Claire Tries It: Shaquille O'Neal's New Line of Cream Soda

We’re going to break each soda down individually, on a scale from zero to slam dunk, because “slam dunk” is the only basketball term I know.

Jun 24, 2013 at 2:00pm | Leave a comment

Did you guys know Shaquille O’Neal has a soda? I know right? Classic Shaq. That guy. Did you know that there is a huge picture of his face on each and every can? No? But you’re not surprised, right?
 
I’m not.
 
If I made a soda (which would just be Diet Coke that doesn’t leave a weird blood-metal taste in your mouth), I would plaster my face all over that bitch. The ingredients list would just be tiny pictures of my face making different expressions (I would be making a sour face to represent phosphoric acid, etc.). So really, this is quite restrained.
 
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A small sampling of the faces available.

 
When these were brought to my attention by a co-worker (the one who ate bugs with me that time), I was like “I really like the giant face pictures” and “I really need to find out how sweet these are.” So I emailed Arizona and said “You don’t know me, but here’s some stuff I've written, do you want to send me free soda?”
 
And they said “yes” and sent me all four flavors. They even included a nice hand-written note. I guess humanity isn't all bad all the time.
 
Once I received them, I remembered that I really don't like cream soda. So. This is awkward, especially because Arizona was so nice to me. BUT OH WELL. My “journalistic integrity” comes first.
 
SO CALM YOUR TITS, you’re going to get the “real story” about this “important issue.” 
 
We’re going to break each soda down individually, on a scale from zero to slam dunk, because “slam dunk” is the only basketball term I know.
 
Note: The non-blood aftertaste Diet Coke would earn a full slam dunk, so a perfect score is almost unattainable.
 
First I want to discuss the “specs” of this beverage. Soda Shaq sodas contain no artificial colors or flavors and are preservative free. That’s cool, but what I really like is the lack of high fructose corn syrup, because I think that ish gives me headaches. These are sweetened with sugar and honey and very little fruit juice. Vegetable dye gives the beverages their color.
 
They contain 90 calories per serving (10 less than regular Coke), but you all know I don’t really care much about that. Plus, there are three servings in one can, because this is a “Big Can for The Big Man.” 
 
Did you know Shaq is a big man?
 
These sodas may be too big. I get that the can is big because he is big, but we’re not all that big. I simply cannot consume 24 ounces of super-sweet soda before the soda goes and flat and/or warms up. Shaq knows that small and normal-sized people would be drinking this too, right?
 
Maybe he just doesn't care.
 
He probably doesn't care.
 
Let’s talk flavors.
 
Vanilla Cream:
 
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Smirk.

 
Oh yeah, I also tried to replicate the many faces of Shaq.
 
I've already mentioned that these are cream sodas, and I think of this one as the “foundation.” Again, not a huge fan of cream sodas, so why am I even doing this? The face-cans got me. They got me good. 
 
This is a very sweet soda, but not artificially so. It tastes exactly like melted vanilla ice cream (the kind made with real vanilla), but the viscosity is the viscosity of soda. If that sounds like something you would like, go buy it. It’s 99 cents at 7-Eleven, which is basically nothing (or you could get 5 chicken nuggets).
 
I would enjoy this soda in a cocktail that contained a lot of acid flavors, probably something citrus-based. Ginger would pair nicely too. And since I would only need a splash or two per cocktail, I could get like 50 cocktails out of one can. What a deal!
 
Rating: 0.4 slam dunks, good for what it is, but very very sweet. Could be elevated to 0.8 slam dunks once it's in a cocktail.
 
Blueberry Cream:
 
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Dumb Joy.

 
Oh blueberry. You’re a difficult flavor to work with. I've never had a blueberry beer that wasn't revolting. I love actual blueberries (and I love them in things like pancakes), but they've never been a favorite flavoring agent of mine. Give me peach, give me cherry, get the eff out of here with lime though.
 
But even my husband (“Captain Blueberry,” I call him) wasn't a huge fan of this soda.  It wasn't horrible, just too sweet and fake tasting.
 
Rating: Traveling (I thought of another basketball term!).
 
Strawberry Cream:
 
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Laughing out of the side of my mouth?

 
We are getting better. This soda has that “classic strawberry soda taste” or something.  You know those Crème Savers? Yeah, those things are good. This is like drinking that.  I keep sipping this one, and I didn’t do that with the first two, so I guess I like it? 
 
I can’t drink the whole can, but it should be noted once more that I am not the “Big Man.”
 
Rating: 0.55 slam dunks. I feel like it just needs MORE ACID. With more acid, I could probably deal with a whole can.
 
Orange Cream:
 
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All Teeth.

 
This is my “favorite” I guess.
 
Kittens, do you like orange creamsicles? If you do you will probably like this. I legitimately like this soda. I decided that just now. I have taken more sips out of this can than any of the other cans so I decree that it is the best. It is also very sweet, but I could mix this with vodka and BOOM summer cocktail.
 
Rating: 0.6 slam dunks. I may actually buy this and mix it with vodka.
 
So those are my really important opinions. Orange Cream is the only truly drinkable one (Stawberry Cream is close, though), and I still could only consume a third of a can neat. If you are a fan of the TRULY SWEET and already like cream soda, I recommend these to you wholeheartedly. But if you are like me, and drink entirely too much Diet Coke, you don't need to bother with this noise. 
 
How did I do with the faces?