REVIEW: Mountain Dew Dew Shine

Mountain Dew Dew Shine

Here’s a completely useless nugget of information you will never have to recall in your lifetime. Before Mountain Dew was Mountain Dew, it was slang for the clear liquor called moonshine. And now Mountain Dew is honoring its past by selling a non-alcoholic clear soda called Dew Shine.

This isn’t the first alcohol-sounding, non-alcoholic Dew the folks at Mountain Dew have developed. A few years ago, they rolled out Mountain Dew Gold, a citrus and malt liquor-flavored soda. It was supposed to roll out nationwide and it had a campaign that gave Dew fans the chance name the beverage in different regions. The nationwide rollout never happened. Instead, it was sold only in a few regions across the U.S.

However, Mountain Dew Dew Shine has been rolled out nationwide and is available in single bottles or four-packs.

There’s a lot of retro going on with bottle’s label, which looks like a weathered piece of paper and features Willie the Hillbilly, the original Mountain Dew mascot, and “It’ll Tickle Yore Innards”, the original Mountain Dew slogan. The bottle is made of glass and beverage contains real sugar, which, if you think about it, is kind of retro in this day and age of high fructose corn syrup.

The beverage is as clear as water, and to make sure it was, I filled an empty Dew Shine bottle with water, put the screw top back on, placed it next to an unopened bottle, and had someone arrange the bottle with my back turned. After comparing the two for a few moments, I couldn’t tell the difference. Can you determine which is which using the photo below?

Mountain Dew Dew Shine 2

According to the bottle, Dew Shine is a “clear citrus flavored Dew,” and with its name, I assume it might taste somewhat like moonshine. Unfortunately, I can’t confirm that since I have no idea what moonshine tastes like and I’m not willing to drink moonshine because I don’t want the internet to have photos of me walking through Waikiki with no pants.

Dew Shine has a light citrusy aroma that reminds me of a generic lemon lime soda. Its flavor also has a mild citrusiness to it that leans towards lemon. But I detect a slight maltiness too. The combination is giving me flashbacks to Mountain Dew Gold, but with a much mellower flavor. The mellow flavor and light carbonation makes Dew Shine easy to drink.

Dew Shine is refreshing, not overly sweet, pleasant, and has the same amount of caffeine as a can of regular Mountain Dew (52 mg), but I’m not sure younger Dew fans would like it because it’s not like most Mountain Dew flavors. There’s no radioactive color, no bite, and it doesn’t slap you with sweetness. It’s a different kind of Dew.

The glass bottle, the beverage’s clear color, the use of real sugar, and its flavor makes it appear and taste like its for older or sophisticated taste buds. Because of those attributes, Dew Shine could be considered a Craft Dew. I also want to call it Crystal Dew.

But with that said, if I need a soda to pick me up, I would rather have regular Mountain Dew. Dew Shine has the same amount of caffeine as regular Dew, but I feel regular Dew’s combination of a sugary punch, stronger carbonation, and caffeine content does a better job at energizing me.

But if you happen to find some Dew Shine on shelves, I think it’s definitely worth picking up.

(Nutrition Facts – 12 ounces – 160 calories, 0 grams of fat, 60 milligrams of sodium, 42 grams of carbohydrates, 42 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, and 54 milligrams of caffeine.)

Item: Mountain Dew Dew Shine
Purchased Price: Way too much on eBay ($26.99)
Size: 4 pack of 12 oz bottles
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Nice citrusy flavor with a bit of maltiness. A sophisticated Dew. Easy to drink. Not made with high fructose corn syrup. Same amount of caffeine as a can of regular Mountain Dew. Nifty retro label.
Cons: Younger Dew drinkers might find this flavor to be too mild when compared with other Dew flavors. Might be difficult to find. I prefer regular Dew when it comes to getting energized. The internet having photos you wish it didn’t. Only available in glass bottles.

REVIEW: V8 Healthy Greens Veggie Blends

V8 Veggie Blend Healthy Greens

When poured into a glass, V8’s Healthy Greens Vegetable and Fruit Juice Beverage looks like I’m using that glass to shovel out water from an unkept backyard swimming pool. It doesn’t look very appetizing, but…now at this point, because I typed “but” after a negative comment, you might think I’m about to say something positive. Maybe say, “but it brings immense pleasure to the thousands of taste buds on my tongue.”

But I’m not going to say that.

