Are you an extreme designated driver?
If you are, Mountain Dew has a soda that will satisfy your malt-craving taste buds, but do so without any alcohol to impair your judgement. And, as with all Mountain Dew varieties, it has the extreme caffeine (73 milligrams per 16-ounce serving to be exact) to keep you alert during your late night of barhopping with friends so that you can make sure none of them go home with someone they’ll regret in the morning and you’ll be quick enough to pull back the hair of your female friends in time as they throw up on the way home.
That soda, my sober comrade, is Mountain Dew Johnson City Gold. So you can Dew this Dew and still Dew your Dewty to Dewrive your Dewdes and Dewdetts to their Dewplexes after a night of Dewunken Dewbauchery.
Johnson City Gold is named after the birthplace of original Mountain Dew — Johnson City, Tennessee. And, while we’re on the subject of Mountain Dew’s history, did you know Mountain Dew was originally slang for moonshine? And, while we’re on the subject of slang, according to Urban Dictionary, Mountain Dew, today, is slang for the sweat stains under one’s breasts. Although, now that I know Mountain Dew was slang for moonshine and is slang for breast sweat stains, perhaps a more appropriate name for sweaty breasts is boobshine. Just throwing that out there.
Mountain Dew Johnson City Gold tastes like someone mixed Heineken beer and lemon-lime soda. The malty flavor stands out, and might be mistaken for beer, but it’s significantly less bitter than beer. The citrus flavor is noticeable throughout each swig, but more so towards the end. The combination of malt and citrus in a soda sounds like it should be horrible, and I thought Johnson City Gold was going to be revolting, but, after tasting it, I have to say it’s surprisingly tasty. It’s more malty than Mountain Dewy, so if you’re expecting the usual Mountain Dew derivative, your taste buds will be surprised.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, Johnson City Gold may taste and smell like beer, but it’s void of any alcohol. Think of it as a non-alcoholic Four Loko. So anyone with enough money and a mouth can buy and drink it. According to news posts I’ve read, PepsiCo executives said malt-flavored beverages are popular in Latin America and the Middle East, and they’re hoping it catches on here in the U.S. But I don’t know if Mountain Dew Johnson City Gold is good enough to make that happen. I like it, but it’s such a unique soda flavor that I don’t think it’ll be a runaway success.
While its flavor impressed me, the fact that a major soda company released a malt-flavored soda has got me really, really excited. I’ve complained a couple of times about the fact that Pepsi in Japan has come out annually with unique limited edition flavors, but here in the United States the flavor choices are less daring. Mountain Dew Johnson City Gold gives me hope that we’ll see more creative soda flavors on U.S. store shelves in the near future.
(Note: Johnson City Gold is now available in select Kroger stores across the Midwest. It will be available in Denver, Colo. and Charlotte, N.C. 7-Eleven stores starting September 1. A nationwide rollout isn’t happening until 2013 and the product will have different names, depending on the region. If you’re wondering where to find Johnson City Gold, here’s a list of stores carrying it. Thanks Mike N.)
(Disclosure: We received free Mountain Dew Johnson City Gold samples from PepsiCo. As you can see, we didn’t get the final production cans with artwork. Instead we received sample cans.)
(Nutrition Facts – 16 ounces – 230 calories, 80 milligrams of sodium, 61 grams of carbohydrates, and 61 grams of sugar.)
Item: Mountain Dew Johnson City Gold
Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 12 ounces
Purchased at: Received from PepsiCo
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Surprisingly good. 73 milligrams of sweet, sweet caffeine. Perfect malt-flavored beverage for designated drivers. People who live in cities that will be selling Johnson City Gold. Gives me hope there will be more unusual flavors from PepsiCo. Non-alcoholic. The third paragraph of this review.
Cons: Won’t be available nationwide until 2013. If you dislike beer, you will not like this. Awesome source of sugar. Non-alcoholic. Citrus flavor could’ve been a little more pronounced.