I have seen Thomas Henry sodas on the mixology.eu blog before.
The company from Berlin is advertising, that it was co-created by experienced bartenders.
And now it is available here in the UAE.
The small 200 ml bottles look good. Its modern, but also classy. Well done.
The ginger ale, is quite dark, if compared with Schweppes. The ginger beer [called Spicy Ginger] is off white medium-opaque. The bitter lemon has the same half-translucency however with a hint of green. The soda, elderflower tonic and tonic water are clear [it seems, that the tonic has a hint of blue - but I could be wrong].
The ginger ale smells quite gingery. Nice.
The tonic has a quite sherbet nose [you know- the bubbly fizzy powder, you had as a kid]. Hints of citrus… pleasant.
TH Bitter Lemon has a very pronounced citrus zest smell - maybe a bit on the oxidized citrus side - but overall good and much better than Schweppes.
The TH Spicy Ginger surprises with a dried ginger nose - almost pure powdery ginger - interesting.
The TH Elderflower Tonic: restraint flowery [yes elderflower] aromas. Pleasant and light.
The ginger ale taste a bit "hollow" - no ginger taste or bite whatsoever. Even compared with Schweppes it looses. If compared with home made ginger
The taste of the tonic is quite artificial. The sherbet and citrus notes are gone and just quinine is ruling - unfortunately in not a great way. In comparison, Schweppes is much zestier, snappier, definitely not worse in any way.
TH Bitter Lemon taste much more citrusy and edgy as Schweppes and it is a bit more bitter and less sweet. Maybe a bit too oxidized [think Mountain Dew].
TH Spicy Ginger really disappoints in the taste. Compared to Bickford Ginger Soda [my commercial benchmark - sorry, no Fentimans avaiable here], it looses on all taste notes. It has a weird bitterness, and an quite artificial overall taste. Compared with house made ginger beer, the homemade product is taking it all. If you know, how easy it is to make ginger beer at home, you would never ever buy a commercial product anymore.
TH Elderflower Tonic: this was the shocker - I misread the label as elderflower soda. But really it is a tonic - bitter and all - with hints of elderflower. And of the whole bunch this is definitely my favorite. The elderflower aromas and flavors are masking perfectly the artificial hints of quinine. And elderflower might just be the aroma of the century, which is lightness, decadence and indulgence all in one flavor...
One has not to dismiss the effect of being different. Thomas Henry is disappointing a bit with its overall quality. It is not so different as the other mass produced products like Schweppes and Canada Dry [still one of my favorites in the tonic category]. However it scores with a really cool design and a bottle size, which makes sense as a mixer or single serving.
While the comparable products are falling behind, the elderflower tonic, is just a killer. This should go definitely into my G&T - and I am ok, if somebody calls me metrosexual…
And given, that it is nearly impossible to get quinine in some markets [like the Middle East], this flavor is worth to stock Thomas Henry [at least the Elderflower Tonic].
Thomas Henry Ginger Ale: 2.5 / 5 [Schweppes would have 3 / 5 - homemade would have 4.5 / 5]
Thomas Henry Tonic Water: 2.5 / 5 [Schweppes would have 3 / 5 - homemade n/a]
Thomas Henry Bitter Lemon: 3 / 5 [Schweppes would have 2.5 / 5 - homemade n/a]
Thomas Henry Ginger Beer: 2 / 5 [homemade would have 5 / 5; Bickford would have 3.5 / 5]
Thomas Henry Elderflower Tonic: 5 / 5
Thomas Henry was sent by the trading company [Freshexpress LLC] as samples. No payment was given to me.
Thomas Henry also sells Soda Water - however I reject to review Soda Water [as it is simply drinking water with CO2]. I always recommend, to either way buy local soda water or even carbonize local or even filtered tap water yourself.
In a future post, I will definitely try the sodas of Thomas Henry in some mixed drinks.
Until then - stay tuned and fare well…
Update: I tried the elderflower tonic with Tanqueray ten [not one of the biggest sledgehammers in the industry]. Even with quite a small measure of gin, the elderflower note seemed to disappear.
The gin & tonic was a good one - but the elderflower was at beast a hint on the note - but didn't ended at all on the tongue...