Mtn Dew Black Label is a "deeper darker Dew," according to the top arch quotation on the sixteen ounce can. The only trademark green comes from the soda logo and the word "Dew" at the bottom, attempting a level of sophistication unheard of from a drink named after moonshine. Failing to incorporate the "dark berry" aspect, the can is reduced to a black background and, despite its name being "Black Label," the text and design is grey.
Real grape juice comes out to play here, rendering out a more subtle, softer flavor than the outwardly similar Dark Berry Batman catastrophe four years ago. Grape with plenty of blackberry intricacy, this is not as nuanced an experience as the can would suggest, but is far more nuanced than any Mtn Dew has the right being. McIntosh, or some other tart apple, with the sharpness of orange, round off the experience, breeding a beverage not exceptional, or exceptionally cultured, but sophisticated enough considering the bright green name on the can. Effervescence is charming, but it is the saccharinity that is among not just the brand's best, but also the company's; sure, there are fifty three grams of the sweet stuff, but sips forgo the customarily espoused syrupiness trademark of the soda, making every mouthful heavier than its family rivals with a more mature, clean finish that evanesces where others would inundate and linger.
Every can contains: Eighty three milligrams of caffeine, fifty three grams of sugar, and 210 calories, making this your typical sugared soda that should should only drink in moderation. That is, if you insist on drinking this at all.
This is a fun little can, one who sadly is too little for much relevance on todays cluttered energy drink shelves. The drink is of course Phyzix, a name that follows the rule that putting a "z" and "x" in your name instantly makes it cool.
The pomegranate launches into first place with first sip, a gentle flavor that is a pleasant juxtaposition to the curt carbonation. Acai is unfortunately muted here, serving more as intricacy to the aforementioned flavor more so than on its own, introducing an earthy bite to the already incult effervescence. Saccharinity is achieved via fructose, twenty one grams of real sugar, one that caters to the naturalness of the experience and not necessarily the fruits. The white grape, often a superfluous ingredient to bulk out a juice content, does just that here, and any sips it can break into it brings nothing but ribald sugariness. The experience climaxes without climax, an unsatisfying end where things simply stop suddenly, leaving a very clean aftertaste but nothing to remind you of your current potation. In the end, this is a more daring drink than the other Phyzix, but lamentably that is about all distinct here.
There is eighty milligrams of caffeine, some guarana, ginseng, green tea, maca root, yerba mate, and B vitamins, among others. Any kick is about what you would expect from an eight ounce can with the aforesaid quantity of my namesake; about an hour and a half long buzz.
Here we have yet another "Ultra" Monster drink, their spinoff line of sugar free drinks in textured cans. Flavor wise, the line has been pretty decent, however this is the umpteenth variety, and that once unique coarse can is now just an anticipated gimmick. Dear Monster, instead of exploiting your last idea, work on your next.
There have been many terrific black cherry energy drinks, so Monster has some really tough competition. But the first sip has been taken, and competition, you need not worry. The word "Black" in the name encourages the notion that this is a "black cherry" flavored drink. Hell, I would have even bet money on that. Well, I guess I did, seeing that I bought a can. What we get, though, is an artificial, ice-cream topping cherry taste that is far more childish than the sleek aluminum transport suggests. The lack of any true sugar sacrifices the hefty mouthfeel the lusted and supplements callous carbonation, numbing the namesake by the diet sixteen ounce's resolute effervescence and artificial saccharinity. There is more cranberry and blackberry than expected, padding flavors who dilute the niche cherry into something more commercial, questioning the point of even making a purported "cherry" focused drink if they just deliquesce it for marketability. The two berries are not too shabby however; they add some much desired tartness nuance to an otherwise stale experience. The trilogy of fruits make up a decent flavor here, but it fails to encourage as much excitement as the Bing brand does so effortlessly.
Each can contains: caffeine (137 milligrams), taurine, ginseng, l-carnitine, guarana, and inositol. There are also some B vitamins thrown in for nutrition. The buzz is your standard Monster "Ultra" kick, lasting an hour and a half, only slightly longer lasting than your usual eight ounce drink with the same caffeine content because the larger can doses out petite bursts of the bitter substance over a longer period. All in all, Monster Ultra Black should be left in the darkness.
