17 cream sodas in all, some ghastly, some heavenly. We tasted them all. Now that the sugar crash is behind us, we'll share our favorites.
Fifth Place--A Tie
IBC St. Louis, MO
This offered nice vanilla aromatics, but those vanilla notes were somewhat difficult to taste. Instead, the medium-gold soda reminded us of sweet, sharp caramel. A very easy-drinking cream soda with moderate fizz.
Sprecher Milwaukee, WI
The most honey-tasting of all the cream sodas. This had an almost medicinal finish, with notes of marshmallow and toasted caramel.
Hank's Philadelphia, PA
Loads of caramel and vanilla made Hank's cream soda a real delight to drink. It's frothy, as if from a draught, and quite sweet (but not so much that it becomes undrinkable), perfect for pairing with something salty like cured meats or pizza. The one downside to this soda was that it went flat much more quickly than any of the others we tasted.
Henry Weinhard's: Portland, OR
This was one of the creamiest sodas we tried, with a noticeable honey finish and hints of banana. Twisting off the bottle cap releases a strong scent of vanilla and candy, but thankfully the candy notes are toned down once the soda hits your palate. A very drinkable cream soda with a smooth, sudsy mouthfeel.
Faygo Detroit, MI
Faygo won the Serious Eats root beer taste test last year, and their cream soda was a hit. With hints of vanilla cupcakes, mild creaminess, and the slightest touch of candy, this one had a nice, classic taste that wasn't overly sweet. Since the company's been around since 1907, Faygo has had ample time to nail their soda recipes, and it shows.
Sioux City Whitestone, NY
We had a lot of soda to get through for this tasting, but we kept coming back to this one. It had the strongest vanilla scent and flavor of all the sodas and prominent creaminess, reminiscent of vanilla ice cream. Our tasters also picked up hints of caramel and molasses in this lovely pale gold soda. Another plus: it held its carbonation for hours after its bottle was first opened. Sioux City is a serious cream soda for serious cream soda drinkers.