REVIEW: Mountain Dew Midnight Grape Kickstart

Mountain Dew Midnight Grape Kickstart

I’d like to apologize to Mountain Dew Midnight Grape Kickstart.

On several occasions, on this blog, out in public, and in a mirror, I’ve said the grape-flavored Mountain Dew Pitch Black is the best Mountain Dew flavor. So when I learned the brand was coming out with Midnight Grape Kickstart, I said to myself in the mirror, “YASSSSS!!! A grape-flavored Dew!!!” because I thought it would taste like my beloved Pitch Black.

But after drinking it and comparing it with Pitch Black (which I received from Mountain Dew a few weeks ago), I realized I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up because my logic was flawed.

I thought Grape + Mountain Dew = Pitch Black, but that’s not the case and I should’ve known that. Does the Black Cherry Kickstart taste like Mountain Dew Code Red? No. Does Orange Citrus Kickstart taste like Mountain Dew Livewire? No. So I’m sorry to Midnight Grape Kickstart for thinking it would taste like something that it doesn’t.

How can I make it up to you, Midnight Grape Kickstart?

A glowing review? Nope, you’re not going to get that.

Mountain Dew Midnight Grape Kickstart 2

Much like all the Kickstart varieties that come in 16-ounce cans, this grape one has 5 percent juice, which comes from white grape juice concentrate. The addition of juice gives the beverage a natural grape flavor and not the candy-like grape Pitch Black has. Although it’s white grape juice, the color and flavor are more like a purple concord grape.

It’s not syrupy sweet like regular Mountain Dew sodas, thanks to artificial sweeteners ace K and Sucralose backing up the high fructose corn syrup. The use of those sweeteners cut the sugar content to 20 grams per can, which is a third of what’s in a 16-ounce serving of regular Dew. However, the lower sugar content makes it taste like a lightly carbonated diet grape juice or lightly carbonated grape juice that’s been watered down.

To be honest, I didn’t really care for it the first time. But after having a second can, it’s grown on me. However, that could be the 90 milligrams of caffeine per can talking.

I’m a fan of Mountain Dew Kickstart. I regularly purchase the Black Cherry and Fruit Punch flavors. But, even though Midnight Grape has grown on me, I can’t say the new flavor is good enough to join the other two flavors as a regular purchase.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 can – 80 calories, 0 grams of fat, 170 milligrams of sodium, 105 milligrams of potassium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 20 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: 99 cents
Size: 16 oz. can
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Decent grape flavor that may take some getting used to. Fewer calories and sugar than regular Mountain Dew. Contains fruit juice. Natural grape flavor. 90 milligrams of sweet, sweet caffeine.
Cons: If you’re expected Mtn Dew Pitch Black, stop expecting. Tastes like diet grape juice or watered down grape juice. Apologizing to a Mountain Dew flavor.

QUICK ENERGY DRINK REVIEW: Rockstar Pure Zero Watermelon Energy Drink

Rockstar Pure Zero Watermelon Energy Drink

Rockstar’s Pure Zero Watermelon Energy Drink has 240 milligrams of caffeine, so this review will have 240 words.

When I think of large fruits with lots of seeds that are popular this time of year, I think of pumpkin. But it appears Rockstar Energy thinks of watermelon. Of course, a pumpkin-flavored energy drink sounds gross, so I think Rockstar picked the right fruit for their new energy drink.

The Pure Zero line gets its name because it has zero calories and sugar. It also has zero fat, zero protein, and lots of zeroes in the 100 percent values of B vitamins it has. And, of course, there’s the zero in the 240 milligrams of caffeine it has (play Motley Crue’s “Jumpstart My Heart” intro here).

As for its flavor, imagine a watermelon slice that’s not quite ripe. Then imagine taking a bite from that slice from the side and getting a bit too much of the melon’s white part. Now imagine an artificial and candified version of that flavor and you’ll get an idea of what this energy drink tastes like. There are also moments when it has an artificial sour apple flavor.

I know my description doesn’t make it sound that good, and I didn’t care for the first few sips, but its flavor grew on me. Maybe my tastebuds are weird. Or maybe it’s the huge jolt of caffeine making me type this, but I enjoyed its flavor.

