Review: Flathead Lake Monster Sour Cherry

Given BevReview’s controversial history with reviewing items that have the word “Monster” in the title, we had to laugh when we saw a bottle of Flathead Lake Monster Sour Cherry on the shelf, denoted as “Montana’s Legendary Soda.”

Apparently, the Flathead Lake Monster is an actual legend, per the official website:

You don’t have to go to Loch Ness to search for a lake monster. Montana has its own “Nessie” in Flathead Lake. At least that’s what folks have been saying since 1889 when it was viewed from the lake steamer U.S. Grant, skippered by Capt. James C. Kerr. At first the whale-like object was thought be an approaching boat. A rifle-toting passenger fired at it and apparently missed, but it scared the fish – or whatever it was – away.

Sporadic appearances have been viewed by scores of people since then. Documented sightings were reported in the early 1900s, 1912, 1919, 1922-23, 1934, 1937, 1939, and in every decade since.

Among the more interesting reports came from a sighting July 10, 1949, when a Polson couple and four children saw a big fish near the Narrows. It appeared about 150 feet away from them with about a six-ft. length of its back showing. They watched it for about 30 seconds as it swam southeasterly, rolling out a wake six to eight inches high as it gradually submerged. They thought it to be a sturgeon about ten to twelve feet long…

This legend became a brand, prompting clothing, and yes, a beverage line licensed to the North American Beverage Company.

Pitched as a hand crafted soda, this 12 oz. beverage comes in a glass bottle with a twist off cap. The namesake is pictured on the transparent label, allowing the dark red beverage to be clearly seen.

When you pop open a bottle, a sweet scent hints at cherry. Carbonation is solid, but not too fizzy. As for the taste, it shares a lot of taste profile with a red creme soda, believe it or not. There’s quite a bit of syrupy flavor and a fake cherry sensation. One might even argue that there’s a medicinal flavor at play (NyQuil anyone?) Overall, it’s overtly sweet and processed in nature, which makes digesting an entire bottle quite difficult in one sitting.


Flathead Lake Monster Sour Cherry
Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, sodium benzoate (preservative), nature and artificial flavor, Red 40, Blue 1

A 12 oz bottle contains 180 calories, 40 mg of sodium, and 44 g of carbs (44 g sugars).

Overall, an interesting concept, but quite the lackluster execution. The drink tastes like an average cherry beverage, which when priced as a “hand crafted soda,” isn’t a good value.