REVIEW: Java Monster Salted Caramel

Java Monster Salted Caramel

Java Monster flavors are like Ben & Jerry’s flavors in that you could blindfold me in front of the store’s display case that holds them, spin me around multiple times while Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me ‘Round” plays on the store’s P.A. system, allow me to randomly select a flavor, slap that flavor out of my hand, yell “bad doggie” at me, hand me a different flavor, and whatever that is it’ll be tasty.

I’ve never had a horrible Ben & Jerry’s flavor, and after drinking the new Java Monster Salted Caramel, I still haven’t had a bad Java Monster flavor.

Speaking of flavors, Monster Energy, maybe we could see a Pumpkin Spice Java Monster in the fall?

Each can has 170 milligrams of caffeine that gets my heart pumpkin. I mean, pumpin’. Geez, I really want a Java Monster Pumpkin Spice. That sounds like a lot, and it is, but it’s slightly lower than other flavors. Loca Moca and Mean Bean Java Monster has 188 milligrams and Kona Blend Java Monster has 189 milligrams.

Java Monster Salted Caramel 2

The best way I can describe the coffee drink’s flavor is to say it’s caramel bookended by bursts of saltiness. Now when I write “saltiness” I’m not saying my mouth got slapped by the Morton’s Salt Girl. It’s faint and easy to miss, which I guess is a good thing because I wouldn’t want my mouth to think I’m swimming in the Dead Sea. But the saltiness is so light that if it was called Java Monster Caramel, I wouldn’t think otherwise. As for the caramel flavor, it’s as if Monster melted down Werther’s Original and added it to their coffee, milk, and sugar mixture. Overall, it’s pretty damn good.

But is it better than the other Java Monster flavors?

No.

I like them all equally. But it’s nice to have another flavor, because, I’ll be honest, I was getting a little tired of the vanilla and chocolate flavored ones.

(Nutrition Facts – 15 ounces – 180 calories, 45 calories from fat, 5 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 550 milligrams of sodium, 330 milligrams of potassium, 28 grams of carbohydrates, 25 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.79
Size: 15 oz. can
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Werther’s-like caramel flavor. Easy to drink. Never had a bad Java Monster flavor. Never had a bad Ben & Jerry’s flavor. Pumpkin Spice Java Monster?
Cons: Slightly less caffeine than other Java Monster flavors. “You Spin Me ‘Round” being the default soundtrack to being spun around. Pumpkin Spice Java Monster?

QUICK ENERGY DRINK REVIEW: Rockstar Pure Zero Watermelon Energy Drink

Rockstar Pure Zero Watermelon Energy Drink

Rockstar’s Pure Zero Watermelon Energy Drink has 240 milligrams of caffeine, so this review will have 240 words.

When I think of large fruits with lots of seeds that are popular this time of year, I think of pumpkin. But it appears Rockstar Energy thinks of watermelon. Of course, a pumpkin-flavored energy drink sounds gross, so I think Rockstar picked the right fruit for their new energy drink.

The Pure Zero line gets its name because it has zero calories and sugar. It also has zero fat, zero protein, and lots of zeroes in the 100 percent values of B vitamins it has. And, of course, there’s the zero in the 240 milligrams of caffeine it has (play Motley Crue’s “Jumpstart My Heart” intro here).

As for its flavor, imagine a watermelon slice that’s not quite ripe. Then imagine taking a bite from that slice from the side and getting a bit too much of the melon’s white part. Now imagine an artificial and candified version of that flavor and you’ll get an idea of what this energy drink tastes like. There are also moments when it has an artificial sour apple flavor.

I know my description doesn’t make it sound that good, and I didn’t care for the first few sips, but its flavor grew on me. Maybe my tastebuds are weird. Or maybe it’s the huge jolt of caffeine making me type this, but I enjoyed its flavor.

Rockstar Pure Zero Watermelon Energy Drink 2

Purchased Price: 2 for $3.00
Size: 16 oz. cans
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (8 fl. oz) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 180 milligrams of sodium, 1 gram of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, 100% niacin, 100% vitamin B12, 100% vitamin B6, and 100% pantothenic acid.

QUICK ENERGY DRINK REVIEW: Muscle Monster Banana Energy Shake

Muscle Monster Banana Energy Shake

The Muscle Monster Banana Energy Shake has 160 milligrams of caffeine, so this review will have exactly 160 words.

This energy shake gets its banana flavor from banana puree and natural flavor; its 25 grams of protein from ultrafiltered skim milk, reduced fat milk, and calcium caseinate; and its sweet, sweet caffeine from sweet, sweet caffeine.

Thanks to the banana puree, the first two or three sips were pleasant and reminded me of banana NesQuik. But then all the energy ingredients seemed to turn the flavor into bizzaro banana.

Look, before this I loved ALL banana flavored products. I even love those hated banana Runts. But this drink proves I don’t love ALL banana products. After the first few sips the banana flavor got weak, the bitterness from the energy ingredients stood out, and the aftertaste was as unpleasant as most sugar-free energy drinks.

