Dr. Priestley Seltzer Review
I feel the same way about these flavors as I do about the weirdo Americana vibe of the whole brand: they just don’t hit quite right.
Dr. Joseph Priestley is allegedly responsible for creating carbonated water by accident in 1767. I say “allegedly” because I wasn’t there. But in 1772, he published a paper with possibly the horniest title of any paper ever written: Impregnating Water with Fixed Air. I don’t care what anyone says, he wanted to have sex with that water. As a longtime seltzer fan, I honestly don’t blame him. Seltzer is a water worth fucking.
After selecting this seltzer to review, I looked deeper into this brand and saw that they’re proud of being American, which is corny, and will result in points being deducted from their final score. Some may call this bias. I call it due diligence. Dr. Priestley was also friends with the founding fathers, which again, will deduct points from the final score of this seltzer. This is petty, but he’s dead and can’t do anything about it anyway.
There’s a lot to be said about brands that try to pump Americana shit into our brains. They have the stink of desperation. They want it too bad. They LOVE America so much they want to make out with the Grand Canyon. That’s more perverse than any fetish. That’s a sickness. Sometimes I wonder who brands are doing that FOR, and I can’t really come up with an answer. I don’t fully understand the angle. In high school, I said that the American flag was ugly, and some kid in my class told me to move out of America if I hate it so much. The whole class laughed at him for loving America.
Sometimes when I think about different brands, I try to envision who they’re marketing to. Like I try to piece together a specific person like I’m accessorizing a Barbie doll. Specific brands just seem to cater to specific people, and while I know that’s how a lot of marketing works, it’s weird. I know I went off on a tangent here, but I’m allowed to do that.
The variety pack of Dr. Priestley’s seltzer includes Rosemary Grapefruit, Meyer Lemon Ginger, and Cucumber Mint. I’m gonna be honest. I feel the same way about these flavors as I do about the weirdo Americana vibe of the whole brand: they just don’t hit quite right. Let’s start with the carbonation, though. The level of fizz is comfortable. It’s not the kind of seltzer that makes you need to gasp for air after taking a single sip. It’s also not one that’s going to make you burp a ton. That’s OK, and not every seltzer is designed to be that intense. They all have a place on the carbonated water spectrum, and they exist together to create harmony in the seltzer world. This isn’t like a La Croix either, where mere moments after opening a can, the entire drink goes flat. Dr. Priestley sits somewhere in the middle of these extremes. I feel the need to state that this year I will be working on an exhaustive list of seltzer rankings, so without giving too much away, this falls somewhere in the middle.
The grapefruit flavor here is clear. It’s got a great scent factor to it, and the citrus level is just right. It’s clearly grapefruit, not one of those generic citrus flavors that could easily be confused for another one in the family. The rosemary doesn’t really come through. After each sip, I felt like I was straining to taste something that was barely or not even there, and as much as I wanted to, I simply don’t taste it. I wanted more amp in the combination of this, but I didn’t get that. This fell extremely short.
Meyer Lemon Ginger:
I’m going to be honest. How do we even know this is a meyer lemon flavor? I don’t feel like they’re being completely truthful here, and that hurts. It especially hurts because they should’ve just kept the description at “meyer lemon”, which is a stretch in and of itself, but there is not a strong ginger flavor to even name it on the can. I feel bamboozled. Are we just not supposed to say anything about this? Just lay down and accept the blatant lie on this can?
I’ve had enough of the lies and deceit. You cannot convince me there’s mint in this. Someone please exume Dr. Priestley’s body and get him on the phone. I’d like to have a word. Cucumber is one of those flavors that overpowers anything else it’s combined with. It has the ability to take center stage in any drink if it isn’t harnessed correctly, and in this case, it wasn’t. It tastes like real cucumber at least, and not a factory-made cucumber flavor, but I don’t even know if that matters when mint, half of the alleged flavor, is absent. While I’m disappointed, I am not surprised.
On a scale of 10, I’m giving this variety pack a 4/10 overall, taking points off for Americana branding, loving the founding fathers (I bet you thought I would forget to do this), and general lack of taste delivery.