Dr Pepper Just Released This Unusual New Flavor

In the world of soft drinks, crazy new products are constantly hitting the shelves. Coca-Cola is a prime example with the release earlier this year of its cryptically-titled Coca-Coca Starlight (which allegedly tastes like raspberries and possibly like outer space itself, per CNN). If not capitalizing on the allure of a mystery flavor, some popular soda brands have started churning out boozy versions of their own classics, like last summer when a Boston Beer Company press release announced a partnership with PepsiCo to develop a new lineup of HARD MTN DEW.

According to IBIS World, there are roughly 376 different entities producing soda in the US, so the ever-changing face of America's soft drink industry looks that way for a good reason: fierce competition. In an effort to provide yet another "something new" for its customers, one of the most popular soda brands, Dr Pepper, recently threw its hat into the constantly evolving ring. Adding to its wide array of products, the company has created something a little different from its familiar cherry, vanilla, or zero-sugar offerings. For the mocktail fans in the audience, this new release might be for you.

Dr Pepper's alcohol-inspired new flavor

While other companies are adding alcohol to their products or making up cryptic names to evoke curiosity, Dr Pepper is taking a different approach that's somewhere in between. According to Food & Wine, the popular soda label just released a brand new drink on October 17, dubbed the Dr Pepper Bourbon Flavored Fansville Reserve. You might recognize Fansville as the fictional town from one of the company's football season ad campaigns; purportedly inspired by tailgating, the limited-edition release is a non-alcoholic choice (despite what the name might suggest) featuring classic notes of cherry and vanilla as well as sweet and savory flavors that aim to mimic the profile of real bourbon. It's like a Cherry Bourbon Smash without the alcohol (but also without the work).

The drink comes in single 12-ounce cans that are packaged (naturally) in a burgundy-colored box. If you think you'd like the taste of this beverage, keep in mind that it's exclusively available for Pepper Perks members via a sweepstakes program. It's easy to join, and fans only have to play an online scratch-off game to get prizes — one of which includes the Bourbon Flavored Fansville Reserve. The contest lasts until November 17, but might end earlier if supplies run out. If you can get your hands on one, a taste tester at Forbes recommends trying it "on the rocks" to let the "something extra" shine.

Although this new drink does not contain alcohol, it does have caffeine like many other Dr Pepper products. So while it might not be the perfect choice for a nightcap like real bourbon, it could become your new mid-day caffeine boost (or a fun addition to an Old Fashioned).