REVIEW: Mtn Dew Fruit Quake

Mtn Dew Fruit Quake Can

The fruitcake is a hot mess of ingredients that somehow became a holiday staple. It’s also one of those things that people either love or instantly throw away when the giver of the fruitcake is not looking.

While I don’t automatically throw away those that I receive, I do treat them like the McRib. I give it a try every year to find out if my taste buds have changed enough that I actually think it’s good, and when I realize nothing has changed, I sigh, gobble the rest up, and then say, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 26 times, WHY HAVEN’T I LEARNED MY LESSON?! AM I A MASOCHIST? DO I NOT CARE ABOUT MY TASTE BUDS? SHOULD I CUT OFF MY TONGUE?”

Mtn Dew Fruit Quake Glass

While an actual fruitcake is a complex recipe containing spices, fruit, nuts, and cake, Mtn Dew Fruit Quake’s fruitcake flavor is simple. It starts with a strong, sweet fruit punch taste that I’ve never experienced when it comes to fruitcake, but it’s something that I’ve tasted a few times when it comes to fruit punch-flavored Mountain Dew. After that fades, some fruitcake spices are noticeable, although barely. The addition of spices makes me wonder if there’s a bit of Gingerbread Snap’d’s recipe in Fruit Quake.

Mtn Dew Fruit Quake Graphics

But that’s it, just fruit punch and a smidge of spices that your taste buds might not even notice. There isn’t any cake flavor here, despite Mtn Dew having experience creating the taste with the brand’s Cake-Smash. And, even though the can’s graphics show nuts, the soda lacks the flavor of nuts. But if it did have it, that would be impressive and a bit odd.

Speaking of weird, the soda’s aroma has an expected intense fruitiness, but at times there’s a little something that reminds me of egg nog that probably comes from whatever spice flavors are included. Perhaps Mtn Dew Egg N’gg will be a future holiday variety? Just throwing it out there, PepsiCo.

With Mtn Dew Fruit Quake, I expected a beverage that’s a bit more unusual tasting, much like last year’s Gingerbread Snap’d flavor. So it’s a little disappointing that it’s a fruit punch Dew with a hint of spices that could be easily missed. With that said, it’s a decent tasting Dew that I wouldn’t throw away when no one is looking.

Purchased Price: More than one should pay on eBay
Size: 12-pack 12 oz cans
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 160 calories, 0 grams of fat, 55 milligrams of sodium, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 43 grams of sugar (including 43 (including 43 grams of added sugar), 0 grams of protein, and 54 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Mtn Dew Baja Deep Dive

Mtn Dew Baja Deep Dive Can

This review started with seven simple words, texted by my partner as he checked our mail: “Hey, did you order an exclusive Dew?”

I hadn’t… but my confusion quickly gave way to unadulterated joy. A month or so prior, I’d tracked down all three of Summer 2022’s Baja flavors — the OG and its new and surprisingly-elusive-in-my-neck-of-the-woods friends Baja Mango Gem and Baja Gold — diligently plugged the codes on their caps into Mountain Dew’s website for a stab at the Lost Treasures of Baja Island sweepstakes, and then summarily forgotten all about it… until I returned home triumphant to a coveted six-pack of my Baja Deep Dive winnings!

Mtn Dew Baja Deep Dive Box

Sure, it sounds a little less impressive when I specify that I’m a mere one of 18,000 beverage buffs who got lucky this time around, but still, free, surprise, only-available-from-a-contest Mountain Dew straight to one’s doorstep is nothing to scoff at!

Mtn Dew Baja Deep Dive Glass

I eagerly cracked open a tall, spiffy dark purple can of this subnautical nectar, which is decorated with what seems to be an artist’s interpretation of what normal fish would mutate into if oceans were made of Mountain Dew. A poison-dart-frog-bright, slightly bluish green (appropriately, one could even call it “sea green”) liquid whose hue I can best describe as “Yep, that sure is Mountain Dew-colored” pulsed out.

