REVIEW: Rockstar Limited Edition Samurai Cola

Rockstar Limited Edition Samurai Cola Can

What is Rockstar Limited Edition Samurai Cola?

A cherry cola-flavored energy drink that promotes the highly anticipated video game Cyberpunk 2077. It’s a game I will not play because I do not own a machine that can run it, and I’m still nauseous from playing DOOM back in the 90s.

How is it?

It tastes better than Cherry Coca-Cola Energy, which is an energy drink I found to be underwhelming. What’s disappointing about it is that it tastes more like an energy drink than a Cherry Coke. Okay, I imagine some of you are yelling at your screen something like, “Of course, it tastes that way! It’s. An. Energy. Drink.”

I get what you’re yelling, but here’s the thing, energy drink companies, like Rockstar and Monster, are now excellent at making their products not taste like energy drinks. They are using flavor and/or sugar to mask those bitter, energy-giving ingredients. And that’s what Rockstar did with its Samurai Cola, which has a strong, guarana-masking fruity flavor.

Rockstar Limited Edition Samurai Cola Rocks

While I think it’s tasty and easy to drink, I’ll admit some folks might find the syrupy cherry flavor to be a bit too heavy, taking things into cough syrup territory, and the overall taste is a tad below Cherry Coke and Wild Cherry Pepsi.

Anything else you need to know?

240 milligrams of caffeine per can.

Also, T79HC628FHKL and K3928VH6N67X.

Conclusion:

With limited edition products, a question I ask myself is, “Would I want this to come back or be permanent?” My answer for Rockstar Limited Edition Samurai Cola is yes. I enjoyed it, and I feel we need more highly caffeinated colas in the world.

Purchased Price: More than one should pay on eBay
Size: 16 fl oz can
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 250 calories, 0 grams of fat, 15 milligrams of sodium, 63 grams of carbohydrates, 63 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Starbucks Tripleshot Energy Zero Sugar

Starbucks Tripleshot Energy Zero Sugar Cans

What is Starbucks Tripleshot Energy Zero Sugar?

Starbucks’ regular Tripleshot line of beverages promises an extra energy boost thanks to added B vitamins, guarana, and ginseng, with the latter two helping to lift the caffeine content to 225 milligrams. The new Zero Sugar line, available in Black and Vanilla flavors, promises all that without sugar.

How is it?

Starbucks Tripleshot Energy Zero Sugar Black

Both flavors pour black. Unlike most Starbucks grocery items, there’s no added milk here. I taste the Black first and am pleased that it’s not overly sweet and without an artificial sweetener aftertaste. The coffee itself is fairly nondescript, without any overtly positive or negative characteristics. It’s not bitter, or astringent, or flat-tasting, but there’s nothing of much interest either.

Starbucks Tripleshot Energy Zero Sugar Vanilla

I tend to agree with those who think Starbucks roasts its beans too darkly, so the roasted flavor dominates and lingers too long for my taste. The same can be said of the Vanilla variety. Although in this case, the vanilla flavor has an artificial character that battles with the dark roast to see which is more slightly off-putting. Both are entirely drinkable, but neither offers anything to highly recommend them.

Anything else you need to know?

In my experience, there are two kinds of people who are perhaps a bit too proud of the coffee they drink. Some will breathlessly tell you about their favorite third-wave tasting studio that just got in a new Yirgacheffe that can only be found on a single Ethiopian hill and must be harvested by the light of the full moon during a leap year. Then there are those who will regale you of the absolute swill they’ve drunk, just the worst dregs imaginable. Maybe it was actually scrapings from a hospital cafeteria grease trap? They don’t know, but they drank it, dammit!

Starbucks regularly earns the contempt of both these groups. Luckily for Starbucks, that leaves the vast majority of coffee drinkers: those who want to be able to go to any random street corner and find a cup of coffee that’s consistent and better than what their Mr. Coffee can produce. The Tripleshot Energy Zero Sugar beverages are for people who like coffee just fine. So if they’re in a convenience store, they might choose it instead of their usual Red Bull.

Conclusion:

As someone with a locally roasted Ethiopian Yirgacheffe on my coffee shelf right now, these Tripleshots taste like decent coffee that’s been allowed to get too cold. It’s not a terrible option if you’re looking for a quick pick-me-up, but it’s not something I’d regularly drink. Then again, I am an unbearable hipster, so your mileage may vary.

Purchased Price: $2.09
Size: 15 fl oz (442 ml)
Purchased at: Woodman’s Market
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 25 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 25 milligrams of sodium, 5 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Monster Papillon and Khaotic Energy Juices

Monster Papillon and Khaotic Energy Juices Cans

Much like the other Monster Juice line varieties, the artwork on the new Monster Papillon and Khaotic cans are striking. Both have a common theme — LSD hallucinations, I mean, butterflies.