Rockstar Pure Zero Watermelon Energy Drink 2

Purchased Price: 2 for $3.00
Size: 16 oz. cans
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (8 fl. oz) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 180 milligrams of sodium, 1 gram of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, 100% niacin, 100% vitamin B12, 100% vitamin B6, and 100% pantothenic acid.

QUICK ENERGY DRINK REVIEW: Muscle Monster Banana Energy Shake

Muscle Monster Banana Energy Shake

The Muscle Monster Banana Energy Shake has 160 milligrams of caffeine, so this review will have exactly 160 words.

This energy shake gets its banana flavor from banana puree and natural flavor; its 25 grams of protein from ultrafiltered skim milk, reduced fat milk, and calcium caseinate; and its sweet, sweet caffeine from sweet, sweet caffeine.

Thanks to the banana puree, the first two or three sips were pleasant and reminded me of banana NesQuik. But then all the energy ingredients seemed to turn the flavor into bizzaro banana.

Look, before this I loved ALL banana flavored products. I even love those hated banana Runts. But this drink proves I don’t love ALL banana products. After the first few sips the banana flavor got weak, the bitterness from the energy ingredients stood out, and the aftertaste was as unpleasant as most sugar-free energy drinks.

I finished the can, but I wouldn’t buy it again. It isn’t terrible, it’s just tolerable.

Muscle Monster Banana Energy Shake 2

Purchased Price: $4.62 for 2
Size: 15 oz. cans
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (one can) 200 calories, 35 calories from fat, calories from fat, 4 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 410 milligrams of sodium, 780 milligrams of potassium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 16 grams of sugar, 25 grams of protein, 90% vitamin C, 60% calcium, 190% riboflavin, 190% niacin, and 190% vitamin B6.

REVIEW: Monster Pipeline Punch Energy Juice

Monster Pipeline Punch Energy Juice

Aloha.

It’s a word that can mean hello or goodbye.

But here in Hawaii there’s also non-verbal way to say either hello or goodbye, and it’s the hand gesture at the bottom of the Monster Pipeline Punch Energy Juice’s can. It’s called a shaka.

I hope I never have to use a shaka to say goodbye forever to this new 7-Eleven exclusive energy drink because it’s so damn good (Note: It was a 7-Eleven exclusive when it debuted, but now it’s available elsewhere). Now some of you might be thinking, because I live in Hawaii and this beverage is paying tribute to a popular surf spot here, I’m being kind of a homer. But I assure you that this energy drink is, as we like to say in Hawaii, winnahs.

Its combination of guava, passion fruit (which we call lilikoi here), orange (which we call orange here), apple, and pineapple is so delicious that it makes me want to tank the entire can in 30 seconds, which is fine for my taste buds and if I want to jumpstart my heart with its 160 milligrams of caffeine.

The guava and passion fruit are the stars here and because of that this energy drink reminds me of another. From the first sip, it brought back memories of Rockstar Energy’s Guava Punched, which I also loved.

Monster Pipeline Punch Energy Juice 2

What makes Pipeline Punch stand out among the other energy drinks I’ve tried is that it’s an energy drink that doesn’t taste like one. The fruit juices and purees do an excellent job at masking the bitterness from the caffeine and herbal supplements in it.

If you handed me a glass of this and I drank it, I’d probably think you just gave me some POG or some other tropical fruit juice. The only way I’d know if it was an energy drink was if I happen to see the can in your sink or recycling bin, or if I decided to take my pulse soon after drinking it.

With all that said, I imagine some folks will find it to be hypersweet, and I would agree with that assessment. Not only are there fruit juices and purees, but there’s also added sugar. But I still love it.

Sadly, Monster’s Pipeline Punch Energy Juice is around for a limited time. But I hope it comes back again for a little while or permanently. It better or else my shaka will turn into a less flattering hand gesture.

(Nutrition Facts – 16 ounces – 200 calories, 0 grams of fat, 60 milligrams of sodium, 48 grams of carbohydrates, 46 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, 200% riboflavin, 200% niacin, 200% vitamin B6, and 200% vitamin B12.)

Item: Monster Pipeline Punch Energy Juice
Purchased Price: 2 for $3.75
Size: 16 ounce cans
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Tropical fruity flavor is wonderful. Doesn’t taste like an energy drink. Goes down easy. Dual usage for aloha and the shaka.
Cons: Some might find it to be too sweet. Available for a limited time. Only at 7-Eleven.

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.