Years back, I struck up a love affair with Jones soda. The indie soda producer frequently released interesting and innovative flavors, with ideas that would probably never occur to the folks at the big-name brands. Of course, Jones still has to keep up with the trends in order to stay afloat, so it’s no surprise that they’ve released a line of low-calorie sodas, perhaps to match the recent push in “diet” or “all-natural” drinks. They call it Jones Stripped, and the most intriguing flavor in the lineup is Chipotle Pineapple. This almost sounds too good to be true.
Carbonated Water, Cane Sugar, Organic Agave Syrup, Natural Flavors, Citric Acid, Caffeine, Rebiana (stevia leaf extract), Green Tea Leaf Extract
This is a great time to clarify what Jones means by the “Stripped” label: essentially, there’s nothing unnatural in this product. Instead of the artificial high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners in other drinks, Jones gives you cane sugar, organic agave syrup, and stevia. This stuff also has caffeine, which surprises me, and I can’t tell how much. My attempted research proved inconclusive, but I doubt it’s really very high.
This one is basically a clear soda, like a standard lemon-lime soda from most brands. As is traditional with the Jones brand, each label features a different picture. I’ve always thought that was kind of cool. On a related note, each cap has a fortune cookie-esque message. Mine says “Life to you is a dashing and bold adventure.” Sure, Jones.
Smell and Taste:
For a chipotle pineapple product, the smell on this one is surprisingly subdued. I guess I’m not sure what I was expecting. This isn’t a hot sauce, after all. It smells like slightly sweet and scented water. And that’s sort of what it tastes like. If you’ve ever had a lightly-flavored carbonated water, you basically know what to expect here.
A chipotle soda is an interesting experience. There’s a threat of chipotle heat, but it never actually surfaces. Perhaps a full-bodied soda would have an actual burn to it, but a “diet” beverage is a bit too thin to carry the heat. The only actual burn comes from the carbonation itself! This is a Mild, no question. But hey, at least it’s good! It’s not an overpowering taste in terms of either the chipotle or the pineapple. Rather, you get a smooth, refreshing beverage with a Nice flavor.
Okay, so this isn’t necessarily a product for people who need every single thing in their lives to be spicy. Honestly, I tend to draw the line at actual spicy drinks anyway, so I’m quite pleased with this. I don’t know how widespread this product is, but if you see it, pick it up. Just don’t expect the thick flavor of a full-calorie soda, and you’ll be good. Remember, life is a dashing and bold adventure.