It doesn’t look very appetizing, but it’s what I expected for a juice called “Healthy Greens” that contains spinach puree, yellow carrot juice concentrate, cucumber juice concentrate, celery juice concentrate, kale juice, romaine lettuce juice, and green bell pepper juice. But it’s not all vegetables. To prevent the juice from becoming completely gag-alicious, there are also apple and pineapple juices.

Now some of you might think I’m being an unappetizing green beverage hater, but I assure you I’m not. I’m a big fan of Odwalla’s Superfood Smoothie that has kale, spirulina, wheat grass, barley grass, wheat sprouts, Jerusalem artichoke, and Nova Scotia dulse. And it looks like pond scum.

So what does this V8 vegetable and fruit juice that doesn’t have eight vegetables taste like?

V8 Veggie Blend Healthy Greens Closeup

Its flavor reminded me of Campbell’s Vegetable soup, but cold and not as salty. It smelled tomatoey, even though there’s no tomatoes. It’s a bit sweet due to the apple and pineapple juice, but the vegetable flavor is dominant. I know that’s a bit gross, but the thing is, I didn’t feel compelled to spit it out.

Actually, the first sip was the worst, because I wasn’t sure what flavors were going to hit my tongue. And I got used to it after a few more sips. It’s the same reactions I had when I tasted the Odwalla Superfood Smoothie for the first time.

However, V8’s Healthy Greens juice is not anywhere close to being as tasty as an Odwalla Superfood Smoothie. But that’s understandable since the smoothie has more than twice the amount of sugar than the V8 juice.

It doesn’t bring immense pleasure to the thousands of taste buds on my tongue, but it tastes okay enough that I don’t mind drinking it in order to get a serving of vegetables.

(Nutrition Facts – 8 ounces – 60 calories, 0 calories from fat, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 70 milligrams of sodium, 320 milligrams of potassium, 14 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 11 grams of sugar, 1 gram of protein, 20% vitamin A, 2% calcium, 100% vitamin C, 20% vitamin E, and 2% iron.)

Item: V8 Healthy Greens Veggie Blends
Purchased Price: $1.79 (sale price)
Size: 46 fl. oz.
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Not gross enough to make me spit it out. A serving of veggie per 8 ounces. Provide 100% of your vitamin C. No added sugar. No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Cons: Looks like algae infested swimming pool water. Doesn’t have eight vegetables. Should’ve been a little bit more sweeter. Since it just juice, there isn’t a lot of fiber. Learning romaine lettuce juice is a thing.

REVIEW: Mountain Dew Kickstart Hydrating Boost (Pineapple Orange Mango and Strawberry Kiwi)

Mountain Dew Kickstart Hydrating Boost

When I saw the bizarre, trippy commercial for Mountain Dew Kickstart Hydrating Boost energy drinks during the Super Bowl, I got pretty excited. An energy drink with some kind of hallucinogen in it? WOOHOO! Well, at least that’s what the commercial led me to believe, but I was intent on finding out for myself.

The description on the bottles are kind of interesting. Flavored sparkling juice beverage blend from concentrate with other natural flavors. I was under the impression it was a normal energy drink, but right away I noticed they weren’t as acidic and sugary as others on the market.

It has coconut water, contains 10 percent juice, and with the can being only 12 ounces and 60 calories per can, it’s definitely healthier than a lot of other energy drinks.

It comes in two flavors, Energizing Strawberry Kiwi and Energizing Pineapple Orange Mango. Did they really need to use the word “energizing?” I mean, it’s called Kickstart, and it’s sold amongst other energy drinks. And they use the same term on both flavors. They should use different ones, like, I don’t know, “Pump You Up Strawberry Kiwi.” Just my thoughts.

Mountain Dew Kickstart Hydrating Boost Orange Pineapple Mango

Pineapple Orange Mango beats out Strawberry Kiwi big time in the taste department. It has three fruit flavors, and though you might think something would get lost in the mix, all three flavors actually come through, with pineapple and orange being the most prominent. It drinks like a mix between a soda and a sparkling juice, and isn’t as carbonated as much as normal energy drinks are. It was very pleasant to drink.

The cans say, “with just the right amount of KICK” because they have 68 milligrams of caffeine.

But they don’t say anything about containing acid or some other drug that will make my cat dance or my statues come to life and have deep philosophical conversations with me, but I saw the commercial. I know what’s going on here.