Direct from CVS Pharmacy's clearance rack, here is their house brand energy coffee: Gold Emblem Select Mocha Latte, costing me a mere seventy four or so cents. Its all lowercase style, and svelte font, are among the highlights here. On the flip side (or the lowlights?), the gold emblem for its brand name is not as shiny as it could, or rather should, a description that struggles to differentiate itself from the already loquacious name, all on a bland brown gradient.
For two hundred and eighty calories, fifty grams of sugar and three grams of fat, every sip to this generic cooler is diluted beyond relief and belief. Sweetness is dead, derived from exclusively from real sugar, and there is quite a lot of it, but none of that appears on the tongue, destroyed by the aquatic torment and the stannic vexation. Mocha and coffee, two fantastic savors on their own and usually better tasted together, are two you sip fifteen ounces looking for, suffering every ounce of the way there. There is bitterness to every sip, a distant astringency with the tinny taste of the can more so than the brewed bean beverage, leaving a metallic aftertaste that even all the wateriness does not wash away. Overall, with all enjoyment cleansed in the cascade of banal Adam's ale, this generic coffee drink is an experience corrupt by water.
Each can contains: caffeine, taurine, and V vitamins; all in mystery quantities. The kick is mostly from sugar, your usual two hour buzz who could have used a more consistent chemical cocktail. To end, Gold Emblem Select Mocha Latte is exactly what you expect a poor generic energy coffee to look, taste, and kick like.
This bright can of creamy yellow and orange, fits the bill of a "tropical" energy drink. Its name is a corruption of the word "physics" and is hyper stylized; I have no qualms about it. But its small size, a petite eight ounces, is outdated on store shelves today, and its silver belt, you know, where it declares the flavor? It is difficult to read white text off of chrome.
The flavor to Phyzix Tropical Flavor is, well, tropical, tons of sweet pineapple with a rounded nether belly of fresh orange. The effervescence, along with the green tea, are briskly rough, a powerful and pungent juxtaposition to the sunny fruits. There is surprisingly quality acidity here, a tartness so organic with the sapors that it almost comes off generic. The can heralds coconut water as an ingredient, however this is an experience zealous to the citrus and the aloha-shirt staple. Fructose, erythritol and Stevia sweeten things around here, though only seventeen grams of the real sweet stuff, any nastiness is cloaked inside the embonpoint saccharinity. Overall, a fun beverage for sure, but nothing new in the realm of energy drinks; we recently espied Red Bull the Yellow Edition with a similar taste.
Each can contains: fifteen percent juice, B vitamins, guarana, green tea, ginseng, maca root, yerba mate, l-tyrosine, vitamin C, and eighty milligrams of caffeine. The buzz is your usual hour-long kick, one that, along with the pleasant taste, makes you wish the can was the standard sixteen ounce one.
A creamy blast of bright orange, divided by orange and black text and margaritaceous trim, this freshly devulgated Liquid Ice never explicitly mentions its flavor; we can assume its full name is "Liquid Ice Orange," considering the can's coloring, but that is to assume we are not color blind. Otherwise, the aluminum transport is small, typical of Red Bull and most drinks a decade ago.
Twenty eight grams of sugar, real sugar, sweeten with the cloying weight one pines for in an orange soda. It is not syrupy but does clog the back of your throat with the few imbibes the eight ounce can offers, but in the thick, ooey gooey fashion your typical can of the soda-pop is foreseen to contain. Orange, perhaps a rounded edge of tangerine and its accompanying derived tartness, are all the flavors the flavor needs; an experience so innocent yet never invariable. Nethermost is a minor nuance of pineapple, about the only vegetation implication the bullet can contains, animating a tasty tropical soupcon that almost ends up breaking the stolid simplicity of the small sized beverage. Every sip is steeped in effervescence, a bubbly elixir which augments each gulp's revivifying quality; perhaps too bright for an early morning coffee replacement.
Each can contains: taurine, caffeine, inositol, and B vitamins. The buzz is a boring hour and a half long one; about what you expect from a drink of this size. To end, Liquid Ice Orange's best characteristic is its taste- like all in the line, it is fantastic. Otherwise, it has an uncreative can and corporate kick.
The bare aluminum is pleasant on the fun green background, Red Bull's next "Edition," although one not named after a color. Its full name is "Red Bull The Summer Edition Kiwi Twist," a tiringly garrulous name, one who should have just been called "Red Bull Kiwi." On a more positive note, the drink continues the company's increase from eight to twelve ounces. Yeah, looks like we are scraping the bottom of the barrel for positives here.
