A Shot of Sour in the Face
As I've noted in a few instances, sometimes I'll buy something to review as a dare. If it's gross sounding, or strange, or just a food stuff that seems like no one in their right mind should have thought it was a good idea (but I think I can still choke it down) then I'll grab it. Sometimes this leads to a pretty good new treat that I add to my occasional "to-buy" list. Other times it leads me to something so foul I can't even get through it (Kool-Aid flavored Yoplait was so bad I couldn't even eat enough to properly review it).
When I saw five-pack of Warheads Soda advertised on Amazon (because I buy a lot of sour candy and the Online marketplace knows me too well) I knew it was just the right kind of "dare food" I wanted. Soda favored like sour candy could either be something good or something wretched. The case was $12 for only five cans (one of each flavor on offer), and while that seemed pretty steep, it was at least worth it for the excitement of buying, and doing, something really stupid. And so I grabbed it, drank it all, and now we will all look over the results of this experiment:
Warheads Soda: Lemon
The least interesting flavor is also the one that I assumed would be the easiest slam dunk of the set. Lemon soda is a standby of many soda aisles, with just about ever soda brand having some clear, lightly flavors citrus concoction, from Sprite to Starry to 7-Up all taking up space. I assumed the Warheads version would either follow along those lines, or would be so hideously overpowered that I'd taste lemon for a week. I hoped for the latter but mostly got the former.
Aside from its bright yellow color (which, yes, looks like the urine from someone that really needs to drink more water and maybe lay off the asparagus), the soda was pretty inoffensive. I mock the color, but it's basically "Warhead Yellow", so that tracked, and the flavor was basically candy lemon. It was actually pretty mild, and in comparison to the other sodas in this flight, not at all sour. It tasted like lemon soda, such that I could see someone that actually liked mild citrus soda getting a can of this from time to time. It was so mild, in fact, that I'd call it too mild for a Warheads soda.
Warheads Soda: Watermelon
This soda was a slight improvement over the lemon in all respects. This one introduced a basic tartness that is present across three of the five cans. Like drinking a mild Sweet Tart (which is also the flavor impact I get from a Red Bull). I don't know that I'd really call this "sour" by any stretch, no matter what the can says, but it was flavorful and tart. Of course, it's worth noting that I love sour candy, and really like extremely sour flavors, so what's "mildly tart" to me might have more impact on someone else. My wife drank a few sips of these, and she found them to be inoffensively tart, so take that as you will.
Pouring out a bright pink, the color of a Warheads watermelon candy, the flavor was exactly what I expect. Unlike the lemon soda, which was just "citrus-y", the watermelon soda tasted like a warheads candy. It had that right tang, that right watermelon flavor. It's like they boiled down the candies and added seltzer to them. It's not overpowering, mind you, just flavorful. I don't know if I'd want to drink this all the time, but if somehow I had the urge for watermelon flavor is soda form, I probably would reach for this. It's an edge case, sure, but one I could support.
Warheads Soda: Green Apple
Now, I'm not going to lie: I love apple soda. I found a can of it overseas when my parents took me to England one time, and I've been in love with it ever since. Apple soda is hard to find here in the States, generally coming from artisinal brands or indie soda groups (like Jones Soda). Unfortunately that also means it's hard to find a good apple soda (sorry, Jones, but your flavor is too watered down). It has to have the right bite: not too fake, but with enough flavor to make it tasty.
Surprisingly, the Warheads Apple soda is actually pretty good. It tastes like a Warhead apple candy, but in a good way. Like with the watermelon soda, the flavor isn't so overpowering, such that it doesn't coat your mouth in candy flavor. Instead is has a crispness, a light bite that I enjoyed. It, too is more tart than sour, but the flavor works really well all around. This is absolutely a soda I would reach for if I were in the mood for soda, and there's no caveats for that at all.
Warheads Soda: Blue Raspberry
It weirds me out to say this, but blue raspberry soda is something I didn't realize I needed. I absolutely, do, though, and I'd want it from Warheads. This was actually the first of the cans from the pack I popped open, assuming it would be the worst of the set, but instead I got hit with the right amount of blue raz. It had everything I wanted: the blue, the fake but delicious flavor, and just enough sour tang. This is a soda that knows exactly what it needs to be and delivers it perfectly.
With that said, my wife didn't like this one bit at all. Not because of the sour, which still isn't too strong here (once again, more of a tartness than a sour punch). No, she could taste seltzer flavor in this soda and she hates seltzer. Notable, I didn't taste that at all, but I also don't hate seltzer. So if you have a strong dislike of seltzer this soda (and all the rest) may not be for you. Mileage, with anything, may vary.
Warheads Soda: Black Cherry
And then there's the other easy lay-up for the set, but this time Warheads pulled it off. Where the lemon soda was way too mild and inoffensive, like it was trying to be "just another citrus soda", Warheads Black Cherry leans hard on the Warheads side of the equation to spectacular effect. It should be easy to make a good cherry soda, as that's another flavor that is ubiquitous in the soda aisle, but the Warheads Black Cherry soda is so much more.
This was the first soda I sampled that was legitimately sour. The flavor of the cherry wasn't overpowering, mind you, so I don't think it was down to the syrup mix being off. If it had been, the soda wouldn't have been just sour but also saccharine in a way. Instead this soda managed to balance the lightness of the taste with a heavy sour impact. This was what I wanted from a Warheads soda, through and through. It's drinkable but also sour in a way I thoroughly enjoyed.
Even now, having had all of them, the idea of sour soda still feels like a dare. It is, however, a dare I would take again. A few of the flavors were legitimately good, and there wasn't really a truly bad can in the set. While I likely wouldn't get lemon on its own, the other four flavors were right up my alley (and I could absolutely see someone liking the milder citrus flavor of the lemon soda.
With all that said, the price for this case was prohibitive. If the five pack were four to six bucks that would be one thing. At 12 dollars for a five case, though, that's way too much to spend. I liked being able to taste all the flavors for one attempt, but unless I saw this case for cheap at a grocery store (and not as inflated prices on Amazon) I doubt I'd get it again. As much as this was fun to do, I don't drink soda that often and I'm not paying 12 bucks for the privilege.
If you want to do these as a dare and see how your tastes line up with my own, that's cool. I would encourage that. But for regularly drinking, maybe wait until these come down in price (if they ever do).