Mountain Dew Kickstart Hydrating Boost Strawberry Kiwi

The Strawberry Kiwi was kind of weak. I really just tasted strawberry, and since the flavor wasn’t nearly as potent as the Pineapple Orange Mango, the carbonation is more noticeable and it just doesn’t work as well as its companion flavor.

Both contain coconut water, but it must not be much. I couldn’t taste a hint of the distinctive flavor in either. But I’m not really complaining, as coconut water doesn’t have the greatest taste.

I drank half of each so I could see what was up with the energy boost I was supposed to receive, but honestly I didn’t really get too much of the kick I was promised. Now you may drink this and get a decent kick, but it didn’t do much for me.

But despite the lack of boost, I did find the hydrating part to be true. I would normally stay away from an energy drink if I needed a thirst quencher, but these drinks were darn refreshing.

As for the hallucinating… well, it never came. That commercial was so misleading. Promising me free drugs in a can that would make me dance and hallucinate, on top of giving me an energy boost. And what do I get? Nothing. Well, I did get a tasty Pineapple Orange Mango drink that I would have again. And I gained the knowledge that Strawberry Kiwi isn’t worth my time.

But most importantly, I realized that you shouldn’t seek out hard drugs inside cans of Mountain Dew energy drinks. You should just call your shady friend Peanut and see if he’s currently in or out of jail and whether or not he can hook you up.

(Nutrition Facts – 12 ounces – 60 calories, 0 grams of fat, 130 milligrams of sodium, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 14 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, 68 milligrams of caffeine, 0 grams total fat, 130 mg of sodium, 15 grams total carbohydrate, 14 grams sugars, 0 grams protein, 68 milligrams of caffeine, 75% vitamin c, 60% niacin, 60% vitamin b6, 45% pantothenic acid, 10% phosphorous. Strawberry Kiwi – )

Item: Mountain Dew Kickstart Hydrating Boost
Purchased Price: 2/$3.79
Size: 12 oz. can
Purchased at: Gulf Gas Station
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Pineapple Orange Mango)
Rating: 4 out of 10 (Strawberry Kiwi)
Pros: Pineapple Orange Mango was quite tasty. Less sugary and acidic than typical energy drinks. Only 60 calories per can. Having a shady friend named Peanut.
Cons: Strawberry Kiwi was pretty weak. Drinks did not offer much of a kick. Misleading commercials. Having a shady friend named Peanut.

REVIEW: Fairlife Chocolate Reduced Fat Milk

Fairlife Chocolate Reduced Fat Milk

Fairlife Chocolate Reduced Fat Milk has 50 percent more protein, 30 percent more calcium, and 50 percent less sugar than regular reduced fat chocolate milk. It has no lactose, it’s been ultra-filtered, and comes from cows that are not treated with rBST. The cows that produce Fairlife milk listen to classical music all day, receive daily massages, go to cow hot yoga classes twice a day, are read bedtime stories, eat grass from silver troughs, and have the sound of crashing waves play while they sleep.

Actually, that last sentence I’m not sure about.

According to the bottle, the producers of Fairlife milk provide “extraordinary care for our cows.” I don’t know what that means, so I just assumed they are treated better than the wagyu cattle used to make Kobe beef.

Speaking of producers, if you think this milk comes from some farm in the middle of Indiana, you’d be wrong. It’s comes from some farm in the northwestern part of Indiana. Also, it’s distributed by some small beverage company that you’ve probably never heard of. I believe their name is Coca-Cola.

So how does this milk have more protein and calcium and less sugar than regular chocolate milk? You could watch this video that’ll explain it with cute animation. Or you could read the following boring words: ultra-filtering involves separating the different parts of the milk and then recombining them, but including more of the protein and calcium and leaving out the sugars.

Fairlife Chocolate Reduced Fat Milk smells and looks like every other chocolate milk on the market. It also has a nice thickness, thanks to the added carrageenan. Its flavor is mostly similar to other reduced fat chocolate milks, but it has a different aftertaste. It’s probably because of the added ace-K and sucralose sweeteners (sugar is also added), but I should make clear that the difference in flavor isn’t as dramatic as regular cola and diet cola. The aftertaste is not a deal breaker for me and my diet soda drinking taste buds, but I can see how it might be an issue for others.

Another issue others might have is the milk’s price. Fairlife is being marketed as a premium milk, so it has a premium price. A half-gallon…oh wait. A 52-ounce bottle retails for $3.99, which is more expensive than the average price for a gallon of whole milk, which I obtained from the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

You’re probably thinking, “Holy crap! That is some expensive milk.” And it’s probably being followed by, “Holy crap! You did actual research for this review.”

