REVIEW: Rockstar Unplugged Energy Drink

Rockstar Unplugged Cans

Rockstar Unplugged?

Folks, the only Rockstar Unplugged I care about is Kurt Cobain circa 1993.

Oh, Me. That was Dumb. All Apologies.

And let’s just throw one more track from Nirvana’s classic MTV Unplugged setlist right here – Come as You Are… to this review of Rockstar’s new hemp seed-infused energy drinks!

Heh? No? Alright, alright, I’ll just review the drinks now.

Rockstar Unplugged is a new line of beverages that combine hemp seed oil, B vitamins, spearmint, and lemon balm for a “fruit-forward energy boost that helps maintain an easy-going, free-flowing and soul-fueling attitude for any mood or occasion.” Whew.

That contradicts what I expect from an energy drink, but whatever Bruh, I dig the vibe.

I tracked down two of the three flavors – Blueberry and Passion Fruit. Rockstar also released a Raspberry Cucumber variety, but no one told any store within a 20-mile radius of me.

Rockstar Unplugged Passion Fruit 1

Passion Fruit is a fruit I’ve never eaten, but a flavor I enjoy from various other drinks and candy.

For something called “Unplugged,” the yellow color is ELECTRIC. Unfortunately, the carbonation was weak, so the drink itself never lived up to the color’s vibrancy. It didn’t have that POP I was hoping for.

Taste-wise, it was just generic “tropical fruit,” and a bit too sweet. The flavor reminded me of those little hard guava candies you get after sushi dinners, if you know what I mean.

Rockstar Unplugged Blueberry 2

Blueberry looked and smelled incredible. I thought I was about to drink some Great Blue-dini Kool-Aid, which made me ponder – is blueberry a unique energy drink flavor? Normally when I see a blue energy drink, I expect some uber-masculine name like “Razzmatazz Haymaker” or “Electric Bluedriver,” but here we just get little old blueberry, and it succeeds.

It wasn’t too sweet, leaning more towards a slightly underripe blueberry flavor, but in no way bitter or sour. Not sure why, but the carbonation was also stronger. It “popped,” with a sharp taste that finished with a mellow, satisfying sweetness.

With that said, they both left a light coating in my mouth that I guess I’ll chalk up to the “herbal blend” and hemp seed oil? It wasn’t gross by any means, but was mildly off-putting.

Rockstar Unplugged Both 2

In the end, they’re mid-tier energy drinks, but I’m glad Rockstar tried something new because I feel like they’re getting swallowed up by Red Bull, Monster, and Bang – which seems to have conquered about 75% of every convenience store I go to these days. (When did Bang explode on the scene?)

I drank both in the afternoon and never felt jittery at all. They kept me pretty alert for the rest of the day, so if that’s what adding hemp does to an energy drink, Rockstar Unplugged might be onto something big here. It was borderline Nirvana.

That’s what we call a “really bad callback.”

Overall, I like this concept, but I don’t think Red Bull is in any danger of losing my business. I’ll probably get the blueberry Unplugged a few times this summer, and I hope to find Raspberry Cucumber someday.

Purchased Price: $1.69 each
Size: 12 fl oz cans
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Blueberry), 5 out of 10 (Passion Fruit)
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 50 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugars, 0 grams of protein, 1.53 milligrams of Vitamin B, and 80 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Monster Aussie Lemonade Energy Juice

Monster Aussie Lemonade Energy Juice Can

What is Monster Energy Juice Aussie Lemonade?

I’ll let the Monster Energy website explain:

Inspired by the land down under with over 10,000 beaches, the Great Barrier Reef, and home to some of the most exotic citrus on earth comes Juice Monster Aussie Style Lemonade.

Monster’s twist on classic lemonade, we hit the ideal balance of tart and sweet with a burst of fresh citrus flavor. As always, it’s chockers with our world-famous Monster Energy Blend.

Bonza.

How is it?

It’s lemonade with a little something-something, and it’s heaps good and refreshing.

Monster Aussie Lemonade Energy Juice Yellow

Monster’s description of it is accurate. It does have the ideal balance of tart and sweet, making it easy to drink. It’s not sour enough to make my lips pucker, but it does make my lips want to take more sips of it. Much like other Monster Juice varieties, there is nothing in its taste to indicate there are 160 milligrams of caffeine and only 2% fruit juice floating in the can.

