It’s Corby’s favourite soft drink.. but just what does Irn-Bru taste of?

We hit George Street to find out if the people of Corby could put their finger on the distinctive flavour

By Kate Cronin
Sunday, 25th July 2021, 6:25 am
Updated Sunday, 25th July 2021, 9:52 am
John McGilvray said he thought he could taste a hint of strawberry
John McGilvray said he thought he could taste a hint of strawberry

Like neeps, tatties and haggis, Irn-Bru is a Corby tradition for the thousands of people who keep the town's Scottish hertiage alive.

The beverage has long been the most popular soft drink in the town and Asda at Phoenix Parkway has traditionally sold more bottles of the orange stuff than any other English supermarket.

In 2016 the Northants Telegraph told how Corby residents were aghast after the Scottish drinks firm cut its sugar content by 50 per cent in order to make the popular beverage more healthy.

How we covered the story of Irn-Bru’s popularity back in 2009

In August 2015, Linsey O'Carson came up with a new ice cream flavour for dessert parlour Italgelato which had just opened in Corporation Street - with Irn-Bru infused ice-cream introduced to the menu.

And back in 2009 Asda in Corby was named the store that sold the ninth most Irn-Bru in the UK - including stores in Scotland. The Grampian club also told us they were selling between 300 and 400 cans every week.

Which is why, when the drink's makers AG Barr decided to ask people what exactly they thought the drink's 'indescribable' flavour was, they knew Corby was a good place to set the challenge. Although people know they like it, they struggle to manage to put their finger on what its exact flavour is.

So the Northants Telegraph went out into George Street with a cold slab of the good stuff to ask people if they could decipher exactly what Irn-Bru tastes like.

John McGilvary was the first taster. After swishing a can around his mouth, he said: "Well I think there might be some strawberry in there. It's really hard to put your finger on."

Administrator Mel Troon and her daughter Dulcie, from the Priors Hall estate, said: "I've been drinking this stuff for years but I've never really thought about what it tastes like. Now I come to think of it, there must be something slightly spicy in there.. like pepper or something?"

Welder Joe McCann, 19, said: "I think it's something orangey and maybe a bit of lemon. Although it's sweet it's quite bitter isn't it?"

Erin Murray, 21, said: "It’s like melted boiled sweets.”

The UK-wide challenge is in celebration of Irn-Bru’s latest TV ad set in a wild west saloon, where a bar brawl of heated Bru fans erupts – with each patron declaring their flavour is the definitive Irn-Bru taste through fisticuffs. Order is restored by a lone cowboy, who strikes peace by proposing everyone agrees “it tastes magic”.

Adrian Troy, Marketing Director at AG Barr, said: “Whether it’s bubble gum or tutti-fruity, fans can never quite agree on the exact taste of our Bru-nique soft drink. Naturally, we decided to have a bit of fun with this. Whatever the flavour, hopefully we can all agree on the fact Irn-Bru tastes magic.”