"The taste of kiwi- artificially flavored." That is the description located on the back of the twelve ounce can, and humorously describes everything right and wrong with it. The drink is peripherally kiwi flavored, a predominantly superfluous soupcon to an acetous and nectarous experience. The green fruit barely breaks free from the charming carbonation, almost appearing explicit, only to collapse underneath all of the bubbles, and finally sink in the swamp of saccharine sourness. Sucrose and glucose are Red Bull's go-to sugars, thirty eight grams who sweeten without resulting in a nasty syrupy climax, however, that would have likely acted more as intricacy rather than indignation in this dimensionless potation. The tartness is the best thing here, a whimsically acidic bite at tickles the entire tongue and promises more fun than the fruit flavor itself ever delivers. Overall, although almost refreshing, there is not much of any kiwi twist to Kiwi Twist.
The buzz is your basic one, you know, the one that lasts about an hour and a half. Each can contains: caffeine (114 milligrams), taurine, and B vitamins. To end, Red Bull The Summer Edition Kiwi Twist is a long-winded, mostly flavorless, impotent energy drink.
This luminous vermilion can reminds drinkers of its watermelon flavor, well, the fruit's flesh actually. With the rind of the produce being a two-toned green color, the design's ruthless exclusivity of red, black, and silver (and, alright, there is some white), burns the boring color palette into your eyes with every glace you give it. My advice, have a blind friend pick you up a can.
For a drink with no sugar, this Rockstar sure is sweet! Erythritol, ace-k and sucralose do the sugaring here, doing a curiously strong job for an experience as saccharine as a John Hughes film. The synthetic honey has only the most trivial trace of its artificiality, with its petite weight being what really trips up the counterfeit carbohydrate cocktail; just hold a bag of Splenda and a bag of cane sugar, and you will see what I mean. The juicy and usually seeded fruit is the flavor here, derived from all natural sources but without any actual juices, not significantly dissimilar from the Amp line's attempt last year. Every imbibe is buoyant, aided by the ersatz cassonade, which helps each gulp resemble the summertime favorite. But the inexorable sweetness wears your tongue down raw, and combined with the beverage's general dearth of acidity, this Rockstar proves that not every energy drink should be the standard sixteen ounces.
Each can contains: caffeine (240 milligrams), inositol, milk thistle, ginseng, guarana, and B vitamins. The content content of my namesake chemical has your body forgiving and forgetting your tongue's lust for real sugar, a buzz lasting a smooth four hours. Overall, this Rockstar proves that watermelons should just be left to Gallagher.
Slightly textured, dully orange and packed with uninspired black swirls and dots, this Shock Wave design is wearing thin and fast. On the back, above the nutrition facts, it is discovered that this is fifty percent juice- yet why the front of the aluminum transport does not mention this is an error in basic design. What some health conscious drinkers look for, what could be the beverage's biggest bout of individuality is lost in the pennies saved by hiring that low-rent graphic designer.
A powdery mouthfeel, a tickling tartness, and a sweetness about as perfect as only twenty grams can get; this fifty percent juice potable is the best tasting Shock Wave yet. The can calls for white grape and pear as leading vegetation in the equation, but your tongue will taste only the mango and the orange; the duo orchestrated into a single flavor with the depth of two. The nectar cocktail has the weight anticipated from the sizable quantity of fruit extract, but its effervescence lightens every imbibe into a sudsy elixir of innocent innocuousness, a potation perfect for a warm summer day. Sugar from the fruits, dextrose, and sucralose cause a sweetener system of only twenty grams and ninety calories, a sugar strategy never syrupy or particularly heavy, but one serendipitously with enough heft.
Each can contains: B vitamins, taurine, and a paltry 100 milligrams of caffeine. The buzz is a disappointment considering its fun flavor, almost as if the company was forced to choose between delivering power or taste. In the end, Shock Wave Orange Mango is cheap enough that a purchase, solely for the tongue, is not a bad buy. But as an energy drink, what the front of the can hails this as, it is a disappointment.
This Joker is a little red in the can; looking almost identical from the original variety, save for the color swap and two addition words. It is a decent drink visually, a fairly fun, if not a tad corporate, potable now exclusive to Circle K convenience store shelves.
