I tried the new limited edition Bourbon flavored Dr Pepper

Dr Pepper today unveiled its latest limited edition: Dr Pepper Bourbon Flavored Fansville Reserve. The soda was made “as part of the brand’s strong connection to college football” with the idea that it could be something to sip on a tailgate.

If you’re thinking “Sounds cool, I might get a 6-pack this weekend” Think again. The soda comes as a single can of Dr Pepper, protected with foam in a small burgundy box. The side offers some hints about the drink’s origin and the back has an image of the Fansville water tower. If “Fansville” sounds familiar, it was the name of the brand’s 2019 college football satirical drama:

You also can’t actually buy it. If you want to try Dr Pepper Bourbon Flavored Fansville Reserve, you’ll need to win a can through the brand’s Pepper Perks program. That said, the kind people at Dr Pepper were kind enough to send me a can so I could do a little scouting work.

I’ve been preparing for this moment since I was 16. One of the first contests I ever won was a one-year supply of Dr Pepper when I was in my sophomore year of high school. The prize came in the form of 52 coupons for a free six-pack, and I cradled a bottle of Dr. Pepper in my lunchbox for the entire school year and kept my friends hydrated for our play nights. all summer long, that is to say, while high school was a long time ago for me, I still considered myself somewhat of a DrPepper connoisseur. If you scroll through my profile on Forbes, you’ll probably notice that I’m a bit of a bourbon connoisseur too, so I’m pretty excited about this challenge.

The most important title is that it is called “Dr Pepper Bourbon flavored Fansville Reserve ”the key word is flavored. The actual Dr Pepper is alcohol-free and is only flavored to taste like bourbon. Bourbon gets a lot of its flavor from the barrels it ages in, so the flavors we expect to come out of it include things like vanilla, caramel, and perhaps some wood notes.

While I’ve definitely mixed bourbon with Dr Pepper previously (it’s a solid combination that I highly recommend), there’s a big difference between having a Dr. Pepper with some bourbon and having a Dr Pepper thought to taste like bourbon. There’s also a big difference between drinking a hefty dose of a few grams of bourbon and drinking a 12-ounce can, so there are a few variables at play here.

Similar to how you taste whiskey, I have tried this both “clean” fresh out of the can and “on the rocks” with lots of ice. I’m usually an ice fan when it comes to sodas, but a big fan when it comes to bourbon, so I feel it’s important to try the hybrid either way.

Bourbon Flavored Dr. Pepper Fansville Reserve – “Neat”

The nose smells that characteristic smell of Dr Pepper just out of the can from the moment you open it. It actually smells so much like a Dr Pepper that I would have identified it immediately. The same goes for the pour. All signs indicate this is just a regular Dr. Pepper.

On the palate you get even more Dr Pepper than bourbon; however, there are subtle notes of vanilla and especially honey that make it somewhat sweeter than a traditional Dr Pepper. I wouldn’t immediately call “bourbon” as what’s going on here, but it’s different.

Bourbon Flavored Dr Pepper Fansville Reserve – On the rocks

Ice really makes him sing. While normally the colder your drink, the less flavor it has, ice really brought out many of the more subtle flavors in Dr Pepper Bourbon Flavored. Fansville Reserve.

On the nose I got some oak from the icy iteration. On the palate there were pronounced notes of cherry, stronger than the honey and vanilla we got in the clean version. The sweetness isn’t as pronounced in serving cold as the can just out of the fridge, but it’s still there, and vanilla and honey linger on the palate after each sip, plus a small hint of oak.

After drinking a few “aged with bourbon” beers that essentially taste like a 12oz bourbon, I got into this rather skeptical. Both versions I would say very drinkable and exactly what I would expect when opening a can of Dr Pepper. The base is that distinctive Dr Pepper flavor, but there is only a slight hint of something more. The “little extra” is really well balanced, and unlike some new sodas, I could drink a full can of ice without a problem.

If you want to get a can of your own to try the only way to grab one is through Dr Pepper’s Pepper Perks program. Reward programs give you points for purchasing Dr Pepper products that you can redeem for things like shirts and hats, as well as “scratch tickets” where you could potentially win a can of good stuff.

If you are not a buyer of Dr Pepper, fear not. Everyone gets a free scratch card every day until the middle of next month on the site, so you might still be able to win. The cans are available “while stocks last”.

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