Developed by Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines, Isca is a new brand of CBD-infused sodas, with the emphasis squarely on the soda. Punchy with natural flavors and designed to minimize their terpene character, Isca notes that it’s also the creator of an industry breakthrough that allows it to produce a product that is clear instead of cloudy, which is typical with CBD isolates. As such, Isca is being sold in clear glass bottles rather than cans.
Four varieties are available at present — we tasted three of them, all but an Indian tonic water — and note that the solids tend to settle, requiring a bit of gentle muddling before you drink them. That however can make them extremely fizzy, which took me by surprise and made a mess of my desk as the grapefruit variety exploded upon opening — and then proceeded to ooze bubbles from the top of the bottle and down its side for more several minutes. Isca Ginger Ale is
Isca Pink Grapefruit & Rose (rose flowers, not rose wine) tastes like a high-grade grapefruit soda, touched with gentle floral notes. In other words, it’s exactly as expected, gently sweet and easy to knock back with abandon — though again, the fizz level is extreme. Isca Ginger Ale is a lot closer to a ginger beer, spicy with visible chunks of fresh ginger and a punchy kick. Again, it’s heavily carbonated, but not as much as the Grapefruit expression. In contrast, Isca Cola is barely carbonated at all, and its hemp-heavy character shines through, putting a tough, bitter edge on the proceedings. While the cola and spice notes are authentic, a little more sweetness and fuller carbonation would go a long way toward making this more palatable. (This has natural caffeine in it but nothing added; I didn’t notice any “buzz” at all.)
At 6 bucks a bottle, these aren’t cheap, but recognize that you are paying quite a bit for glass instead of the more typical aluminum. Sampler packs are also available.
Isca Pink Grapefruit & Rose – Rating: 9/10
Isca Ginger Ale – Rating: 8/10
Isca Cola – Rating: 5/10
Format: beverage, 12 oz. bottle
Dosage: 20mg CBD per can
Calories: 70 to 80
Price: $6 per 12 oz bottle
Value: $0.30 per mg of CBD
Product website: iscadrinks.com