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Nog-off 2009!

Yesterday Jenny and I were in the store trying to find “the best” eggnog in the land (or at least in the store). We decided a nog-off was in order, and bought every brand we could find. Of course, we were in a hippy co-op type place so “Dairygold” wasn’t in the running.

The 2009 Nog-Off Nogs!

From left to right, we have Rice Dream’s Rice Nog, an old fashioned glass bottle of locally produced eggnog, Silk brand Nog, and finally Organic Valley farms Eggnog. Categories are simple; Smell, Taste, Texture, and Aftertaste. Points go from 1 (bad) to 5 (excellent).

After each nog was sufficiently refrigerated (the Rice Nog is sold on shelves not in fridges), the blind taste test began. Jenny poured some each nog into four glasses in random order for me.

Random Nogs

I marked down points after smelling, swirling, tasting, and savoring each one. The results weren’t all that surprising, but there were a couple twists.

The results

Winner: Organic Valley Eggnog!

Review results explained:

Rice Nog

The Rice Nog by far smelled the best, nabbing a 5 in that category. It had a scent of a freshly ground cinnamon stick mixed with nutmeg and cream. Just smelling it made my mouth water. Unfortunately, when you raise the bar that high you’ve got to deliver on taste, and Rice Nog (as expected) just didn’t have any. It got a 1 for taste, or rather lack there of. It was so bland it basically tasted like thick water to me… but to say it was thick might be stretching it, as it also got a 1 for texture. It really was like drinking heavy water. The only semi-redeeming quality was the aftertaste, which earned a 3 and was the most surprising thing about it. After swallowing what you were sure was some tasteless water-like substance, about 3-5 seconds later, from out of nowhere, a burst of cinnamon explodes on your tongue, then fades slowly… kinda like a sneaky last rocket explosion after a fireworks show.

Bottled Nog

I have to admit, my thoughts going in were that the locally made Nog in the glass bottle was going to knock the socks off everything else. Unfortunately I was sorely mistaken. The smell of this Nog reminded me of uncooked cake batter, which really didn’t appeal to me since I was about to drink it. I marked this not only as a 1, but a 1 with a “B” next to it because it was actually a bad smell, opposed to a neutral or non-existent smell. The taste wasn’t far behind, earning only a 2. It only had a very faint hint of cinnamon, or any other flavor for that matter. The texture was the only thing that lived up to expectations. It was thick like eggnog should be, but that was it for this Nog. The aftertaste slinked through with a 2 because you could actually catch some extra flavor lingering around after the heavy coating of bland dissipated.

Silk Nog

The Silk Nog was relatively middle-of-the-road across the board. I really expected more from Silk, as their chocolate “milk” is really amazing… but, this product falls a little flat. I only gave it a 2 for aroma, a 3 for taste (there was however a notable amount of cinnamon flavor), a 3 for texture, and 2 for aftertaste (again, more cinnamon flavor).

Organic Valley Eggnog

The overall winner in this competition was the Organic Valley Eggnog. While it had absolutely no aroma to it (marked with an N), it pulled through where it mattered. The initial taste surprised me and earned a 4, while the texture was spot on… thick yet smooth, and it didn’t coat my mouthy bits… it just frolicked joyfully in my oral playground (yeah, that’s right, you did just read that). The aftertaste was subtle but enjoyable, and didn’t leave anything behind… it just nicely faded away.

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