Tons of high fructose corn syrup cascade onto the tongue, a surprising saccharinity, one with a thin texture and pleasant weight for such an overabundance of the treacly sweetness. Carbonation is among the best characteristics every sip offers, an excited effervescence that bubbles like a child's pop should, and, let us be honest, fruit punch is best tasted as a kid. Flavors are your standard: orange, pineapple, guava, and cherry- they bulk up most sips. Some lime puckers up many imbibes, brightening the beverage with its sharp, fresh tasting tartness. Additionally, a touch of grape, mostly white, breathes its breath into the experience, adding only bland sweetness and slight depth to the aforementioned acidity. Overall, this Joker is not bad- actually, it is pretty tasty! But it lacks the creativity that would have starved off the "generic" aftertaste of every sip.
Each sip contains: ginseng, inositol, guarana, taurine, 240 calories, and 140 milligrams of caffeine. The latter is most disappointing, considering the taste and look of the drink had an inescapable cheap quality to it, and this disappointing two hour kick is no better.
Call me blissfully oblivious, but who the hell is this "Gronk" guy? My know-it-all friend Google calls him a football player, but that does not explain his business on a Monster can. The typical puffery on the backside of the metal does little to explain his place on energy drink shelves, however, its can is not all too shabby. The red and blue curved stripes are slimming on the bare aluminum colored can and, well actually, that is all I got.
Monster's stock flavor, you know, the vanilla, cotton candy, and apple taste the company has seemingly dozens of versions of, has been, to quote the can, "re-engineered." That is corporate lingo for Red Bull clone, though, not that the flavor was ever original to begin with. Every one of the sixteen ounces stinks of the gummy bubble gum and super sickly vanillin, strangled by an acerbic apple sapor. Glucose, sucrose, and sucralose (say that five times fast) make up the sugar-system here, fifty two grams of the stuff, a sticky and relatively sirupy sweetness, gumming up the stern of each sip. It is a mediocre saccharinity, one where a touch more of the artificial stuff would have countered the overwhelming gooeyness. Overall, this entirely uninspired ripoff of the popular beverage leaves me pining for the slightly less stale Monster-taste, something I never expected to say.
Each can contains: taurine, ginseng, l-carnitine, guarana, inositol, B vitamins, and 144 milligrams of caffeine. The kick lasts just under two hours, with a solid sugar rush partially extending that length. In the end, Monster Gronk is a stupid sounding and weak Red Bull clone from a company with too many fans to fall so miserably. Let it be said, I am not one of those fans, especially after suffering through the entire can.
2016 appears to the year for brand resurrection, now this time both the Starbucks line and its Doubleshot sub-line. Its can follows the basic brand template, and appears to be an update of the original "Vanilla" variety, reviewed here seven years ago. It is a clean design, telling consumers its coffee origins, flavor, and brand with a quick glance. However, the bright red belt at the top, and the circle towards the bottom, have little place on the can except to bring attention to its flavor and contained supplements.
Three grams of fat, half saturated, craft a shockingly creamy first sip, and the fattiness never lets go and who's only flaw could be how unrelentless it is. Its flavor is an even bigger success; sure, it tastes like your typical vanilla, but there is an ill-defined zest to it, redolent of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove, with some slight nuttiness nestled beneath it all. The coffee is the weakest link, lost inside the lardaceous mouthfeel and ambrosial spiciness. Its slight bitterness is the bean's best facet, synthesizing seductively with the spiced spice sapor. Usually these fat-sodden "coffee" drinks do not fare well here on the Caffeine King, however, this one takes a vivacious, rich, and tasty approach.
Each can contains: B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, taurine, inositol, ginseng, guarana, and caffeine. There is also 200 calories and twenty nine grams of sugar. The kick lasts as long as any drink of comparable size, lasting two hours, maybe more. To end, Spiced Vanilla provides renascent interest in the previously platitudinous Starbucks line.
Back from the dead is Team Realtree, now just "Realtree," with a new Bush Master flavor. The name refers to snakes, guns, the military, superheros and supervillains, and unfortunately this drink is not based on either of the latter two. The brand's formerly resealable cans have been price-reduced to your normal pull-tab type, and its can design remains ever so hunting-inspired. At least the previously slapped on company name has been shrunk in favor of a clean logo. However, the back of the can says "I like it muddy." Please Realtree, take a shower.
