REVIEW: Mountain Dew Johnson City Gold

Mountain Dew Johnson City Gold

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.

Mountain Dew Johnson City Gold Closeup

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.

(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.

31 thoughts to “REVIEW: Mountain Dew Johnson City Gold”

  1. i hate beer so wouldnt try this but does it give u beer breath? I would hate to be pulled over after one of these and try to explain i was really drinking mountain dew

    1. It does, but if it happens, just agree to the breathalyzer and you’ll be cleared. Of course, you’ll be late to wherever you’re heading, but you’ll be cleared.

  2. I’m wondering if this still contains a trace amount of alcohol, like non-alcoholic beers…

  3. How can you review a yellow beverage, that came in a can that says ‘sample,’ and is actually called ‘Johnson City Gold,’ without making some pee jokes?

  4. Sounds weird but if you’ve ever had a lemonade shandy style beer, I would feel that this is similar.

    So, can you tell us how you obtained this? I’m interested in how the process works, did they contact you, are there restrictions, etc?

    1. I haven’t had that.

      As for obtaining it, I have contacts at the PR firm that handles the Mountain Dew account and they sent me press releases about the product. I asked them if I could have samples to review and they sent them to me. I don’t think there are any restrictions.

    2. This is nothing like lemon shandy beer. The beer is good, JC Gold isn’t even tolerable.

  5. I’ve never developed a taste for beer, so this does not sound like my thing. I will have to keep an eye out for these for my brother, though. He is a beer fan, and likes an orange slice in his Bell’s Oberon. Apparently citrus and beer can work together in harmony.

  6. Nice review. (ReDew? Guess I’m not as good with the Dew jokes…)

    Piggybacking off what Canton said, your description of Johnson City Gold immediately reminded me of hefeweizen (wheat beer). Blue Moon Belgian White comes to mind, as it seems to be the ubiquitous wheat beer on tap, at least around these parts. It’s lighter than barley-based beer, has citrus notes, and is often served with an orange garnish.

    I’m not a fan of wheat beer, but it sounds like those who are would enjoy it if they’ve graciously volunteered to be a DD (or those who are friends of Bill W.)

  7. No matter how much caffeine it has, it is still WAY less than coffee. Just sayin’.

  8. Only one store in Ohio, and it isn’t even deep in “I’ll have a Mountain Dew” country. Well, I don’t think it is – I’m surprised the area I live in in Southern Ohio doesn’t have it. These people here (men and women) have a ton of boobshine going on, and this seems like a product that would cool that off on a summer’s day. Plus, 2 out of every 5 of these Bubbas has lost their teeth due to the sugar in Mountain Dew. Fact.

    I also live in an area where 3 out of every 5 facts are completely made up.

  9. This sounds almost like the brewing process that Monster’s “Ubermonster” goes through which is a malted energy drink. It’s sort of a clear golden champagne looking brew as well with much more kick than Mountain Dew will have.

  10. Just had one in Denver, it was pretty fantastic. Huge Dew fan, I tolerate beer but have never craved one, and it tasted good to me. Much smoother than zingy Dew so it’ll develop fans of beer and caffeine without the poppy taste. You don’t have to like beer to enjoy it!

  11. I am drinking it right now. It is available at Kroger. It tastes like beer yes. but no effects of alcohol. I recommend it.

  12. I bought a can of this at a 7-11 in Littleton, CO.
    The best i can say is, it didn’t cost much. I had hoped for something better. I am a beer snob. I only drink smaller brewers beer. This stuff tastes worse than the outdated, non-alcoholic beer I attempted to drink while I was deployed to Iraq. Imagine, mixing a Mt. Dew with your least favorite non-alcohol beer.. But with a malt flavor. NASTY.
    I poured out over half a can, and will never buy another.

  13. I tried it…it is nasty. It’s like someone mixed a non-alcoholic beer and a Mountain Dew. Not a pleasant taste.

  14. I’m having some right now, and… it’s not bad. The malt takes a bit of the edge off of the sweetness, which is what puts me off most non-diet sodas. Think of it as a non-alcoholic shandy.

  15. I tried it and love it!, But now cannot find it in southern Indiana any more If someone knows where to get this please post it…

  16. When is the new mountain dew malt Gold coming out?
    I really enjoyed the Johnson city malt!

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