My title is incomplete. These are technically part of the Caruso’s Legacy Gourmet Sodas. They’re also technically part of the WIT Beverage Company in Chicago which I previously reviewed with their WBC line of Craft Sodas. As a whole I think I liked the WBC Craft Sodas more than the Caruso’s Legacy Gourmet Sodas, but there were some definite highlights here.
Robusto Root Beer
While most of these sodas are Italian influenced the root beer is an obvious departure from the theme. I know a handful of Italians and they all hate root beer.
There’s a nice smoothness to this root beer. The flavor is very comfortable, very familiar, very safe. There’s not much bite and I couldn’t find any particular flavor that set it apart from others. There’s a subtle earthiness at the front (maybe due to the yucca extract?). It’s just a nice root beer. I could understand the argument that the brew is possibly too simple.
While I liked the root beer, it was forgettable. Ultimately, a 7 out of 10 is the highest I can go.
Caruso’s Dark Cream
Hands down my favorite of the 5! This one reminded me of that one time in Morocco when I covered myself in caramel sauce and…wait. Uh…yeah, it reminds me of a nice dark caramel.
Sometimes a cream soda is just a little too creamy with no additional personality. This cream soda has a past that roughens it up around the edges. There’s a lot of vanilla, but the caramelized sugar flavor gives you the depth that sets it apart. This is delicious, and I’ll give it an 8.1 out of 10.
Caruso’s Maraschino Cherry Cola
I don’t like usually like cherry soda because it tastes like cough syrup. As I’ve described before, I know that that’s not fair because cough syrup tastes like cherry, not the other way around. Our minds do funny things with associations, though.
This was a different cherry. Here’s the irony, I don’t like maraschino cherries. They weird me out. They’re real cherries that are bleaches, brined, colored, and sweetened. There isn’t a lot of natural cherry left at that point. However, that candied cherry sweetness is a fantastic compliment to a dark cola. This soda reminded me of an improved Cherry Coke with cane sugar and a deeper flavor. An 8 out of 10 is great.
Caruso’s Limoncello and Blood Orange Sodas
Here’s where things took a turn for the worse. These were the two actual fruit flavored sodas in the bunch and they didn’t match the quality of the others. This could actually be intentional. They’re labeled as “Italian Style Sodas” which has a specific meaning in the soda world.
What most Americans consider an “Italian Soda” is actually a “French Soda” or a “Cremosa” (see Wikipedia). All of these are mostly American creations. However, an Italian soda is a beverage made with sparkling water and simple syrup, usually flavored with fruit. These are generally not bold or complicated flavors…but they could be.
I expected a bit more brightness, or acid, in this sodas but there was basically none. You can taste the fruit, but what you mostly taste is sugar (simple syrup). They were too plain for me, and I couldn’t go higher than 5.5 out of 10 for the Limoncello and 5 out of 10 for the Blood Orange.
Most of these were great, but I’d avoid the fruit flavors in the future. I’d love to keep the Dark Cream in stock.
Thank you to the WIT Beverage Company for providing the soda!