REVIEW LIGHTNING ROUND (ENERGY DRINK EDITION) – 1/24/2013

Here are some quick reviews of new-ish energy drinks we’re too lazy to write full reviews for:

Rockstar Recovery Tea:Lemonade

Item: Rockstar Recovery Tea/Lemonade
Purchased Price: $1.67
Size: 16 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Decent tasting. Lack of carbonation makes it easy to drink. Contains tea. Only 20 calories and 2 grams of sugar per can. It’s got electrolytes! 240 mg of caffeine per can.
Cons: Not an equal balance of tea and lemonade; it’s significantly more artificial lemonadey. 240 mg of caffeine would, at best, keep Arnold Palmer up for 48 hours, at worst, kill him. When it gets slightly warm the artificial sweeteners stand out more.
Other reviews: Caffeine King, Energy Drink Heaven, Caffeine! The Energy Blog

Rockstar SuperSours Bubbleberry Energy Drink

Item: Rockstar SuperSours Bubbleberry
Purchased Price: $1.67
Size: 16 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Initial bubblegum flavor was somewhat pleasant. If the 120 mg of caffeine per 8-ounce serving doesn’t wake you up, the unpleasant sourness will.
Cons: Unpleasant sour flavor at the back end ruined this drink for me. SuperSour? More like SuperSoI’mNotGoingToDrinkThisAgain.
Other reviews: Energy Drink Heaven, Caffeine King, Caffeine! The Energy Blog

Monster Zero Ultra Energy Drink

Item: Monster Energy Zero Ultra
Purchased Price: $1.67
Size: 16 ounces
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Great mild citrus flavor. My new favorite zero calorie energy drink. Better tasting than Monster Absolute Zero. No sugar. Easy to drink. Pretty textured can.
Cons: It looks like the water in my sink after I wash my face. Very slight artificial sweetener aftertaste that got stronger as the beverage got warmer. Can doesn’t specifically list the amount of caffeine per serving.
Other reviews: ED Junkie, Possessed by Caffeine, Blonde and Thinner

Monster Cuba-Lima

Item: Monster Energy Cuba Lima
Purchased Price: $2.19
Size: 16 ounces
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Nice lime flavor with a generic cola flavor in the background. Smooth. Looks like a rum and cola. Doesn’t taste like an energy drink. As good as pitcher Jose Lima was in 1999 with the Houston Astros.
Cons: If you love alcohol, you might be disappointed it’s non-alcoholic even though it’s based on a Cuba Libre (rum, cola, and lime). Don’t know how much caffeine is in each can. Strong lime flavor might be off-putting to some.
Other reviews: Thirsty Dudes, Screaming Energy, Blonde and Thinner

VIDEO REVIEW: Red Bull Total Zero Energy Drink

I know what you’re yelling at your computer monitor.

“Hey! Didn’t you already review Red Bull Total Zero Energy Drink?”

Yes, you’re absolutely correct, I did post a written review of it. But, while writing the review, I came up with an idea for a video version. So here it is.

I’m still a beginner when it comes to shooting video properly, so the video quality isn’t as good as it should be. But, each video review I do is another learning experience…and hopefully a step towards better looking video reviews.

You can subscribe to these video reviews via either YouTube or iTunes.

REVIEW: Red Bull Total Zero Energy Drink

Red Bull Total Zero

The list of beverages that contain the word “zero” in their name is significantly larger than zero.

Here, I’ll let you count some of them: Coke Zero, Sprite Zero, VitaminWater Zero, Powerade Zero, Propel Zero, Monster Absolutely Zero Energy Drink, Rockstar Zero Carb Energy Drink, Fanta Zero, Dr Pepper Zero, Big Red Zero, Sodastream Zero Cola, Pibb Zero, Virgil’s Zero Root Beer, Diet Rite Pure Zero, Schweppes Zero Cream Soda, Mello Yello Zero, and now Red Bull Total Zero Energy Drink.