That “something-something” I mentioned earlier tastes like lime to me. It’s almost as if someone mixed lemonade with some lemon-lime soda. While lemon juice is an ingredient, lime juice isn’t. So I might be bloody wrong.

Anything else you need to know?

I have no idea what Aussie-style lemonade is because most of the top Google search results for it ended up being about this energy drink. And that makes me wonder if it’s a thing that Monster Energy made up. I did learn that if you order lemonade in Australia, you’ll get a lemon-lime soda, like Sprite. I also found a recipe for Aussie-style lemonade that involves sugar, water, lemon juice, and finely shredded lemon rinds. But that was the ONLY recipe I found.

Can any of our Australian readers clue us into what the fat-tailed dunnart is Aussie-style lemonade? Do we have Australian readers?

Also, the Great Barrier Reef can design is bonza.

Conclusion:

While Monster Aussie Lemonade Energy Juice is a ripper, I don’t think it’s as great as Monster Pacific Punch or Pipeline Punch. But it’s a tasty, easy-drinking lemonade with a nice 160-milligram caffeine kick.

Purchased Price: More than anyone should pay on eBay
Size: 16 fl oz can
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 190 calories, 0 grams of fat, 150 milligrams of sodium, 50 grams of carbohydrates, 46 grams of sugar (46 grams of added sugar), 0 grams of protein, and 160 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Bang Energy Blue & Yellow Limoncello

Bang Energy Blue  Yellow Limoncello Can

What is Bang Energy Blue & Yellow Limoncello?

My favorite way of turning into a human hummingbird by punishing my heart with 300 milligrams of hardcore caffeine (plus SUPER CREATINE! And CoQ10s!! And zero calories!!!) gets a Walmart-exclusive (hence “blue and yellow”) flavor inspired by the traditional Italian lemon liqueur Limoncello.

How is it?

Bang Energy Blue  Yellow Limoncello Glass

Smooth and lemony with a subtle creaminess on the back-end, B&YL sort of tastes like if you made a cake with Sprite. While perusing Bang’s subreddit (which mostly seems to be extremely amped up teens angry at being unable to find certain flavors), one person suggested that it tastes like “those lemon butter cakes you find at gas stations,” another said “tastes exactly like Limoncello LaCroix,” and another user stated “tastes like zebra cake to me,” which, well, uh, hmm. I see. I agreed with the first two things, though!

Anything else you need to know?

This isn’t the first Bang exclusive to a particular retailer. Last fall, the antiquely named Vitamin Shoppe introduced Nectarine Blueberry. Once I figure out where a Vitamin Shoppe is, I’m all over this one, too.

Conclusion:

It’s a shame that this is a Walmart-exclusive flavor, honestly. If it were more convenient to pick up, I’d be inclined to work this into my Wyldin’ Watermelon/Delish Strawberry Kiss/Key Lime Pie rotation. If you’re a Bang completist — or just someone who feels like they might want to imbibe an extremely caffeinated liquid lemon cake — you’ll want to check it out.

Purchased Price: $2.08
Size: 16 fl oz can
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 0 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 40 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, less than 0 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar including 0 grams added sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Mtn Dew Energy Cherry Lime Lift

Mtn Dew Energy Cherry Lime Lift Can

What is Mtn Dew Energy Cherry Lime Lift?

In March of 2021, PepsiCo released Mtn Dew Rise, a series of six Dew drinks marketed to morning coffee drinkers, loaded with 180 milligrams of caffeine, fruit juice, vitamins, and zinc for immune support. After losing a court battle late last year with Rise Brewing, a ready-to-drink coffee company founded in 2014, Mtn Dew was forced to drop “Rise” from its name and return as Mtn Dew Energy, bringing with it a new flavor — Cherry Lime Lift.

How is it?

My love of cherry lime goes way back to the Shirley Temple days. There was nothing quite like that Sprite mixed with cherry syrup when going out for dinner in the 90s before my caffeine addiction and ability to consume alcohol — the pinnacle of drinkable treats. In adulthood, I’ve remained fond of the flavor combo, so I was stoked that Mtn Dew would rise from the ashes with this winning duo, and they pulled it off well.

