Review: Dr. Wells


If you were to water down the flavor found in Dr Pepper and remove some of its bite, then you would have Dr. Wells, a Pepper knock-off from the folks at The Dad’s Root Beer Company.

Dr. Wells

Dr. Wells

According to the drink’s official website, “Dr. Wells was developed in 1935 as a ‘pepper-style’ carbonated soft drink. Dr. Wells was owned by Ludford Fruit Products of Los Angeles, California. The Monarch Company of Atlanta purchased the brand in 1987. In 2007, Dr. Wells was purchased by Hedinger Brands, LLC and licensed to The Dad’s Root Beer Company, LLC. The company headquarters is now located in Jasper, Indiana.”

Besides its iconic namesake, The Dad’s Root Beer Company also produces Bubble Up (a favorite here at BevReview.com) and Sun Crest.

Older-style Dr Pepper label design

Older-style Dr Pepper label design

Looking at the label design on Dr. Wells, it’s pretty obvious that it’s going after the Dr Pepper audience. The style reflects the previous Dr Pepper label used prior to the 2006 redesign. It should be noted that while the official spelling of Dr Pepper is without the period after the title, Dr. Wells keeps the period intact!

A full ingredient list is as follows:

Dr. Wells
Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup and/or sugar, caramel color, phosphoric acid, natural and artificial flavor, sodium benzoate (a preservative), caffeine and lactic acid

Drinking an entire 20 oz. bottle will cost you 250 calories, 87 mg of sodium, and 65 g of sugars.

Upon opening the bottle, the drink smelled like Dr Pepper, but the taste just didn’t match. The first thought that crossed my mind was “who added the water?” It was pretty weak in that regard. It also tasted rather “blah” when it came to that actual “Dr Pepper taste”. It wasn’t as edgy as the original, if that makes any sense. Just a poor, poor substitute. Don’t even get me started on the use of HFCS and how the ingredients try to mask that with the classic “high fructose corn syrup and/or sugar”. Whatever. We know you are being cheap.

Dr. Wells is not recommended.