Wow. That’s a lot of zeroes. I haven’t seen that many zeroes since Chicago White Sox pitcher Philip Humber’s perfect game. Or if you’re reading this in 2013 or beyond, or have no idea what a perfect game is…I haven’t seen that many zeroes since I stood in between two parallel mirrors and looked at an infinite reflection of myself.

Companies attach the word “zero” to their beverages for several reasons. They either contain zero grams of sugar, zero calories, zero grams of carbohydrates, or any combination of the three. Although with some beverages, I’d like to think the word “zero” equates to the zero creativity used to come up with a name, instead taking whatever another company used.

As for Red Bull Total Zero Energy Drink, it has no calories, zero grams of sugar, and zero grams of carbohydrates. Although, if I wanted to be a total prick about it, I could say it’s not “total zero” because it has 60 milligrams of sodium and less than one gram of protein. Oh, I should note my head hurt trying to wrap my brain around the fact that for some strange reason the 12-ounce size has ten calories. That there is some crazy ass food math.

Wait, I just thought of something.

If Coca-Cola, who started this “zero” beverage trend, makes Dasani Zero bottled water, I swear I’m going to punch a polar bear in the face.

Red Bull Total Zero has a similar aroma and the same amber color as the other two Red Bull varieties (original and sugar free), and it has the same amounts of taurine and caffeine, both of which are supposed to give Red Bull drinkers wings. I estimate I’ve consumed almost 50 cans of Red Bull, but despite all that liquid and lots of bell ringing, I have yet to get my wings.

Red Bull Comparison Chart

As for Red Bull Total Zero’s flavor, it isn’t as syrupy as regular Red Bull and it’s slightly more artificial sweetener-y than Red Bull Sugar Free, but it has that distinct Red Bull flavor. In order to be calorie, carb, and sugar free, Red Bull Total Zero contains the Three Sweeteneers: Aspartame, Sucralose, and Acesulfame K. Red Bull Sugar Free contains just Aspartame and Acesulfame K.

Overall, I think Red Bull Total Zero is decent, but between it and Red Bull Sugar Free, I prefer the latter because it’s smoother. Sure, the sugar free version has ten calories and three grams of carbohydrates, but that’s an insignificant difference. I think I just burned ten calories and three grams of carbohydrates by typing this paragraph.

(Nutrition Facts – 8.4 ounces – 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 60 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and less than 1 gram of protein.)

Our video review:

Item: Red Bull Total Zero Energy Drink
Price: $2.29
Size: 8.4 ounces
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Has familiar Red Bull flavor. No calories, carbs, and sugar. It’s a Wonderful Life reference. Another option to mix with alcohol. Perfect games in baseball.
Cons: Not great if you hate aspartame and sucralose. Pricey when compared with other energy drinks. Slightly harsher than Red Bull Sugar Free. Excessive use of the word “zero” in the beverage industry. Dasani Zero.

REVIEW: Monster X-Presso Hammer

So lemme get this straight.

The Monster X-Presso Hammer has the same amount of energy ingredients and tastes similar to a regular Java Monster Coffee Energy Drink, except it’s made in the Netherlands, comes in a can that’s more than 50 percent smaller, and it costs the same.

I’m sold!

Now I wonder if Monster Energy has a bridge, building or a used 1986 Yugo GV with a faulty transmission to sell me. Also, while we’re at it Monster Energy, here are my credit card numbers with security codes and let me bend over for you.

With only 6.75 ounces of espresso goodness, the Monster X-Presso Hammer competes with the 6.5-ounce Starbucks Doubleshot Espresso in the lightweight coffee drink division. When comparing the two, it’s more than just the size of their cans, albeit the size difference is minimal, with the Hammer being like a 32B cup and the Doubleshot being like a 32A.

The Hammer has a significantly creamier taste than the Doubleshot, which is why it has a flavor similar to the bigger and tasty Java Monster line. However, because it’s creamier, the espresso flavor isn’t as prominent as it is with the Doubleshot.

