Tested: Carlson’s Very Finest Fish Oil

carlson very finest fish oil

Not wanting to swallow another four large pills each day (I’m not very good at it,) I decided to try a liquid fish oil. I’m used to bad-tasting supplements, so I wasn’t even concerned about the taste.

I chose Carlson’s Very Finest Fish Oil in the lemon flavor, which won a “Superior Taste Award” in 2005, and typically earns a 5-star rating from user reviews, so that eased my mind. It has to taste good, right?

So I ordered some from the Vitamin Shoppe since they were having a sale (about $22 instead of $48.) The fish oil came in a dark glass bottle, wrapped neatly in bubble wrap.

I thought this might end up being my #1 fish oil choice thanks to the quality ingredients.

I mean, this is the real deal fish oil. Unlike Barlean’s Omega Swirl, there are no fancy ingredients or sweeteners – just good old Omega 3 fatty acids. Lots of them, too.

This Very Finest Fish Oil provides 800mg EPA and 500mg DHA in one single teaspoon. With 40 calories per serving, that’s a bit more than the Super Omega 3 pills, but manageable.

Unfortunately, this stuff tastes like fish oil! It’s not like it tastes like rancid fish, but it’s not good.

The texture is odd, too. It’s definitely not smooth like olive oil.

Worse still, the aftertaste. It’s not pleasant. To make things worse, the aftertaste likes to stick around. It’s like the fish oil residue sticks around in your mouth, forever coating your taste buds. It’s just plain bad.

I took this oil plain for two days and then decided that was enough!

I took three days off from it, then tried again. This time I put some fish oil in a shot glass, added some good tasting olive oil, and topped it off with some grape juice (since that was the only flavorful liquid I could find.)

It was still terrible!! I can’t describe it, but swallowing fish oil is totally different from swallowing something like olive oil. The taste and texture are way different, and unfortunately, terrible. I had a handful of peanuts as a “chaser” but that still did not get rid of the aftertaste!

Later in the day, I experienced my first ever “fish burp.” It’s like a regular burp, but then the feel of fish oil returns to your throat!

After that I said, “no more.”

I gave the bottle to a friend who had tried liquid fish oil before, but a cheaper brand. He said this Carlson oil was clearly better tasting, but still left that weird oily aftertaste in his mouth.

So I do believe this could be one of the best tasting plain fish oils around. (I say “plain” because if you include Omega Swirl in the rankings, nothing else will even come close.)

But still, fish oil is something best taken in capsule form.

My final verdict is…

This is a good quality fish oil with lots of Omega-3 fatty acids in one serving. If you want to take fish oil in liquid form, this is certainly one of the healthiest options (and supposedly one of the best tasting.)

But actual fish oil grosses me out like crazy, so I’m sticking with the gel capsules, like the Carlson Super Omega 3 and Recoup|90.

Official website: www.CarlsonLabs.com

Buy online: www.VitaCost.com | www.VitaminShoppe.com

Product Review Details
Company: Carlson Labs.
Product: Carlson’s Very Finest Fish Oil
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 2.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2009-06-22
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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10 Comments so far

  1. Rick on June 29th, 2009

    Great Website, Levi. Take a look at krill oil as an alternative — no fish burp. There’s a review on the 4 hour workweek site: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2008/07/23/krill-oil-48x-better-than-fish-oil/

    One capsule a day. No fish taste.

  2. Levi on June 30th, 2009

    @Rick

    Thanks for the compliment.

    I don’t consider krill oil an alternative to fish oil though. It contains nowhere near the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids as something like Carlson Super Omega 3.

    Everything at 4 Hour Workweek is interesting, but the big selling point of krill oil in the article was the ORAC value, which is not the reason I buy fish oil.

    I’m not saying krill oil is a bad idea, but I haven’t seen enough about it that really makes me interested.

  3. Sarah on October 11th, 2009

    I find that if i take a cinnamon capsule with my fish oil, i avoid “fish burps”. Instead I have a pleasant cinnamon burp, which is far better than cod liver oil! : ) Try it….

  4. Bea on December 13th, 2009

    I love the Carlson’s very finest fish oil. It doesn;t leave an aftertaste and it tastes just fine to me. Love it!!!

  5. Lisa Morgan on September 12th, 2010

    I prefer using krill oil than fish oil, well krill oil contains higher omega 3 fatty acids than fish oil plus it has an anti oxidant that can be very useful for people who are looking forward to prevent aging symptoms. http://krilloil.com/fish-oil-vs-krill-oil.html

  6. Jack on October 16th, 2010

    Carlons fish oil tastes great. They have lemon and an orange flavor. I can take it by the spoonful. It doesn’t taste like fish at all. The author of this article has no idea what he’s talking about.

  7. David on May 16th, 2011

    I’ve been taking a tablespoon of Carlson Fish Oil daily, for years and years, and have never ever experienced a fishy taste or burp back.

  8. Toni on September 1st, 2011

    Hmm I wonder what the liquid fish oil without the Superior Taste Award tastes like haha! as for krill oil, yeah, I’ve read that you don’t have fish-burps or the really unpleasant aftertaste with it. I get my krill oil supplements at http://krilloil.mercola.com/krill-oil.html and so far I’m really happy with it. I also took fish oil supplements before and I do know the difference in taste, as well as the benefits, and krill oil is definitely superior.

  9. Levi on September 2nd, 2011

    @Toni

    Ha! Since I didn’t continue to drink this stuff, I gave it to a relative, and he said it was better than the other fish oil he had tried. So I try not to think about how bad the cheap fish oil must taste!

  10. kellyme on October 28th, 2011

    Yeah, krill oil is indeed better than any fish oil. Just consider the difference on the taste, right? The after-taste of fish oil is too bad. There’s this site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj-ZnG3NoZY I learned a lot about the benefits of krill oil, too. And now, I’m taking krill oil supplements.

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