REVIEW: Mountain Dew Kickstart (Limeade and Black Cherry)

Mountain Dew Kickstart (Black Cherry and Limeade)

In an increasingly health conscious market full of zero-calorie sweeteners and unpalatably low-fat Chobani yogurt, PepsiCo decided to throw a proverbial middle finger in the face of personal trainers and inclined-treadmill-users everywhere when they released the first two flavors of Mountain Dew Kickstart back in 2013.

For those of you who don’t know, Mountain Dew Kickstart’s first flavors, Orange Citrus and Fruit Punch, are literally soda for breakfast. Like something out of a cartoon-binge induced dream of a seven-year-old, these two caffeinated flavors promised to give your humdrum morning that “kick” it so desperately needs.

Yet, amid skeptics (myself included), this year Mountain Dew Kickstart was ready to expand its caffeinated scissor-kick not just to our boring and mundane mornings, but to our boring and mundane evenings as well. Now available in (the rather unimaginatively named) Limeade and Black Cherry, the energy that these nighttime themed Mountain Dew Kickstarts provide can help you complete the important junk in your life, like applying for a job or finally getting around to completing that custody paperwork for your daughter. I was intrigued.

Because seeing a Mountain Dew product marketed as a breakfast beverage is not something one easily forgets, I knew exactly the retailer that would be carrying its nighttime themed companions. Looks like I was taking a little field trip to my local Walmart.

Amid familiar blue aisles of ridiculously low-priced goods and boxes of $5 movies containing twelve copies of Shrek the Third and an 80s Val Kilmer action flick, I found both new flavors of Mountain Dew Kickstart displayed humbly, at room temperature, on a rack near the checkout. Much like the Orange Citrus and Fruit Punch varieties, the first thing I noticed is that both the Limeade and Black Cherry flavors look suspiciously similar to their energy drink competition. I could not help but think that the familiarly shaped tall 16-ounce cans, colored pull-tabs, and generic labeling were channeling the style of both Monster and Rockstar.

Yet, what these Mountain Dew Kickstarts lack in originality, they certainly make up for in taste, which is surprising considering the executives over at Mountain Dew HQ decided to go with the uninspiring ubiquitous choice of Limeade and Black Cherry. However, I have nothing against these two flavors and I was excited to see how Mountain Dew (now famous for making a variety of beverages that actually have nothing to do with the original Mountain Dew itself) handled each one.

Mountain Dew Kickstart (Black Cherry and Limeade) Closeup

I have always been skeptical of flavors labeled “limeade”. Deep down I really want to believe, really, it’s just that anything labeled “limeade” usually just tastes suspiciously similar to lemon-lime, or just plain lemon for that matter.  Yet, despite my general feelings towards the marketing maneuver of all things “limeade”, this Mountain Dew Kickstart incarnation is fantastic. If Mountain Dew can do nothing else, it’s create an exemplary citrus drink. The flavor itself tastes (unsurprisingly) similar to the original Mountain Dew, but totally in a good way. Compared to other energy drinks, Mountain Dew Kickstart Limeade is a refreshing deviation from the guarana fueled, syrupy norm. In fact, if you didn’t tell me this was an energy drink, I would be hard pressed to tell it was anything other than just a new flavor of Mountain Dew.

However, as surprisingly good the Limeade flavor was, I enjoyed the Black Cherry variety even more. I have to admit that yes, I am a bit biased. Of my specifically colored fruits, I’d have to say black cherry trumps blue raspberry any day (get at me Jolly Ranchers!). With this in mind, I was happy to find this Mountain Dew Kickstart version did my beloved black cherry justice. But seriously, this was one of the best black cherry flavors I have ever had. It’s sweet and pleasant, but, like its Limeade companion, not overwhelmingly sugary or “chemical”.

Even though both Limeade and Black Cherry Kickstart may not offer the most original first impression, their fantastic flavors are proof that Mountain Dew absolutely knows what it’s doing in the beverage game. Although, I wouldn’t mind if Mountain Dew tried to pave some completely new path in the world of carbonated beverages.

I kinda want Mountain Dew to get freaky.

(Nutrition Facts – 16 ounces – Limeade – 80 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of total fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 250 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 19 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein. Black Cherry – 80 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of total fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 19 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein.)

Item: Mountain Dew Kickstart (Limeade and Black Cherry)
Purchased Price: $1.49 each
Size: 16 fl oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Limeade)
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Black Cherry)
Pros: Exemplary flavor. Barely tastes like an energy drink. Great flavor execution.
Cons: Lackluster packaging. Kinda boring flavor names. The fact that Walmart employees are incredibly underpaid.

13 thoughts on “REVIEW: Mountain Dew Kickstart (Limeade and Black Cherry)

    1. I had a cashier the other day that got confused when I handed her pennies. She was like, “what do I do with this?” I had rounded the change so she’d give me a quarter back. I was like, “just punch in the amount I gave you and watch the miracle of calculation astound you and give me back 25 cents.”

      1. if you want to pay in change like an asshole, your going to get strange looks. My advice, take your broke ass to a coin star.

  1. Kickstart is revolting. Funky aftertase. Plus, it contains high fructose corn syrup and THREE different artificial sweeteners. Poison in a can.

  2. I’d say about 5% of my coworkers are underpaid. The other 95% are overpaid. There’s usually a valid reason you’re 45 years old and working at Walmart… Those who don’t suck move up pretty quickly. The cream of the crap.

    I agree, the new kickstarts are pretty good, and a marked improvement over the previous generation. And they’re cheap. Hopefully I die of heart failure before I’m crushed by a falling pallet of creamed corn. Thanks for the review!

  3. This is one of the best new soft drinks to hit the market in a long while. Refreshing first impression and a nice finish with a long, flavorful after taste.

  4. So I just bought the Limeade and the Black Cherry, and I was completely stoked from the Limeade’s taste! The only thing that I will wonder about is if it will give the actual “kick” that Mountain Dew proclaims it does. I guess I will find out!

  5. I just drank the two new flavors, and they were really good. There was a special vehicle promoting the drink on the Las Vegas Strip the other day. A couple of employees were busy passing out free cans to anyone who would take them. I took two, brought them home, and put them in the fridge. But just now drank them. Normally, at home, I just drink water. But perhaps I’ll pick up a few cans next time I’m at the store. I guess the promotion worked.

  6. Glad to find your review of Mountain Dew KICKSTART as I was curious to how this beverage with 5% juice, caffeine, and electrolytes would make me feel. Then I got to the end of reading your review and realized it failed to address any physical or mental (alertness) benefits of the drink. Mind, body, and spirit.

  7. The Mtn Dew Kickstart is absolutely revolting. The drink taste horrible. Glad I only had to pay a dollar. I purchased it while on sale and quite frankly the drinks taste is so put off I did not even finish the drink. I do not care for the after taste it leaves. Yuck! There will be no future purchase for this drink.

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