Fairlife’s Chocolate Reduced Fat Milk is pricey, contains artificial sweeteners, goes through an unfamiliar filtering process, and is distributed by one of the world’s largest beverage companies, but I really like it. I think it has a surprisingly nice flavor for something that has artificial sweeteners, I’m all for more protein and calcium, and the price doesn’t bother me too much because of what it offers over regular milk.

Dairy milk hasn’t changed much over the years. It’s the same milk that did the body good when I was growing up. That milk is still fine, but I like having the option for “super” milk that does the body better.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 cup – 140 calories, 40 calories from fat, 4.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 280 milligrams of sodium, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, 13 grams of protein, 10% vitamin A, 40% calcium, and 25% vitamin D.)

Item: Fairlife Chocolate Reduced Fat Milk
Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 52 oz. bottle
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Tastes like chocolate milk. Surprisingly good flavor for something that has artificial sweeteners. 50 percent more protein, 30 percent more calcium, and 50 percent less sugar than regular reduced fat chocolate milk.
Cons: Pricey. Contains artificial sweeteners. Slightly off aftertaste. Not sure what “extraordinary care for our cows” mean.

REVIEW: Pepsi Max Cherry Blast

Pepsi Max Cherry Blast

To be honest, I thought Pepsi Max would’ve been discontinued by now. Because it seems every beverage and snack that I love ends up being removed from shelves. I’d list all of the discontinued products, but I’m not in the mood to cry right now.

For those of you not familiar with with Pepsi Max, it’s a sugar-free, zero calorie cola with ginseng extract and nearly twice the caffeine of regular and Diet Pepsi. It’s been around since 2007 and it competes in the same market as Coke Zero, which is the diet colas with black labels market.

Although it’s a diet soda, it tastes different than Diet Pepsi. Pepsi Max is sweetened with aspartame and ace-K, while Diet Pepsi has just aspartame. This difference gives Pepsi Max a less harsh artificial sweetener aftertaste.

It’s a favorite of mine mostly because of the higher caffeine content. A 20-ounce bottle has 115 milligrams of sweet, sweet caffeine.

Although it’s been around for a while, Pepsi Max has had only one new variety in the U.S. market — Pepsi Max Cease Fire. But that changed recently with the introduction of Pepsi Max Cherry Blast. Hey, I just realized the name kind of rhymes. I guess that’s why Pepsi didn’t call it Wild Cherry Pepsi Max. The soda only comes in 16-ounce tall boy cans, is a 7-Eleven exclusive, and I love this soda…aspartame and all.

I’m a fan of Pepsi Wild Cherry and Diet Pepsi Wild Cherry, and their syrupy artificial cherry aroma and flavor. If you’ve never experienced either soda, their cherry flavor is a hypersweet candy version of cherries, but for some it makes them wonder if they’re drinking cough syrup. Even though some folks think it tastes like something from the cold medicine aisle at your local Walgreens or CVS, I love that cherry flavor and it goes extremely well with Pepsi Max.

I. LOVE. PEPSI. MAX. CHERRY. BLAST.

Pepsi Max Cherry Blast Closeup

I’ve purchased five cans of Pepsi Max Cherry Blast over the course of a week. If that’s not love, then I don’t know what is.

Although, to be honest, I think a major reason of why I love this soda so much is because, after drinking enough regular Pepsi Max to fill a few bathtubs over the years, my taste buds have gotten extremely tired of it and they yearned for something different.

As much as I love the flavor and the 92 milligrams of sweet, sweet caffeine in each can of Pepsi Max Cherry Blast, I do wish it was available in other sizes and stores. Also, I wish I knew if it’s a regular flavor or if I should prepare myself emotionally for when it gets discontinued.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 can – 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 50 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.)

Item: Pepsi Max Cherry Blast
Purchased Price: 99 cents
Size: 16 oz. can
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: I love this soda. If you enjoy Diet Pepsi Wild Cherry and want more caffeine, this soda will definitely do. Finally, another Pepsi Max flavor! Has 92 milligrams of sweet, sweet caffeine.
Cons: Non-diet soda drinkers will not like it. Those who think the cherry flavoring tastes like cough syrup will not like it. 7-Eleven exclusive and only available in 16-ounce cans. The possibility that it’ll get discontinued.