But what really sets the Monster X-Presso Hammer apart from the Starbucks Doubleshot is its use of nitrous oxide, which Monster also used in their latest line of energy drinks. The nitrous oxide helps creates a froth when the beverage is poured into a glass, making it look like an espresso beverage from a coffee shop. It’s kind of a neat trick, but unfortunately it doesn’t come with a cute barista to make a heart or some kind of art in the froth.

Overall, I’m not sure the Monster X-Presso Hammer is worth the price. It tastes similar and provides the same strong energy kick as the larger Java Monster Energy Drinks, which are also the same price. If you enjoy the bitter flavor of an espresso, the Starbucks Doubleshot would be the better choice. But if you love tulips, windmills, clogs and want to support the Netherlands via their exports, then the Monster X-Presso Hammer is for you.

(NOTE: The Monster X-Presso Hammer is made in the Netherlands, but isn’t available in the Netherlands.)

(Supplement Facts – 1 can – 90 calories, 2 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 14 grams of carbohydrates, 12 grams of sugar, 3 grams of protein, 50% vitamin C, 100% vitamin B2, 100% vitamin B3, 100% vitamin B6, 100% vitamin B12, 14% calcium, 9% phosphorus, 4% potassium.)

Item: Monster X-Presso Hammer
Price: $2.59
Size: 6.75 ounces
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Nice creamy coffee flavor. Nice jolt of energy. Nitrous oxide helps create a froth. Slightly bigger can than the Starbucks Doubleshot. The Netherlands. Tulips.
Cons: Tastes too similar to the Java Monster Energy Drink line. If you enjoy the flavor of espresso, the Starbucks version is better. No cute barista to make coffee art. Not available in the Netherlands.

REVIEW: Monster Heavy Metal Energy Drink

Really? Bigger cans are the future of energy drinks? Pfff.

Energy drink companies are going to have to tickle my balls with something a little more than a 32-ounce can, like the one the Monster Heavy Metal Energy Drink is in. Seriously, bigger isn’t always better. I’m sure most women are afraid of thick, 12-inch plus porn cock. Right, ladies? Ladies?

How about enough caffeine to bring back the dead? Or how about an energy drink that not just promotes extreme with silly aggro graphics, but one that will actually make me crazy enough to do something extreme, like do a backflip on a wheelchair, punch an armed crackhead in the face, be a guest on The View, or ask a girl out on a date.

Or perhaps energy drink companies should add more herbs beyond ginseng and guarana? Just take a walk into Chinatown and head for the most hole-in-the-wall-ish hole in the wall and after they pat you down, ask for the “secret stash.” If my shady Chinatown contacts can get the dried penis of any animal on the planet to help my ability to secrete pheromones, energy drink companies can probably get their hands on some crazy ass endangered shit, which they can call in the ingredients list, “Ancient Chinese Secret.”

But none of these are in the Monster Heavy Metal Energy Drink, which makes it just like clowns and Poison’s “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” — not at all metal. A Big Gulp-sized energy drink sounds good, but the can is so big that it seems unnecessary, like the number of direct-to-DVD American Pie movies.

It wouldn’t be so bad if this energy drink tasted good, like most Monster Energy Drinks, but it doesn’t. It’s one of the worst tasting energy drinks I’ve ever had. It’s Totem Lake Mall bad. The best way I could describe its flavor is to say its like what I imagine all the bodily fluids exchanged in an Anthrax mosh pit would taste like if all the people in the mosh pit ate only citrus fruits and someone were able to collect the bodily fluids without getting knocked out while the thrash metal band played their classic “Caught in a Mosh.”

Forcing myself to drink an entire can was like forcing myself to watch anything on network television that was not written by members of the Writer’s Guild of America. I did finish it and felt quite energetic, but its poor taste caused me to nurse it like I was a 15 year old at a party trying to look cool with a can of Budweiser in my hand.

