REVIEW: Mtn Dew Amp Game Fuel

Mtn Dew Amp Game Fuel

When Mtn Dew started using a variety of sweeteners to bring down the sugar levels in its newer limited edition flavors, I was fine with it. Instead of only high fructose corn syrup, the brand used a mixture of HFCS, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium.

As someone who enjoys diet soda, I didn’t mind the sweetener switch, but others shook their fists at Mtn Dew, and I just shook my head at them.

But now I’m wondering if I should shake my fists at Mtn Dew and shake my head at myself because I’m not sure I like Mtn Dew’s new Amp Game Fuel that uses the sweetener combo mentioned above.

According to its website, the new line was developed in partnership with pros and elite amateurs to create the first beverage designed just for gamers. It’s formulated with ingredients that have been shown to improve accuracy and alertness — caffeine (90 mg) and theanine. So I guess one could say it’s like the Gatorade for gamers.

The cans themselves features a tactile grip and resealable tab (more on that later). There are currently four flavors — Cherry Burst, Berry Blast, Tropical Strike, and Original Dew Destruction. Okay, actually, it’s just called “Original Dew,” but I felt bad it didn’t have a cool video game sounding name, so I gave it one.

While Amp Game Fuel’s name is a combination of other Mtn Dew lines, the actual beverage is more like another, Kickstart. They have similar consistencies. Both are not as syrupy and carbonated as the original soda, making them easier to drink.

Mtn Dew Amp Game Fuel 2

As for how they taste, most of them remind me of other Dew flavors I’ve had, but diet versions of them because they have an artificial sweetener aftertaste. Drinking the Original Dew version is like chugging on a Diet Mountain Dew. The cherry one, which isn’t like a Diet Code Red, teeters on the line between medicine and beverage, which makes it my least favorite of the four. The yellow one has a nice tropical vibe that seems to be a combination of pineapple and lime. The blue one, while I know it’s berry flavored, at times reminds me of cotton candy. Because of that, it ended up being my favorite of the bunch, slightly ahead of Tropical Strike.

To be honest, when I first tried them, I didn’t care for them, and I was shaking my fist at Mtn Dew. But, because I bought a 12-can variety pack from Amazon and it doesn’t have a Costco-like return policy, I had to drink them again. Doing so made me like them a little more, even the cherry one. But they’re not good enough that I can guarantee I’ll repurchase them.

But what about my accuracy and alertness?

I’m not a gamer, but I am a writer, and accuracie and afertness are tools I need while writing and editing. Did Amp Game Fuel improve them? Sure, but I didn’t notice any difference from what I usually drink, which is coffee or whatever energy drink is on sale at 7-Eleven.

What I’m more impressed with is the resealable plastic tab. It’s simple to use and does an excellent job of preventing the carbonation from fading. It also makes me feel as if I’m flipping up the head of a Transformer with hydraulic sound effects. But the treehugger in me is wondering how recyclable the aluminum can is because the plastic tab doesn’t come off easily. The idea of these cans messing with recycling centers makes me worry.

If you’re a gamer and want to improve, this will not help you as much as in-game purchases will. If you’re a hardcore Dew fan who hates all the ace-k and sucralose going into your Dew, you will definitely shake your fist at Amp Game Fuel.

Purchased Price: $19.99
Size: 12-can variety pack
Purchased at: Amazon
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Original Dew)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Cherry Burst)
Rating: 6 ouf ot 10 (Tropical Strike)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Berry Blast)
Nutrition Facts: (1 can – all flavors) 90 calories, 0 grams of fat, 180 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 23 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Java Monster Swiss Chocolate

Java Monster Swiss Chocolate

What is the Java Monster Swiss Chocolate?

It promises “the taste of Swiss chocolate paired with premium coffee and cream and supercharged with our Monster Energy Blend.” It’s currently a Dollar General exclusive flavor.

How is it?

Java Monster Swiss Chocolate 2

When poured, the color is the same as heavily creamed coffee, with a scent to match. The java flavor is strong without being overpowering. It’s not as tooth-cracklingly sweet as some other pre-made coffee beverages I’ve had, though it still has a “syrupy” character.

As a regular energy drink consumer, I’m on the lookout for that medicinal energy drink aftertaste, the one that makes it seem like the manufacturer crushed up a multivitamin into your drink. I detect some, but it’s so small that it could easily be a sense memory of the hundreds of other energy drinks I’ve had.

Java Monster Swiss Chocolate 3

The chocolate flavor is very slight. I don’t want to alarm you, but it’s possible the chocolate element in this beverage actually has no connection at all to Switzerland, and “Swiss” was added to the name in an attempt to brand the product as more exotic and exciting than it really is. Shocking, I know. There’s so little of it here that I don’t think it deserves top billing, naming-wise.