Khaotic features light use of butterflies, while Papillon (French for butterfly) has large ones in its design. I also thought about putting a line or two about the butterfly effect here, but my brain shut down while attempting to comprehend its Wikipedia. Or I might’ve fallen asleep. I should’ve chugged one of these energy juices while reading it. The 160 milligrams of caffeine in each can might’ve helped.

Khaotic is a reformulation of the original Monster Energy Juice flavor, Khaos. According to the can, the flavor was lightened up, and the juice blend was adjusted. While Khaos has 30% juice, this has just 10%. According to its can, Papillon has a light, subtle flavor with hints of peach and nectarine, and it contains 5% juice.

Monster Papillon and Khaotic Energy Juices Glasses

As you can see in the photo above, both are orange, which might make you wonder whether the poured out beverages are sitting next to their appropriate cans. Is the lighter orange Papillon or Khaotic? Is the darker orange one Khaotic or Papillon? Am I messing with you, and the photo is actually correct? I guess you’ll have to purchase both to find out.

And if you do buy both, neither will disappoint because they’re tasty.

While Papillon’s can mentions peach and nectarine, the ingredients list specifies apple, peach, pear, and pineapple juice concentrates, along with mango and banana purees. Its aroma doesn’t quite smell like peach to me. Instead, my nose detects passion fruit. The flavor is peach-heavy, but at the backend I taste passion fruit, which is odd since the fruit isn’t mentioned on the can. Maybe the tropical ingredients listed give it that flavor.

It’s been a while since I had Khaos, but I remember not being impressed with it. But Khaotic is mighty refreshing, and it sure doesn’t taste like it has less juice. Much like Papillon, it contains a chaotic list of juice concentrates — apple, orange, peach, tangerine, pineapple, and white grape. All those fruits give it a tropical-like flavor, with pineapple and citrus standing out the most. It’s a great flavor, and I like it a tad more than Papillon.

Overall, both are great tasting additions to the Monster Juice line. While I don’t think they overtake my favorites, Pacific Punch and Pipeline Punch, I see myself buying either to mix it up every so often.

Purchased Price: More than I should on eBay
Size: 16 fl oz cans
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Papillon), 8 out of 10 (Khaotic)
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) Papillon – 200 calories, 0 grams of fat, 190 milligrams of sodium, 50 grams of carbohydrates, 48 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein. Khaotic – 160 calories, 0 grams of fat, 115 milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 37 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Monster Energy Ultra Watermelon

Monster Energy Ultra Watermelon Can

Monster Energy Ultra Watermelon confuses me.

With fireworks on the can and it being watermelon flavored, which is known as a summer flavor, it’s odd to be drinking this in mid-October instead of on the fourth day of July. It’s like eating pumpkin spice products in June.

Some of you might be thinking this was released in the summer, but it wasn’t. It’s showing up now, in October.

Although, maybe Monster is trying to be sly here. The fireworks aren’t for Independence Day. Instead, they’re for New Year’s Eve. And watermelon was chosen because of the fruit’s colors, not because of its flavor. Because red and green, which are prominent on the can, are two of the primary Christmas colors.

Or maybe Monster Energy is trying once again to outdo its competitor, Red Bull, by releasing its watermelon flavor earlier than Red Bull did. You see, this year, Red Bull’s Summer Edition Watermelon rolled into stores in February, which, according to a calendar, was still winter. Which means there was still spring to go through before summer rolled around. By releasing this in October, it means we have to go through THREE seasons before we get to next summer.

Or maybe Monster was supposed to release it during summer but decided not to for some reason.

Anyhoo, Monster Energy Ultra Watermelon is the next Ultra flavor in the Ultra line, which is getting ultra long.

Monster Energy Ultra Watermelon Closeup

When I sniff the beverage, it smells like I’ve just added hot water to strawberry Jell-O gelatin mix. Its flavor, well, I really hate to use this comparison because it’s the most commonly used one when describing artificially flavored watermelon beverages, reminds me of a Jolly Rancher Watermelon hard candy. But, I also occasionally notice a bit of artificial strawberry in the aftertaste.

I haven’t tried the Red Bull I mentioned earlier, so I can’t compare it. But this energy drink is super tasty and has a pleasant level of sourness. Although, I wish it was a bit more unique than something I’ve experienced with many other watermelon products. I’m no food scientist, but maybe it’s hard to deviate from the ingredients used to create the fruity flavor.

Like the entire Ultra line, it’s a zero sugar energy drink. Also, the artificial sweeteners aren’t really noticeable to my taste buds when it’s chilled.

