming hot pink, and that's exactly what I got. The eye searing nature of this color is not done justice in the pictures, because pictures can be faked. Trust me though, these things practically glow. The smell is vanilla laced with a hint of laboratory and a general "sweetness" that is hard to describe. My pancreas trembles in anticipation. Also, the pink creme has pink sugar sprinkles embedded in it, for that authentic Peep texture. Let's see how it all goes down.

Well, that wasn't so bad. And then all my hopes turned into nightmares as the overwhelming bitterness swept aside any lingering remnants of joy, leaving only terror in its wake. Now, I've always enjoyed Peeps for what they are: Chemical trickery. I'm a heathen who prefers them aged (read: stale as shit), because it dramatically cuts down on the chemical aftertaste they leave. Not every Peep does this, but the pink ones especially left behind an unwelcome chemical visitor. Well, the Oreo version ups the ante to unwholesome levels. The initial flavor isn't terrible, tasting mainly like a vanilla Oreo with sugar sprinkles in it, but then the sour, bitter flavor wallops you in the mouth. The creme by itself tastes like...well, sugar, and then horror. Even grape soda didn't wash that taste away, and it lingered for hours. I ate two of these things before I gave up. I'll note that whiskey helped wipe away the taste, but even then it lingered longer than I felt it should have. Holy Jeez, they SELL THIS to people. Oddly, my spouse said they tasted just fine to her: sweet, a little bit of crunch from the cookie and the sprinkles, and that was that. Maybe it's just me then?

On the FACE Rating System, these get 3 Frownie Faces, however I am qualifying this one. I absolutely detested these cookies, but I must admit they did exactly what they set out to do: Create a Peep cookie. I also speculate I have some sort of sensitivity to the dye they used to color this, because I seem to be the only person who hates these as much as I do. The only silver lining here is that they stain your tongue bright pink for a long, LONG time. They also have more...interesting side effects when eaten in large quantities. This gets a tentative "try" from me, if you like Peeps or super sweet things. I hate these things though.