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Taste test: flavored eggnog

Eggnog. Seems people either love it or hate it. And while it can be an acquired taste, our judges were tempted to find out how the holiday-flavored brands compared to the unadulterated version. We tried six brands of nogs with flavors from sweet to spicy. Judges enjoyed a few of the offerings enough to serve with family and friends this week. But, a couple of the options were too sweet for even our sugar-loving panelists.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

ProductHood Caramel Eggnog Southern Comfort

Vanilla Spice
Borden Gingerbread Holiday Nog
Judges'

comments
"This is only for the very sweet-toothed," said one judge, who enjoyed the bold caramel in Hood's nog. "Chewy caramel notes rule this eggnog," said another. "It tastes like one of those candies my grandpa used to give me as a kid." The color was a bit light, compared to traditional eggnogs, but judges appreciated the smooth texture and holiday taste.Panelists said this was "the perfect holiday drink" for its slightly yellow color and heavy dotting of nutmeg. "It tastes like it already has bourbon in it with undertones of crushed hazelnuts," said one judge. "Yummy, yummy, yummy!" said another. Panelists also liked the sweet scent from this nog. "A variety of holiday essences float through this nog," said one. "It's like lots of holiday candles lit at once — vanilla, cinnamon, pine, frankincense and myrrh."Gingerbread and cinnamon were the defining flavors in this blend of eggnog. Judges who liked the combination were happy with the drink. Others complained it was too sweet for their taste. "I like cinnamon on toast and I love a sprinkle in tea sometimes, but in this drink, it doesn't work for me," said one. Another said it tasted like raw cookie dough laced with ginger. "I might serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or something to tone it down a bit," she said.
Would

they buy?
Three of the four judges said yes.All four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$2.50 for a 32-ounce carton from Walmart.$2.50 for a 32-ounce carton from Walmart.$2.98 for a 32-ounce carton from Walmart.


Also Sampled: T.G. Lee Pumpkin Spice Eggnog ($3.69 for a 32-ounce carton from Winn-Dixie); Silk Soymilk Vanilla Seasonal Nog ($2.79 for a 32-ounce carton from Publix); and Promised Land Chocolate Eggnog ($3.49 for a 32-ounce container from Publix).

Panelists: Julie Overton, consumer and mother of four; Kay Studer, personal chef; Jeff Jensen, public information officer for the city of Treasure Island; and Janet K. Keeler, Times food and travel editor.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or email them to jkeeler@tampabay.com. Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to

tampabay.com/things-to-do/food/tastetest.

Serving size4 ounces4 ounces4 ounces
Calories180220210
Fat/fiber9g / 0g9g / 0g8g / 0g
Sugars/sodium21g / 110mg23g / 100mg25g / 80mg
Carbs/protein22g / 4g30g / 5g27g / 5g

Taste test: flavored eggnog 12/18/13 [Last modified: Thursday, December 19, 2013 2:14pm]
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