Take a Sip in the Interest of Science

Posted: 2007-09-28 in General
Tags: , , , , , ,

While cleaning out the room that is going to become the nursery for baby #2, I came across a lot of cool stuff that had been packed up by the movers and had never been unpacked – I simply dumped the boxes in an unused room and shut the door on it all.  Among the stuff I found in one box was this commemorative bottle of Coke from Superbowl 34, in Atlanta, GA, in 2000.

I know that nobody in my family lived in Atlanta, and likewise nobody has been to any Superbowl, so I'm somewhat unsure how this came into my possession.  Nevertheless, it was in one of the boxes, and I figured what better use would it have than becoming the focus of a blog post for me?  Plus, it's not every day one can brag about drinking a 7-year-old bottle of Coke.  Scotch, yes.  Coke, no.  (And if you CAN brag every day about drinking a 7-year-old bottle of Coke…there might be something wrong with you…)

I placed the Coke in the fridge to let it chill a bit while I worked out the proper questions and hypotheses for this experiment:

1. Will the 7-year-old Coke cause me any kind of bodily harm if I ingest it?

  • Hypothesis #1 – I expect no physical harm will come from drinking the Coke.  I will have my wife standing by on-call in case I'm wrong.

2. Will the 7-year-old Coke retain any of its carbonation?

  • Hypothesis #2 – I think the Coke will retain some of its carbonation, but not as much as when it was originally bottled.

3. Will the 7-year-old Coke taste the same as a Coke from 2007?

  • Hypothesis #3 – I think the Coke will taste about the same.

4. Will the 7-year-old Coke provide for interesting blog fodder?

  • Hypothesis #4 – I doubt that this experiment will be interesting in any way.  But writing it up might let me procrastinate a bit when I should be doing other things!

After the Coke was sufficiently cold, I removed it from the refrigerator and opened the bottle.  I expected to hear the familiar *chk-hisssssss* of a bottle of soda being opened, but the bottle was dead silent.  Hypothesis #2 – Incorrect.  Absolutely no carbonation was left in the bottle.  I guess the bottle cap is not a sufficient air-tight seal to prevent the eventual leakage of the CO2 out of the bottle.

I took a sip of the Coke, and found it to be completely flat, but otherwise normal-tasting.  Comparing it to a handy can of Coke I had opened just before the experiment, I found the two samples to be almost identical in taste, with the exception coming from the carbonation present in the can of coke.  It seems the Coke recipe was unchanged (or at least, not enough to warrant a change in taste), and the years had not marred the syrupy-sweet flavor of the drink. Hypothesis #3 – Correct.

Since I have been known to drink 2-liter bottles of soda after they've gone flat, I had no problem finishing off the 8 ounce bottle of 7-year-old Coke.  I kept a close monitor on how I felt, but noticed no change that I could attribute to the soda.  Hypothesis #1 – Correct.

So overall, I would not recommend drinking 7-year-old Cokes.  Unless you like flat sodas.  But if you're going to let something age, I would recommend it be that barrel of scotch, not a bottle of soda.  After all, you can let a brand new soda go flat by just leaving it out overnight.  No need to take up valuable storage space in your moving boxes with commemorative bottles that you'll just laugh at 7 years later.

Oh yeah.  Hypothesis #4?  I think that's up for you to decide.  Leave a comment to this post to help me out….in the interest of science, of course!

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  1. Yod says:

    Did you save any? You should see if the 7 year old Coke exploits flavor synergies with 7 year old rum when mixed.


  2. grrrace says:

    there's enough sugar in a coke to keep it preserved indefinitely. hehe… i wonder how you even got your hands on that bottle to begin with!


  3. Ross says:

    Now THAT's an experiment that I'd be willing to carry out!


  4. studio524 says:

    Dis is a veddy interesting experiment you have here, Mr. Ross.I am villing to bet that I have one that you will find equally amusing.My husbnd has a case of Samuel Adams Triple Bock, vintage 1995.He's been threatening to try a bottle of it to see how it aged. Of course, the issue here is that the case is completely unbroken and he somehow thinks there's a value in that. Personally, I think it's just old Bock and he's lucky it hasn't exploded. We'll see.
    For the record: I don't like bock. I like IPA's and ESB's. Now that is not to say that I don't appreciate extreme beer. I've had some hop-tastically extreme IPA's that'll go right to your head. I just can't get into the syrupy-brangy-like qualities of a bock. No. Not at all.


  5. foxsydee says:

    Is that a plastic bottle or a glass bottle?


  6. Yod says:

    LOL Haze, I drank a 94 SA Triple Bock just last month. It is on the shelf here for 4 bucks a bottle (sorry about the resale value). I remember posting about it but it seems I didn't. Review incoming!


  7. studio524 says:

    Don't apologize to me.DC's the one that thinks beer is collectible.I'm keeping my eyes open for your review.


  8. Ross says:

    It's glass.


  9. Ross says:

    If your husband needs a lab rat, I can volunteer my services!


  10. JennyExiled says:

    Love how you rocked the scientific method.


  11. foxsydee says:

    My husband has a science background AND he used to work for Coca Cola. If the bottle was glass it should have retained its carbonation. Strange….


  12. studio524 says:

    ROFL – When I tell him that Yod got a bottle 94 SA Bock for $4.00 he's gonna be crushed. Then I'll have to convince him that he DOES NOT have the ONLY case of SA Triple Bock that has increased in value. See: that's the trick.


  13. Yod says:

    hahah… review is up


  14. studio524 says:

    Ross'll have to read this. I'm sure he'll be withdrawing his lab rat designation right quick.


  15. Gina says:

    [esto es genial]


  16. Steve Betz says:

    Nice experiment. Let's see — a 16 oz bottle of sugar open to the air… Personally, I would have bet on it crawling with bacteria, molds and/or fungi — guess that low pH is a gut-saver.


  17. Ross says:

    Yeah, thanks for the heads up…maybe I'll pass on being a lab rat. 🙂


  18. Ross says:

    Dunno – all I can think of is in all the moves my wife and I have made since 2000, it must have been banged around a bit. Maybe the bottle cap wasn't on as tight as it should have been and while it kept the coke from spilling, did little to prevent the air exchange.Steve's right, I'm probably lucky not to have re-discovered penicillin in a bottle!


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