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Review: AriZona Soda Shaq Vanilla Cream Soda

Shaq’s been receiving a lot of criticism recently. Some people feel it’s hypocritical for him to release a soda line after voicing his support for efforts to prevent diabetes.

Look. Can we stop ripping on Shaq for just one minute? It’s not his fault that Kazaam is one of the most hilariously bad movies of all time. Sure, maybe Shaq Fu really is that painful to play, but can we please stop crying about it? And enough jokes have been made concerning the music video for Aaron Carter’s That’s How I Beat Shaq.

My point is, Shaq’s received enough disapproval in the past. The big man obviously just wants a little love for once. Can’t we all just give “Wilt Chamberneezy” some love? (I think he needs it after receiving that nickname.)

Soda Shaq is available exclusively at 7-Eleven in four different flavors: Blueberry Cream Soda, Orange Cream Soda, Strawberry Cream Soda, and Vanilla Cream Soda. The line of drinks is marketed as all natural: the sodas lack preservatives, artificial flavorings, and artificial colors. In addition, they’re sweetened with cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.

I have here a can of the Vanilla Cream Soda variety.

The beverage comes in the usual tall AriZona can. In my opinion, 23.5 ounces is a little too much, but I imagine the 7’1″ basketball player would have no problem scarfin’ this down. Sure enough, the phrase “a big can for the big man” is found on the side of the container, right next Shaq’s severed head. (I think he’s winking at me.)

When poured into a glass, Vanilla Cream Soda Shaq is the usual amber color of cream soda. As one would assume, it smells identical to other cream sodas on the market.

How’s it taste? Well, like a traditional cream soda with one major drawback: Soda Shaq is significantly less carbonated than one would expect. The high level of fizzability that makes conventional sodas so satisfying and addictive is absent. Because of this, its flavor seems weak and unmemorable. It doesn’t really give the impression of a soda gone flat, but the inadequacy of its carbonation makes this Soda Shaq feel somewhat similar to a juice. The vanilla cream flavor is there, but fails to possess a proper balance in the soda’s textural form.

Though not dissatisfying enough to be labeled undrinkable, Vanilla Cream Soda Shaq’s standard cream soda taste is doomed by its lack of sufficient carbonation. I’ve heard mixed reviews of the other flavors in the Soda Shaq line, but Vanilla Cream’s flaws have left me hesitant to experience more.

I’m sorry, Mr. Chamberneezy. I had your back on this one, but you dropped the ball. (Heyo!)