Mtn Dew Energy Cherry Lime Lift Top

The flavor is a near perfect 50/50 split of cherry and lime, with distinct cherry candy sweetness on the front and crisp, citrusy lime on the finish. The carbonation is medium, milder and smoother than other energy drinks like Bang and Reign, and I prefer a touch more bubbles, especially when accenting sharp citrus.

The fruit juice plays a minimal role. In this case, it’s white grape, and I think it’s there more as a marketing ploy than to provide depth of flavor. If anything, the actual juice is less sweet than the artificial sweeteners that make up the rest of the ingredients and most products in this category, which pulls back a bit on the sugariness and punchiness of the cherry lime.

Anything else you need to know?

Mtn Dew Energy Cherry Lime Lift Red

In addition to the even split of cherry and lime, there’s a very distinct Dew flavor that rounds out the profile. If you’ve had any kind of Mtn Dew product, you’ll know what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t, well, then you need to try it to know! It’s in all the flavors from original to Baja Blast to this brand new Dew Energy, and it’s less of a specific flavor note than it is an underlining essence. You’ll know it when ya taste it, trust me. It’s not a bad flavor at all, I actually enjoy the familiarity of it, but it does slightly lessen the purity of the other key flavors.

Conclusion:

It may not take the throne from my two favorites of the original Rise launch — Pomegranate Blue Burst and Tropical Sunrise — but it’s a great addition to the Energy line and very true to its name.

Purchased Price: $1.79
Size: 16 oz can
Purchased at: Lucky
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 25 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 170 milligrams of sodium, 5 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Monster Energy Ultra Peachy Keen

Monster Energy Ultra Peachy Keen Cans

What is Monster Energy Ultra Peachy Keen?

It’s a peach-flavored addition to Monster Energy’s sugar-free Ultra line, which mainly has one-word product names like Gold, Watermelon, Fiesta, Rosa, Paradise, Violet, Red, Blue, and Black.

How is it?

Well, I’m happy to say that Peachy Keen is peachy-keen, jelly bean!

With the previously mentioned Ultra Gold, I felt the pineapple flavor wasn’t strong enough. But that’s not the case with this flavor that has a peachy punch that makes my oral portal perceive it’s packed with peach gummy rings.

I feel as if I’ve used that reference before with another peach-flavored energy drink, but I can’t help it because that’s EXACTLY what this tastes like, except in a liquid form that doesn’t stick to your teeth like gummy rings do.

Monster Energy Ultra Peachy Keen Closeup

I’m enamored with this energy drink so much that I’m a bit sad that I could only find it in 12-ounce slim cans. But I’ve seen images of it in the standard 16-ounce can. If you haven’t had a slim can Monster energy drink, this one has 110 milligrams of caffeine.

Also, although this is a sugar-free energy drink, I can imagine some might find this flavor to be a bit too sweet. I don’t, but others might.

Anything else you need to know?

Monster Energy Ultra Peachy Keen Design

The can’s design has a 60s motif with hippies, peace signs, flowers, smiley faces, and a love wagon. And the copy on the can’s side references the summer of love. Now, I wasn’t born in the 60s, but peachy-keen seems like it’s pre-hippie. Can some groovy person set me straight about that?

The first reference of the term “peachy-keen” happened in the 1950s. But the hippie movement in the US didn’t start until the mid-1960s. I know slang can survive decades because I use “rad” all the time, but was that the case with “peachy-keen”?

Also, I’m surprised this wasn’t called Peace Peach. Although, now that I think about it, I imagine that might cause the opposite of peace with Peace Tea’s peach flavor.

Conclusion:

Peachy Keen is a far out tasting addition to Monster’s Ultra line. It’s definitely one of my top three favorite Monster Ultra flavors. If you’re a fan of peach gummy rings and caffeine, this will satisfy your taste buds and bloodstream.

Purchased Price: More than one should pay on eBay
Size: 12 oz cans (available in a multi-pack)
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 230 milligrams of sodium, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, and 110 milligrams of caffeine.