Is there anything else you need to know?

I usually drink my coffee hot, so I was curious what would happen if I heated this in the microwave for a few seconds. I’m secretly hoping the added thermal energy will have some strange alchemical effect and transmute the Monster Energy Blend into a Jekyll/Hyde concoction, allowing me to unleash the beast within.

Alas, the beast must remain chained, as heating only has the effect of making it hotter. If anything, the heat distracts from the already very slight Monster Energy Blend flavor, turning this into a plain hot cup of joe.

Conclusion:

Java Monster Swiss Chocolate delivers a decent coffee flavor with a slight chocolate note. It’s not bad but doesn’t separate itself from a hundred other options.

Purchased Price: $2.10
Size: 15 fl. oz.
Purchased at: Dollar General
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 210 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 440 milligrams of sodium, 500 milligrams of potassium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 35 of sugar, and 8 grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Monster Pacific Punch Energy Juice

Monster Pacific Punch Energy Juice

What is the Monster Pacific Punch Energy Juice?

It’s a tropical fruit punch-flavored Monster Energy Juice that comes in a can that looks like the textbook margins of that person in the back of the class who’s great at drawing, but not good at paying attention in class.

It has more fruit than a Carmen Miranda hat (Google her). There’s orange juice concentrate, apple juice concentrate, raspberry juice concentrate, guava puree, cherry juice concentrate, pineapple juice concentrate, and passionfruit juice concentrate.

How is it?

I wondered how similar this would taste to Monster’s Pipeline Punch – one of my favorite Monster Energy flavors – because they both are tropical fruit punch. After drinking both, Pacific Punch leans more towards what most taste buds would associate with fruit punch. Think of it as carbonated Hawaiian Punch that’ll punch your heart with 160 milligrams of sweet, sweet caffeine per can.

Monster Pacific Punch Energy Juice 2

Pipeline Punch tastes more “tropical” to me than Pacific Punch, but I enjoy both equally. I don’t know if this is a permanent addition to the Monster Juice lineup, but I hope it is because it’s really tasty.

Is there anything else I need to know?

It smells like a red popsicle.

I said it before, and I’ll say it again. Energy drink companies are getting really good at making their energy drinks not taste like energy drinks. And Pacific Punch is no exception. It was super easy to drink.

Conclusion:

Another great job by Monster Energy. If you want a fruit punch with a caffeinated kick, Monster Pacific Punch is what you should be drinking.

Purchased Price: $1.99
Size: 16 oz. can
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (16 oz.) 220 calories, 0 grams of fat, 80 milligrams of sodium, 54 grams of carbohydrates, 52 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Red Bull Summer Edition Coconut Berry Energy Drink

Red Bull The Summer Edition Coconut Berry Energy Drink

What is it?

Red Bull’s latest summer edition variety. It follows last year’s Grapefruit Twist. It combines artificial coconut and berry flavors into an energy drink that gives you wings.

How is it?

Red Bull The Summer Edition Coconut Berry Energy Drink 2

If you dislike artificial coconut because it smells and tastes as if you’re applying sunscreen with your tongue, then this is not for you. It’s a little surprising that coconut water wasn’t used. The coconut hit my nose and tongue hard enough that I was taken aback by it a little. But by the third sip, I got used to it.

The berry seems to be blue raspberry, and its color, which looks like what happens when you wring a Smurf, seems to supports that. The overall flavor leans more towards coconut with the berry’s tartness in the background.

Is there anything else I need to know?

When I look at the bright white can and taste the berries, for some reason, all I can think about are Fruit of the Loom tighty-whities. Of course, you may not experience that. But just by me mentioning it, increases the odds of you thinking that. You’re welcome. Do not spit this energy drink out whities, I mean, while thinking about folks dancing with Fruit of the Loom tighty-whities. That would be a waste because it’s a tasty beverage.

Conclusion:

To be honest, I was skeptical of Red Bull’s Summer Edition Coconut Berry because the combination is odd. When coconut is involved, it’s always paired with other “tropical” fruits. But it turned out to be a great flavor.

Purchased Price: $3.49
Size: 12 fl. oz.
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 160 calories, 0 grams of fat, 125 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 38 grams of sugar, less than 1 gram of protein, and 114 milligrams of caffeine.

SPOTTED ON SHELVES: Red Bull Summer Edition Coconut Berry Energy Drink

Red Bull Summer Edition Coconut Berry Energy Drink

(Spotted by Zach at Safeway.)

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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.