The whole “translucent soda” thing isn’t exactly the freshest idea. Nor is it exactly a novel turn for the Mountain Dew brand, which already went clear in 2015 with the limited time only DEWShine. Which, by the way, is still being sold in convenience stores down here in Atlanta, despite the product allegedly being discontinued over a year ago.
Alas, this newfangled Mtn Dew Ice isn’t exactly the same old same old. It’s an all-new Mountain Dew variation that boasts of a lemon-lime flavor and (direct quote, right off the label) “a splash of real juice.” Or, as the ingredients list puts it, “clarified lemon juice concentrate,” which I suppose is accurate enough to keep the F.D.A. off their heels.
So obviously, Mtn Dew Ice is an attempt to cut into Sprite’s customer base (apparently, Mist Twist hasn’t been up to the task). And at first taste, I’m not sure how to describe the product. After a couple of preliminary swigs, I reckoned the stuff tasted like regular Dew, albeit a little thinner and slightly less sugary. By the time I got halfway through the bottle, though, I started to pick up that advertised “lemon-lime flavor” – which, yes, is pretty much a dead ringer for the aforementioned Mist Twist.
What we’ve ended up with is a beverage with a serious identity crisis. It’s probably a bit of a stretch to say Mtn Dew Ice is basically the merger of Mountain Dew with Mist Twist, but it’s still close enough to get the gustatory point across. Instead of giving us a more Sprite-like Mountain Dew variation, Pepsi has bestowed upon us a beverage that tastes like it’s a 50/50 split between the two.
Even weirder, it’s like the two dueling tastes refuse to gel with one another. Sometimes when I take a sip, there’s a more pronounced Mountain Dew vibe and with others I swear I took a gulp of Sprite.
There’s been some caustic feedback about the product’s artificial sweeteners, but to be honest I didn’t notice anything out of the norm. While, again, it does taste slightly less sweet than normal Mountain Dew, it’s significantly sweeter than Sprite. So if that’s a turnoff for you, don’t say you weren’t warned.
Aesthetically, there isn’t much to look at – you know, because the soda itself is the same color as Crystal Pepsi, Tab Clear, and any of the Zevia cola offerings. The packaging isn’t all that impressive either – a light green palette with a few swatches of black and yellow here and there. But the canned iteration of the drink looks a bit snazzier.
While fairly predictable (if not flat-out boring) in taste and presentation, Mtn Dew Ice is a good (but not great) soft drink. Outside of the whole “it’s a caffeinated version of Sprite” hook, I’m afraid there isn’t much worth going out of your way to experience here.
(Nutrition Facts – 20 ounces – 160 calories, 0 grams of total fat, 90 milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of total carbohydrates, 41 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein.)
Purchased Price: $1.49
Size: 20 oz. bottle
Purchased at: Kroger
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: It’s a decent citrus-flavored cola with an all right caffeine kick. The hybrid Mountain Dew/Mist Twist taste is definitely intriguing. I guess it won’t stain the carpet as badly if you spill it?
Cons: The competing flavors never really come together all that harmoniously. The packaging is lame. Wondering if Pepsi meant for it to subconsciously remind consumers of Smirnoff Ice or if it’s just me?