Soda Tasting

Dr Pepper Blind Tasting (HFCS, Imperial Sugar, Dublin) (Soda Tasting #66)

Unlike the previous blind tastings I’ve done for colas and pepper sodas, this one doesn’t focus on a particular flavor, but a particular brand. That brand is Dr Pepper.

Dr Pepper was invented in the 1880s and, in 1891, Dublin Bottling Works became the first facility to bottle the soda. When the mainstream version switched to high fructose corn syrup, they continued to bottle a sugar sweetened version. Eventually, it was branded as Dublin Dr Pepper.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPSG) was OK with this until filing a lawsuit in June of 2011, alleging that Dublin had violated the licensing agreement they had by selling the drink outside of a six county area in Texas. Trademark issues were also raised. After 6 months, the two sides settled, but as part of the settlement, DPSG acquired the rights to the Dublin Dr Pepper name and the soda was no longer produced under the Dublin brand.

However, as part of that settlement, Dr Pepper agreed to continue offering a version of Dr Pepper sweetened with Imperial pure cane sugar to the six counties in Texas. Dublin Bottling Works has since introduce it’s own line of retro sodas, some of which I’ll be reviewing on upcoming episodes of the show.

In this episode, however, I compare the three versions to see what, if any, the differences are.

Thank you to Bob Hubbard and Dortiz116 for requesting Dublin Dr Pepper.

Have you had sugar sweetened Dr Pepper? Please let me know in the comments.

Here is the nutritional information for the sodas featured in this episode:

Company: Dr Pepper Snapple Group
Calories (per 12 oz.): 150
Caffeine (per 12 oz): 41 mg (HFCS)
Sweetener: HFCS (Dr Pepper) and Imperial Pure Cane Sugar (Dr Pepper (with Imperial Sugar) and Dublin Dr Pepper)

Thank you for watching.

2 comments on “Dr Pepper Blind Tasting (HFCS, Imperial Sugar, Dublin) (Soda Tasting #66)

  1. I’m not certain this ia a good test. In Malcom Gladwell’s book “Blink” he discusses this “Pepsi Challenge” issue.. you can read more here – But basically the point that he makes is that people tend to choose the sweeter soda at first taste… over time, people’s preferences change.. I think this is similar with other blind tests like foods where people choose the saltier one, or even TV’s where people choose the one with the brighter colors.

    I suppose the real test is which of the sodas you’d prefer over time… here at my home, I can tell you that my family would always prefer the Dublin version of DP as its much more drinkable over time.

    I wonder if you could do a long time test where you do the blind A/B test between HFCS vs Sugar and see which you like to drink while lounging, mixing, with food, etc… I bet the results would be interesting (either way).

    Regardless, Thanks for the videos! Love them…

    • Hello Mr. Yoo,

      Thanks for the comment and the kind words on the show.

      I think it is fair to say that our tastes and preferences change over time – period. When I was younger, there was a period of time where I didn’t like ketchup. Even with fries. Later, I liked it again. Tastes change, no matter what. Drinks I like today, I may not like 5 years from now.

      Long term tests could be interesting, but they wouldn’t necessarily change anything. And, really, we have to keep in mind the limitations of the show and the limitations of both my time and my wallet. Right now, this show is losing me money, just hosting it as I do now. Forget buying sodas long term and charting progress. :) If someone wants to pay me a nice salary to do that, I’ll get right on it, though. Heh.

      I don’t prefer sweet necessarily – if you have watched the show for a long period, you’ll know I’ve criticized the sweetness of some sodas. I take this seriously and I am guided only by taste. But, it is my taste and mine alone and I always caution people about that. :) I prefer the regular Dr Pepper over Dublin Dr pepper, but it’s awesome that your family prefers the opposite. It’s all a matter of taste.