A Treatise on Cherry Flavoring.
We’d like to start with an announcement: We recently learned that Cherries are scientifically classified as “Fleshy Drupes” and we will be using this term interchangeably from here on out.
We also encourage the use of this term in any casual conversation. We can’t think of any exchange that wouldn’t be improved by the casual interjection of “Fleshy Drupe.” Evocative and professional. You’re armed with some top-notch terminology wherever you go.
So, Cherry can be a problematic flavor in the bubbleverse, and we have learned to approach a can promising “cherry” flavor with increased skepticism.
We tried to unpack why Cherry Flavoring can go left so quickly, and we think it has something to do with the fact that Cherry Flavors have a history and sordid entanglement with “Bitter Almond Oil”, which is why it can skew so unfortunate and medicinal.
And then there’s Bubly’s Cherry which straight up sent us to the bowels of flavor hell. Read our exposé here.
But we’ve noticed that for some reason, when the word “Black” is modifying our Cherry, we tend to fret less. We feel safer exposing our palates to this potentially disastrous drupe-rendering.
This sent us into a flavor dive, investigating what the difference is between Black and Regular cherry. Why are they different categories? Why is one terrifying and one reassuring, at least to us?
Black Cherry vs. Cherry
First of all, we learned, or reaffirmed, that nothing makes any sense in the world of cherry flavors.
Generally speaking, cherries are either classified as “tart cherries” or “sweet cherries.” Regular “cherry” flavor tend to be evocative of tart cherries — which personally surprised us because tart is a word that appeals to us. And regular cherry flavors do not.
Second, we learned that “black cherry” sometimes alludes to a riper and sweeter cherry, aka “sweet cherry.” But it also refers to a specific species, Prunus serotina, closely related to the chokecherry.
So Black Cherry flavor either means you’re getting something soft and sweet and supple, OR you’re getting something small and wild and bitter. Maybe all of them at once.
Black Cherry contains multitudes, and maybe this is why we get some sensual but bitter vibes while pounding our Weller Black Cherry. Or maybe it’s the CBD.
Either way, this brings us back to Waterloo’s Black Cherry. Will it prove to be a sensual champion or a hot drupelet mess?
We crack our Waterloo contender open and our suspicions that Black Cherry is the superior cherry are already gaining traction. The nose on this robust: vigorous and complex. It’s a dense and layered aromatic profile: we get everything from a maraschino-heavy Shirley Temple to the actual bitter fruit.
This is no one-note artificial cherry, this is a scented cherry journey.
This is heavy on the bitter side. These are the same acrid and tart oils that have taken us down so many sad flavorholes, but this time, it’s done right. Execution is on point.
And that’s because the sweeter, fruit elements we have in the flavor profile work in concert with the bitterness, rather than letting it dominate. Cherry sweetness can be cloying and candy-like. And the Waterloo Black Cherry gives us a hit of that juicy summer drupe without being overly confectioned.
The two elements take turns leading the way, so with each sip you’re left wondering who is leading this dance. Sweet or bitter?
This is the real thing. Fruit and pit in a fascinating flavor dance. Definitely a lyrical and avant-garde modern number, not some trite, standard waltz, this gives us genuinely interesting flavor choreography.
And it isn’t just some benzaldehyde splashed in as an afterthought. This is a complex bitterness, as opposed to bubly Cherry which took us straight to the literal and figurative pits.
We still don’t know quite what it is about the Black addendum that brings us to some Cherry excellence, but we’re not going to question it.
Fleshy Drupes win this time.
Definitely the best “cherry” out there in the bubbleverse.
Vapor-distilled Carbonated Water, Natural Flavors