Guest reviewer and vintage soda enthusiast George Tsakiridis returns with another review.
Continuing our journey through old time soda enjoyment thanks to the folks at Old 52 General Store, today we look at Almdudler Limonade.
Almdudler was started in 1957 as an Austrian family business. It is made "from 32 natural Alpine herbs," has no artificial flavors, and is described as a "unique taste experience."
Let's dive into aesthetics and nutrition. The bottle is painted with very little on it other than the title, 50 Jahre (year), and a sketch of a couple dancing. Perhaps the "50 Jahre" was a special edition bottle, because I do not see that on their website pictures. The cap contains the ingredients, and a sticker is added on to the side, presumably by American bottlers.
The ingredient list reads as follows: "Wasser, Zucker, Kohlensäure, Säuerungsmittel, Zitronensäure, Farbstoff, Zuckercouleur, Natürliche Kräuteraromen, Ohne Chemische Konservierungsmittel." For those who don't read German, there is a sticker on the side with English ingredients, "Carbonated Water, Cane Sugar, Citric Acid, Caramel, and Natural Flavours. Contains absolutely no preservatives or artificial ingredients." You can also call 310-326-9202 for nutrition facts.
According to the website, the drink contains 35 kcal per 100 ml. Ok, now for a quick math lesson. A kilocalorie = Calorie (notice the capital "C"), so when we talk about Calories in food, we are actually speaking of kilocalories, therefore this drink contains 35 Calories per 100ml. This particular bottle contains .35 liters, or 350 ml, so 3.5×35=122.5 Calories per bottle. For those curious, this comes out to just under 12 ounces. And yes, if this were a math test I would show my work regarding unit cancellation.
As I write this, I'm really looking forward to drinking this as it is a fairly warm, sunny day and some limonade should hit the spot. Warning: You will need a bottle opener for this drink – no twist offs here. I pry the cap off to mostly silence, and a solid bottle is revealed – i.e. the glass is fairly thick around the opening, which does affect the taste delivery. I sniff as hard as I can, but cannot really smell anything coming from the bottle, an unusual experience.
The liquid is a golden color, looking like a light beer, a cream soda, or a ginger ale. So, I go ahead and take a taste and am greeted with a fairly tight fizz configuration (lots of little bubbles that clear quickly), and a slightly sweet, slightly sour taste that doesn't last. The sweet gives way to the sour and then finishes with a slight aftertaste that is sort of a lemon/lime flavor, but all very quickly. When I say lemon/lime, I actually mean lemon/lime. There is a slight sourness to it, unlike 7Up, Sprite, and Sierra Mist. Overall, it is not as flavorful as I would like, but it grows on me more as I drink it. I almost envision it as a dull ginger ale, but it could be the color slightly biasing me. Almdudler also leaves a slight long term sour aftertaste, but it is not overly noticeable.
Overall, this is an OK drink. I do not think it is overly special, but it does have a clean taste that clears quickly, which makes it kind of a nice drink to compliment various foods or just to feel like your thirst is being quenched. If you want something a bit less sweet than most lemon/limeades, I think this fits the bill. As a stand-alone beverage it is lacking because of the understated flavor, but I could see it appealing to certain consumers. I would drink it if offered, but I don't know that I would go out of my way to purchase it. As a final side note, I drank a little bit of this after leaving it in the fridge overnight and it definitely had more flavor without the carbonation; it was much more like a citrus drink. I think I like it better that way. So in the final analysis, ist es sehr gut? Ja und nein.
Full Disclosure: This beverage was provided compliments of Old 52 General Store