My family isn’t much for holiday traditions, but one thing I can count on during a visit home is experiencing some new junk food. This year my mom’s snack splurge was an assortment of Sprecher sodas. Sprecher is a craft brewery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin that produces several types of beer, gourmet sodas, and even some mustards and BBQ sauces. Sprecher Root Beer is absolutely one of the best root beers out there, so I was eager to try some of their other varieties of pop. Not being a huge fan of orange or cream soda, I settled on a bottle of Puma Kola.

Sprecher promotes the cola as having a distinctive flavor from real kola extract, vanilla, a pinch of cinnamon, and pure honey. The flavor is distinctive, more like a root beer than a typical cola, and it drinks more smoothly than most colas too. The profile is almost like a mix of a smooth root beer like A&W and a sweeter cola like Pepsi. That isn’t a bad combination per se, but as someone who prefers Coca-Cola it does not scratch my cola itch. Puma Kola, like all Sprecher sodas, is also caffeine free. I can make exceptions for a great root beer or a can of Squirt, but most days I don’t feel like I’m trying unless I am fully caffeinated.

Cola fans should find Puma Kola interesting as a change of pace, but go with Sprecher Root Beer if you want the goods.