There’s a warning label on the can that says people should limit consumption to one can a day, but I really think that limit is not strict enough. With the Monster Heavy Metal Energy Drink’s bad taste and bad name, the label should say “Save your money or go buy something else.”

(Supplement Facts – 8 ounces – 100 calories, 23 grams of carbs, 22 grams of sugar, 1 gram of protein, 180 milligrams of sodium, 1.7 milligrams of vitamin B2, 20 milligrams of vitamin B3, 2 milligrams of vitamin B6, 6 micrograms of vitamin B12, 1000 milligrams of taurine, 200 milligrams of panax ginseng, and 2500 milligrams of Monster’s Energy Blend.)

Item: Monster Heavy Metal Energy Drink
Price: $3.79 (32 ounces)
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 2 out of 10
Pros: Anthrax (the band). Did give an energy boost, but 32 ounces of an energy drink should, unless you’re dead. Sweet, sweet caffeine. My Chinatown contacts.
Cons: Anthrax (the chemical weapon). Bad tasting. One of the worst energy drink I’ve ever had. Unnecessarily big. Porn cock. Clowns. Direct-to-DVD American Pie movies. WGA strike. Collecting bodily fluids in a mosh pit.

REVIEW: Java Monster

Java Monster

I’ve never been in prison — unless watching an episode of the HBO series Oz counts — but Mean Bean, Big Black, and Loca Moca sound like nicknames of people who would rape you in a prison shower, but they’re actually the flavors of the new Java Monster premium coffee drinks.

For those of you who are regular energy drink drinkers, Monster is most likely a familiar name because you’ve probably drank from one of their cans for liquid energy sustenance during either a 24-hour Halo 2 session, a History 151 final exam cram session, or while accidently listening to New Age music.

With their Java Monster coffee drinks, they’ve taken 1,000 milligrams of taurine, 200 milligrams of Panax Ginseng, and their “energy blend” found in their popular energy drinks, which consists of L-Carnitine, Glucose, Caffeine, Guarana, Inositol, Glucuronolactone, and Maltodextrin, and stuffed it into a coffee drink, like Rosie putting on spandex.

With 120 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 20 grams of carbs, 19 grams of sugar, 4 grams of protein, 20% of calcium, and 100% of your recommended daily allowances of Vitamin C, riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12 the Java Monster coffee drinks have about the same nutritional values as their colorful Monster Energy Drink cousins.

On the can of Java Monster, it says it contains half the caffeine of regular coffee, but twice the buzz, which slightly concerned me since I’m a huge proponent of caffeine and would probably snort it using rolled up hundred dollar bills if given the option.

Oh wait. That’s cocaine. I’m sorry. I got my drugs that start with the letter C mixed up.

If Java Monster gives twice the buzz, I wonder if I could triple or quadruple the buzz by drinking a Java Monster while either sniffing rubber cement, inhaling the gas that comes out of canned whipped cream, or painting my bathroom canary yellow without a mask and then passing out on the floor?

Of course, I could try to do all of that at the same time while drinking a Java Monster, but I’m not Lindsay Lohan.

Despite not having as much caffeine as regular coffee, the Java Monster did give me a nice boost of energy and did it with a great taste. All the flavors had a delicious even balance of coffee and cream flavor that was really easy to drink. They weren’t too sweet, nor were they too bitter.

However, just like choosing which of Hugh Hefner’s three girlfriends I like best — because they all look alike and probably have the same STDs from Hef — it’s hard to choose which Java Monster flavor I prefer, since they pretty much all taste the same.

Item: Java Monster
Price: $1.99 each (15 ounces)
Purchased at: 7-Eleven
Rating: 10 out of 10
Pros: Great tasting. Despite not having as much caffeine as regular coffee, it does give a nice energy boost. Easy to drink. Uses reduced fat milk. Big 15-ounce cans.
Cons: They taste all the same. Flavor names sound like prison inmate nicknames. Only half the caffeine of regular coffee. Rosie putting on spandex. Accidently listening to New Age music. Having sex with Hugh Hefner.