Life

A Very Serious Review Of Pepsi’s Maple Syrup Cola

Pancakes doused in maple syrup are a morning tradition. But a cold glass of fizzy soda — Pepsi or otherwise — probably wasn’t the drink you washed it down with. Sugar on sugar on sugar is … a lot.

And yet… IHOP and Pepsi decided to put these two things together (at last?) in a can of soda. Seriously. Welcome to 2022, the future is grand!

In this era of corporate synergy, the folks at Pepsi recently partnered with IHOP to launch a limited-edition soda called Pepsi Maple Syrup Cola that literally tastes like the aforementioned combination of maple syrup pancakes and cola in one easy-to-guzzle can. Not that IHOP is much of an expert on real maple syrup.

“There is truly nothing quite like the indulgent taste of Pepsi Maple Syrup Cola.” Todd Kaplan, Chief Marketing Officer at Pepsi said in a press release. “We can’t wait to celebrate those who have an unapologetic love of pancakes by giving the limited-edition cans to 2,000 fans who #ShowUsYourStack online.”

Ah, there are only 2,000 cans of this “soda” for people who love pop with their pancakes, which is apparently a group of people that actually exists. More power to you if you do dig that combo. And a huge shout out to your dentist.

Okay, let’s see what’s actually in this can.

Pepsi Maple Syrup Cola
Christopher Osburn

Average Price: Online giveaway

The Soda:

Pepsi Maple Syrup Cola isn’t the first time in recent memory the brand has dropped an over-the-top flavor. There was Pepsi Fire, a cola that tasted like it had red hot candies in it. Pepsi x Peeps had a marshmallow flavor. Pepsi Apple Pie was pretty self-explanatory. Pepsi x Cracker Jack tasted like you submerged a box of Cracker Jacks in a Pepsi and then drank the leftover liquid. Let’s not forget the recently released Nitro Pepsi.

This limited-edition soda is, like the others, available in 12-ounce cans. Sadly, you can’t go to the store to get your maple fix though. From now until March 29, Pepsi fans get a can of Pepsi Maple Syrup Cola by posting a video or photo of a stack of pancakes with the hashtags #ShowUsYourStack, #PepsiSweepstakes, and @IHOP.

They’re only giving out cans to 2,000 people. So good luck… we guess.

Tasting Notes:

It smells like maple candy that you let dissolve in overly sugary soda. There’s maybe a little vanilla and caramel as well. Mostly, it’s lots of sugar. It smells like something a five-year-old or an adult with a nostalgia problem might cook up. It tastes… exactly as you’d imagine (sorry for all the ellipses but this one sort of puts a person in that baffled mindset). It’s similar to Pepsi X Cracker Jack from a few months ago with heavy caramel. But it’s like someone took that one and poured maple syrup flavoring into it, not real maple syrup. It feels like the overly synthetic, mystery bargain syrup that can’t legally have the word “maple” on its label.

For someone who doesn’t normally drink soda, it seems ridiculously sugary and has a little spicy kick that I couldn’t place.

Bottom Line:

All in all, this was less maple-filled than I thought it would be and would probably make a pretty good mixer with rye or bourbon and tons of ice. The cloyingly sweet flavor needs to be cut with something. Anything. Please.

Ranking:

70/100 — This is for drinkers who enjoy sipping on a fizzy sugary soda that tastes like a mixture of melted caramel corn and synthetic maple syrup. Everyone else? Stick to your seltzer (hard or otherwise) and stay away from this teeth-achingly and cloyingly sweet cavity creator.

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