Overall, Monster Energy Ultra Watermelon with its 150 milligrams of caffeine is another excellent variety in the Ultra line. And I can totally see myself drinking another on a warm fall, winter, spring, or summer day.

Purchased Price: More than anyone should pay
Size: 16 fl oz can
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, 180 milligrams of sodium, 6 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, 2 grams of erythritol, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Red Bull Winter Edition Arctic Berry Energy Drink

Red Bull Winter Edition Arctic Berry Can

Maybe my head is broken, but I swear this Red Bull Winter Edition Arctic Berry Energy Drink smelled and tasted like blueberry with my first sip. Of course, that’s impossible because there’s already a blueberry-flavored Red Bull. And it clearly states it’s a “cool raspberry” flavor on the can.

This Winter Edition Red Bull started being available in Summer 2020. Yes, it’s a bit early, but not surprising anymore since the brand released its 2020 Summer Edition in Winter 2020. Ugh. I feel I broke my head a little more by typing the first half of this paragraph. I could really use something that vitalizes my body and mind. Arctic Berry replaces Plum Twist, which was the Winter Edition from 2018-2019 in the U.S.

Red Bull Winter Edition Arctic Berry Closeup

The energy drink looks like a pre-freezer or melted Louie-Bloo Raspberry Otter Pop, but it doesn’t taste like one was poured into a Red Bull. It’s a blue raspberry-flavored Red Bull, but its tartness is heavier than an Otter Pop. And, of course, there’s that medicinal aftertaste the energy drink is known for. The blueberry scent I initially sniffed turned into a cotton candy-like aroma as I nursed the can.

It’s an okay flavor, but I wouldn’t repurchase it. There’s something about it that I don’t quite like, and I’ve been wracking my possibly broken head trying to figure out why. I enjoy blue raspberry-flavored products (Louie-Bloo Raspberry has always been my favorite Otter Pop), but maybe my taste buds think it doesn’t go well with Red Bull. I dunno. I asked my friends Little Orphan Orange, Alexander the Grape, and Poncho Punch, but they don’t know why either.

Like all 12-ounce cans of Red Bull, this also has 114 milligrams of caffeine, which gave me a decent energy boost. Also, I kind of like the muted baby blue can color.

Arctic Berry is not my favorite Winter Edition Red Bull. Granted, there have only been two in the US, so it can either be the best or second-best (or worst) US Winter Edition Red Bull at this time. So I guess it’s the second-best. It’s definitely much lower down the list when it comes to all the brand’s flavors.

Purchased Price: Paid way too much on eBay
Size: 12 fl oz can
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 5 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, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Monster Hydro Super Sport

Monster Hydro Super Sport

What is Monster Hydro Super Sport?

It’s a spinoff of Monster’s Hydro sports drink line. There are two varieties available — Blue Streak and Red Dawg. Like all sports drinks, they have electrolytes, but these also contain 200 milligrams of sweet, sweet caffeine and 1000 milligrams of BCAAs, which could be what makes them “super.”

We all know what caffeine is, but if you don’t know what branched-chained amino acids are (Full Disclosure: I had to look up the acronym BCAA, which I thought was British Colombia Athletic Association), then here’s a Wikipedia link, so I don’t have to drop some science on you.

How is it?

I usually post photos of the beverages in a container that inappropriate, like a soda in a brandy snifter, but this time I didn’t because I drank it all straight from the bottles before I got a chance to take any pictures. But if you want a visual of it in your mind, think of a Louie-Bloo Raspberry Otter Pop for Blue Streak and any fruit punch you can think of for Red Dawg. As for how they taste, you can also think of a Louie-Bloo Raspberry Otter Pop for Blue Streak and a red Popsicle for Red Dawg.

It’s funny that these sports drinks for super intense workouts taste like children’s frozen pops. Maybe Monster Hydro Super Sport is going for nostalgia?

Anything else you need to know?

I like the flavors of Monster Hydro Super Sport, but I love their size. For about the same price, I can get a regular canned Monster Energy Drink that comes in 16-ounce cans or these that come in 25.4-ounce bottles, which I can sip from a little bit longer than canned Monster Energy Drinks.

Conclusion:

Monster Hydro Super Sport Blue Streak and Red Dawg are great tasting addition to the Monster Hydro line.

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: 24.5 ounce bottles
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 7 out of 10 (both)
Nutrition Facts: (12 fl oz) Blue Streak – 35 calories, 0 grams of fat, 200 milligrams of sodium, 11 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein. Red Dawg – 35 calories, 0 grams of fat, 200 milligrams of sodium, 9 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.