I finished the can, but I wouldn’t buy it again. It isn’t terrible, it’s just tolerable.

Muscle Monster Banana Energy Shake 2

Purchased Price: $4.62 for 2
Size: 15 oz. cans
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (one can) 200 calories, 35 calories from fat, calories from fat, 4 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 410 milligrams of sodium, 780 milligrams of potassium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 16 grams of sugar, 25 grams of protein, 90% vitamin C, 60% calcium, 190% riboflavin, 190% niacin, and 190% vitamin B6.

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.

REVIEW: Red Bull Summer Edition Energy Drink

Red Bull Summer Edition Energy Drink

Sure, Red Bull’s Summer Edition Energy Drink looks like a urine sample sitting in a drug testing lab. But, to be fair, regular Red Bull also looks like a urine sample sitting in a drug testing lab, but from someone who’s dehydrated because they’ve been hanging out for too long in the summer heat.

If you happen to find yourself parched from the summer heat, near a 7-Eleven, and with a couple of bucks, you can purchase a somewhat refreshing 12 ounces of this tropical flavored Red Bull in a can that will remind you of the sun that caused your current parched predicament. Or you could buy a more refreshing two liter bottled water that you can drink and, with the likely leftovers, use for an impromptu wet t-shirt contest, with you being the only contestant.

Red Bull Summer Edition is a 7-Eleven exclusive flavor. It joins a long list of exclusive beverages the convenience store chain has gotten this year, like Solar Flare Mountain Dew, Green Apple Gatorade Fierce, Raspberry Citrus Vitaminwater Energy, and Dale Jr. Sour Amp Energy Drink. Suck it, Circle K!

This yellow-colored energy drink has a generic tropical aroma. If you’re wondering what generic tropical smells like without having to buy anything, go to your local Walmart. Then mosey on over to the air freshener aisle, find a spray with the word “tropical” printed on it, spray some of it into the air, and inhale those chemicals. After all that, I think you’ll get an idea of what Red Bull Summer Edition smells like…and get dirty looks from Walmart employees.

Red Bull Summer Edition Energy Drink Closeupd

The beverage is lightly carbonated, which makes it easy to consume, but is less nose-tickling fun when poured into a glass. However, it’s taste bud-tickling fun when consumed. It has a delightful sweet flavor that wasn’t too syrupy. I could taste pineapple, orange, papaya, and maybe mango, but the pineapple stood out. It was almost like drinking pineapple juice, but there isn’t any pineapple, orange, papaya, or mango juice in the ingredients list. But there is “Artificial and Natural Flavors.” Vague? Yes. But not as vague as the last ingredient listed…

Red Bull Summer Edition Energy Drink Colors

…Colors.

I’m someone who likes the odd medicinal flavor of regular Red Bull and the odd medicinal artificial sweetener-laden flavor of Sugar Free Red Bull. I’m also a fan of the Red, Blue, and Silver Editions. But Red Bull’s Summer Edition is now my favorite flavor. It has a nice tropical flavor with a slight sour back end, it’s not too syrupy, and it comes in 12-ounce cans and not the smaller 8.4-ounce one.

I see myself urinating it out a lot this summer.

Disclosure: I received a free sample of Red Bull Summer Edition from Red Bull. I believe this satisfies the FTC requirement. If not, I shall add, I did not receive any monetary compensation for this review.

(Nutrition Facts – 160 calories, 0 grams of fat, 200 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 39 grams of sugar, less than 1 gram of protein, 140% niacin, 120% vitamin B12, 360% vitamin B6, and 70% pantothenic acid.)

Item: Red Bull Summer Edition Energy Drink
Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 12 oz. can
Purchased at: Received from Red Bull
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Nice tropical flavor. Not in an 8.4-ounce can. 114 milligrams of sweet, sweet caffeine per can. Smooth. Passing drug tests.
Cons: “Colors” is an ingredient? 7-Eleven exclusive. Limited edition. No juice. Not passing drug tests.

QUICK REVIEW: Rockstar Pure Zero Energy Drink (Punched and Silver Ice)

Rockstar Pure Zero Energy Drink (Punched and Silver Ice)

Purchased Price: $1.50 each
Size: 16 oz. cans
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Punched)
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Silver Ice)
Pros: Punched has a pleasant, but not too sweet, fruit punch flavor. Silver Ice has an equally pleasant and not too sweet citrus flavor. No calories. Sugar free. They don’t really taste like zero sugar drinks. 80 milligrams of caffeine per serving gives a nice boost of energy. Light carbonation makes them easy to drink. Punched has a cute pink color that Hello Kitty would enjoy.
Cons: Artificial sweeteners become noticeable as they gets warmer. They obviously copied the idea of textured cans from Monster Energy.

Nutrition Facts: 8 fl. oz. – 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 180 milligrams of sodium, 1 gram of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, 1 gram of erythritol, 0 grams of protein, 100% niacin, 100% vitamin B12, 100% vitamin B6, and 100% pantothenic acid.)