Sunday, August 12, 2012

Stars & Stripes Cola 3-Liter Bottle (Dollar Tree)

Stars & Stripes Cola, available at all Dollar Tree locations.

The price of soda is absurd.  Twelve-packs of the major brands have climbed up to about $4 (maybe more) for a 12-pack when not on sale.  Even two-liters, which seemed to be much more affordable when I was younger, are approaching $2.  This is why the wife and I buy mainly only private-label offerings, indulging in the national brands only when a local store is running a 4/$10 sale (and when we have an extra $10 to blow, which is far less frequent than it probably should be…we’re talking once or twice a year).

On top of this, my wife and I have also decided to try to cut back on the carbonated stuff, simply because it really serves no purpose--outside of sugary deliciousness, of course.  But having a hankering for some on a recent trip to Dollar Tree, I decided to grab some Stars & Stripes Cola, which is offered in gigantic 3-liter bottles.  And yes, like everything else in the store, it's only a buck.
Upon first inspection, it looks like any other cola--dark brown, and carbonated.  Even the smell is rather typical, though it does seem to be a little “softer” than similar sodas.  Taste is the most important element, and it also happens to be where Stars & Stripes Cola fails the worst.  I guess it’s not so much that its taste is really THAT disgusting (though the aftertaste is rather bitter until you get used to it)--it just tastes like a diet soda, only it’s not supposed to be (a diet version is available).  It’s a biteless, severely watered down cola that really just isn’t much fun to drink.

Even for those on a budget, I would recommend Aldi’s GT Cola, which is sold in two-liter bottles and will only run you 69 cents.  Liter-for-liter, I guess Stars & Stripes is a little cheaper, but what GT may slightly lack in price, it more than makes up for in delicious cola flavor that, at the very least, isn't watery or bland.

Overall: 4/10.  If you like your full-flavored soda to taste diet, then this is for you…Stars & Stripes Cola is a biteless, watered down version of cola with an aftertaste that starts off bitter, then gradually just shifts to that fakey taste you get with diet sodas.  The value is there, as you get 3-liters for only a dollar, but even in its price range, you can find better (GT Cola from Aldi immediately springs to mind, and will only set you back 69 cents for two liters).  A diet version is also available, which scares me (though to be fair, it‘s surprisingly getting incredibly high marks from users on Dollar Tree’s own website). Purchase and consume this beverage with caution.

8 comments:

  1. Agree on Stars & Stripes Cola being pretty nasty, but similar (not worse than) to GT Cola - both brands leave a bitter aftertaste for me.

    I love shopping at ALDI, I can get most of my shopping there and not spend a fortune. There are still a few things I refuse to get there though. One thing comes to mind is the Cheez-It knockoff, it's too bland for my taste buds.

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  2. Man, I actually love GT Cola. Don't know why, but it really hits the spot for me. My wife's really picky about her sodas, and she likes it, too. One of the few things we agree on.

    I also love the Cheez-It knock-offs! I buy them once in a while, and while they're not exact to Cheez-It, they're close enough for me.

    I love shopping there, too, and I'm finding less and less that I can't eat. They really seem to improve on most of the things that I used to avoid, though I think most of their sodas are still pretty bad.

    Anyways, thanks a lot for the comment and for stopping by!

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    1. Well, it's been about 10 years or longer since I last tried GT Cola. Like you said, they do tend to improve some items. One item I grew fond of recently that used to taste bitter is Beaumont Coffee (comes in ~35oz cans) and only costs $6. The taste is very close to Maxwell House or Folgers, and much cheaper. Good stuff if you drink coffee.

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    2. Unfortunately, I don't drink coffee, but I'll keep that in mind to recommend to others as just about everyone else in the world seems to (I guess I just don't do well with acquired tastes--I don't drink beer, either)!

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  3. I know this is old. Good off brand cola is Sam's Club Cola Regular. Price is $5 for 24 pack of cans. Has a great flavor and doesn't taste nasty like some off brand colas. In the 2 liter bottle is not advised. It gets flat too fast.

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion! That's a great price, too. Have you ever tried their diet (I'm assuming they have that)? I can't stand the stuff, but my wife only drinks the name brand diet cola and I'd be interested to see what she'd think of an off-brand. Would certainly save us some money!

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  4. I bought stars and stripes diet cola 2 of them it tastes nasty and had no fizz. I will never buy it again.

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    1. Haha, that's how diet tastes to me anyway. But that's good to know...I won't even waste buying a bottle for my diet cola-obsessed wife.

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