Editors Note: This is a guest post by my good friend Cary. After months of not seeing any A&W or Sunkist floats in stores, I discovered one while visiting him in September. Below, Cary describes what ensued after this purchase was made:

Eick came to visit me about a month ago, with myself and the fiancé traveling to Milwaukee for a day of Eick-ventures. A brewery tour and baseball game later, we drove back to my sleepy town of Wilmette, located just North of Chicago. It being approximately midnight, we decide to grab some food at the local Jewel-Osco.

I know Eick, and inviting him into a foreign grocery store is akin to inviting a billionaire into a bank vault and telling him to grab something he fancies; he’s going for rarities, legends he’s only heard of thus not truly experienced. At which point he finds this:

Yes, this.

Just look at that bottle. Foul. These sodas would maybe fit on a Halloween-themed display, but next to a rather noble-looking IBC root beer assortment, they look like Kate Moss at Fat Camp. The bottles produce a sense of stomach-inertia, where your stomach stops and asks you, “How and why does this product exist in our physical realm? Surely you do not plan on impregnating me with this foul elixir?” At which point we read the nutritional label. Do you know what constitutes an A&W Sunkist Float?

FILTERED CARBONATED WATER, SUGAR, SKIM MILK AND 2% OR LESS OF EACH OF THE FOLLOWING:

CREAM, PECTIN, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, PHOSPHORIC ACID, PROPYLENE GLYCOL ALGINATE, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, ACACIA GUM, ESTER GUM, YELLOW 6, RED 40, NITROUS OXIDE (CREATES FOAM).

Oh god. Notice in the first batch of ingredients. Skim Milk. And then 2% or less of cream. If the idea of drinking a warm, stored-for-weeks bottle of preserved cream doesn’t curdle your tummy, then you were probably born without stomach. But were these bottles kept at cold temperatures? Well of course not, that’s half the fun! We tarry back to the house, super-charged about our day and the spoils of our trip to the Jewel.

The food and beverage unknown is best experienced with a friend. Usually, friends will recognize bad ideas and present them with alternate solutions. We were not that lucky that night. And good god, I have a couple words of advice for any wayward travelers who dare take the path that leads to an A&W Sunkist Float:

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, WAIT AT LEAST TWO HOURS FOR THE FLOATS TO COOL DOWN. PLEASE.

And no, sticking these suckers in a freezer for half the time will not cut it either. When dealing with the dark chemistry of such a concoction, one should stick to the listed guidelines: Please refrigerate.

We grabbed two glasses after about a half-hour of cooling, and put some ice in them. It pours as one might expect: like orange cream. That’s when I saw the little illustration of a creamsicle on the bottle and realized what we were in for.


Let’s back-track a second: The A&W float site tells us:

We created the new A&W Float with you in mind. Your busy life. Your need for simple indulgence. Your desire for good flavor. Actually, our innovation team has been working to create this product, the packaging and the patent for quite some time.

My simple need for indulgence!? The Discovery Innovation Group (as named on the website) wants me to believe that a creamy, orange, obviously chemically-enhanced drink is a “simple indulgence.” I believe I’d file sweet tea, an Arnold Palmer (ice tea and lemonade), and maybe a good old Coca-Cola under “simple indulgence.” But a soda that is supposed to be a creamsicle melted-down and chilled? That is better characterized as a “laborious and completely unnecessary indulgence.” In a novel, it is the simple indulgences foil.

Let’s get back on track. The texture of this drink is as expected: Kind of thick, somewhere between melted butter and cream, only cold. I get the feeling that it’s the closest I’ll get to finding out what drinking the contents of a blue gel ice wrap would feel like. So yeah, great job HORRIFYING MY MOUTH.

The flavor of a melted creamsicle is there, incredibly spot on. But in this era of Jones Soda wacky flavors and Harry Potter rotten egg-flavored jelly beans, the accomplishment of achieving this flavor is somewhat muted. Also, in terms of drinkable melted popsicle items, the creamsicle would be my least favorite potential melter. And to think that A&W had an entire team dedicated to coming up with this monstrous product.

Although I sound obviously biased, I base these opinions on the strong reaction of my eyes, mouth, throat and stomach. This product made me feel gross. I hadn’t honestly felt this gross since Casey Becker’s 5th grade birthday party, when I ate 9 pieces of pizza and cake, and drank probably 3 liters of Shasta cola.

On a soda scale of 1-10, where 1 is flat fountain soda from an upstate New York pizzeria and 10 is Vernor’s Ginger Ale, the A&W receives a 2. It only receives points for hitting the flavor spot-on, and also for having one of the more self-important and completely unhinged product websites I’ve yet viewed.

I’ll leave you with this piece of advice that I hope you will always, always, always avoid:

So go ahead. Sit back, relax and taste the simple treat that will truly reward you.

– The Discovery Innovation Group

Editors Note: It appears some of the other reviews of this product on the internet run the gamut from slightly negative to lukewarm to positive to comparing it to a “20 minute orgasm.”

9 Responses

  1. Lemmonex

    Dammit! I have been looking for this…I am not really a creamsicle fan, so it already seems like an awful concept to me.

    20 minute orgasm? There is too much of a good thing, methinks.

    Reply
  2. Clea

    As the fiancee…I witnessed this horror, and I assure you it is not good or akin to a 20 minute orgasm. In fact, Eick left us with 3 MORE BOTTLES of the crap. We of course fed them to others and the feeling of disgust was consistent in all of the lab rats. We still have 1 bottle, I assure you I will not be giving the stuff a second chance, unless I’ve consumed too much baby aspirin and need to induce vomiting.

    Reply
  3. Eick

    I swear we drank a second bottle on the second night in the midst of some non-sober haze in which we decided trying it a second time was essential.

    Drink that last bottle! It’s a simple indulgence.

    Reply

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