Like the original Realtree reviewed five years ago, Bush Master is inspired by soda. This time cherry cola, and it is by far the best of the brand. Sure there is high fructose corn syrup, nearly sixty grams of the sweet stuff, but it lends itself beautifully to the nostalgic simplicity of the soda it parodies. The cherry has a slight acidic edge to it, a taunting tartness that feels like it has more to offer than being second fiddle to the cola. Speaking of which, it is your typical cocktail of vanilla, some slight citrus and spices, however only cinnamon stands out; the more encouraging stemmed fruit should have been granted greater opportunity to shine. It is a syrupy saccharinity, a gummy one too, and you would enjoy the experience more at a more reasonable eight or twelve ounces, but the gleaming child in me could not care. Carbonation proves the weakest link here, the first ingredient, however, it proves too restricted for the pop-approximating emprise.
Each can contains: B vitamins, taurine, and caffeine. The buzz is mostly from all the sugar, a fun, jittery run that ends in a harder crash than expected after two hours. In the end, Realtree Outdoor Bush Master's more usual can is a disappointment, but its taste is the best in the line, even with all its faults. Although it is its uneven kick that truly marks the entire thing as uneven.
Shock Wave is the Speedway convenience store's official energy drink, in case its boring baby blue textured can, complete with generic swirls and name, did not give it away. If the design does anything right, it would be how clean it is; there is a refreshing lack of clutter or distraught.
Shocking the world, this is not a Red Bull clone; kudos Speedway for parodying another, albeit lesser known, drink. Every sip is seeped in passion fruit, mango, and orange, a cocktail of fruits most akin to NOS, although with its harsh, trademark bite replaced by an undercurrent of lemon and guava. Sacchariferous and sour, both work for the drink as a whole and not a particular sapor, a sickly and syrupy sugariness practically purely high fructose corn syrup, sixty five grams of the stuff! On the tartness side of things, it is a mild one, an acidity barely there, and only there seemingly for a slight relief of the extreme, child-cooler-like saccharinity. Each gulp is cluttered with the myriad of tastes tasted without an explicit hierarchy, no sole flavor overpowering another, birthing an experience playful and chaotic in a market saturated with safe, one-note, and boring beverages.
Each can contains: inositol, ginseng, B vitamins, and 160 milligrams of caffeine. The kick reminds you of its store-brand origins more so than the taste, lasting two hours, and all the aforementioned sugar giving one hell of a sugar crash. To end, Shock Wave is considerably less generic than initially believed; take that for what you will, however.
Power Energy Toothpaste is a caffeinated, well, toothpaste, a first according to the back of the packaging, and the only one reviewed here; if that is not unique, I do not know what is! Its tube is a petite little thing, resembling your average travel-sized variety, complete with a minimal design with a fun, lightning-bolt toothbrush graphic. However, the plastic case's best feature is its slogan: "get a rush while you brush."
Going with a manual and electric toothbrush, Power Toothpaste's minty toothpaste was experienced across several levels of "dirty" mouth; upon waking up in the morning, and after eating. Revving the electric toothbrush, the paste for your tooth disintegrates well and moves fast to coat your chompers in minty goodness; a potent peppermint flavor that works unsurprisingly well with the grainy mouthfeel. Using a manual brush, things are no different. There is all the artificial sweetness to all commercial toothpastes present, achieved here via xylitol and magnasweet with a slight bite of caffeine bitterness. Its texture while not brushing is stiff, resembling chunky marshmallow creme, stickiness and all. Both morning and post-meal breathe were neutralized after brushing with the peasized amount, at least I felt so; persuading someone to smell your breath twice is harder than it sounds. With Red Bull the most common energy drink, Power Toothpaste could have gone that route with its flavor, instead of its mintiness. Its taste is generic for what it is, but for what it is, it is tasty.
Caffeine is all we get here, and only in the nebulous "similar to coffee" or something crap description on the back of the tube. The internet calls for 106 mg of caffeine per mL, which is an impressive amount and something they should plaster all over promotions. Each use certainly perked me up, with a buzz about an hour in length with each two minute brushing session. Overall, buyers beware, Power Toothpaste will make you want to invest in a good toothbrush.
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