The perplexing potion smelled deliciously — and aggressively — fruity, candy-like even, but not in a way that I could immediately attribute to any particular flavor. If you’re familiar with Mountain Dew, such sugar-soaked ambiguity is probably not surprising. It is probably also not surprising when I report that this aquatic libation tastes… pretty much how just it smells. It’s violently sweet and heavily reminiscent of its citrus-y, mango-y, pineapple-y Baja brethren, but with a strange aftertaste that, bizarrely, reminded me of cucumber. A thorough sweep of the pleasantly active Mountain Dew community on Reddit suggests that I may literally be the only person in the world who thought that. Neat!

Mtn Dew Baja Deep Dive Descript

Oh yeah, did I mention this is a mystery flavor? As of late I’ve been on an equally amused and bemused quest to try as many flavors of Dew as possible, but nevertheless, I haven’t yet developed the skill of actually being able to differentiate between them very well. So, when it came to cracking this maritime mystery, I was a bit lost at sea.

Mtn Dew Baja Deep Dive Graphics

A deep dive into, well, Deep Dive produced a few hints that were as well-buried as a hidden treasure. Notably, there is a diver on the can whose mask looks like a pineapple, but that was about all I could fish up on my lonesome. (The can also prominently features, among other things, an eel, an anglerfish, and what appears to be a sentient grenade with a narwhal horn, so I hope those aren’t also clues about the ingredients at play here!)

Fortunately, the trusty True Dew-ers of the internet have also unearthed the tantalizing tidbit that the font used on this can is the same as on the dearly departed Mountain Dew Pitch Black, which was grape flavored. Come to think of it, aren’t sea grapes a thing? If that somehow ends up being this flavor’s secret identity, Team Mountain Dew deserves a hearty tip of my pirate’s hat (but maybe also an eye roll).

All in all, the allure of this oceanic new edition, just like the allure of any Mountain Dew, is both difficult to describe and difficult to deny.

Purchased Price: Free as a sweepstakes prize
Size: 16 oz cans
Purchased at: n/a, only available to winners of the Lost Treasures of Baja Island sweepstakes
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 220 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 65 milligrams of sodium, 59 grams of carbohydrates, 59 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, and 72 milligrams of caffeine.

REVIEW: Mtn Dew Energy Code Red

Mtn Dew Energy Code Red Can

It makes me feel old knowing that the original Mtn Dew Code Red is over 20 years old. It’s been on shelves for so long that I can type the following: The new Mtn Dew Energy Code Red is not your father’s Mtn Dew Code Red.

I feel like it was just yesterday when my mind was blown seeing another Dew flavor next to the original. At the time, the way the original green Mountain Dew and Code Red looked on the shelf together made it seem like Mtn Dew was celebrating Christmas.

Mtn Dew Energy Code Red is the latest flavor in the Energy Drink Formerly Known As Mtn Dew Rise Line. It’s also the flavor with the damn best looking can of the bunch. It features 180 milligrams of caffeine, vitamin C and zinc for immune support, has five percent juice, and zero grams of added sugar like all the Mtn Dew Energy flavors in less eye-catching cans.

Mtn Dew Energy Code Red Cup

With the first sip, it’s recognizable as the Dew with a rush of cherry flavor. But if you’re hoping for a taste that’s a carbon copy of the original Mtn Dew Code Red, thanks to the artificial sweeteners, you won’t get that. I guess it’s more like the Zero Sugar version. Although this isn’t completely sugar free. There’s a little bit from the five percent of white grape juice in it, which does a little to hide the sucralose, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium. As someone who is used to energy drinks with artificial sweeteners from Monster, some of which are hard to tell if they’re sugar free, I don’t mind that this doesn’t have the same sugary bite as the original.

Despite being one of my favorite Dew flavors, it’s been a while since I’ve had a Mtn Dew Code Red, so it was nice to revisit it in this energy drink form. Although its flavor is not unique in the Mtn Dew Universe, this might be my favorite in the Mtn Dew Energy line, slightly edging out Tropical Sunrise.

Purchased Price: More than one should pay on eBay
Size: 16 fl oz can
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 25 calories, 0 grams of fat, 170 milligrams of sodium, 5 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of sugar (including 0 grams of added sugar), and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Limited Edition 2022 Mtn Dew VooDEW

Limited Edition 2022 Mtn Dew VooDEW Bottle

It’s specDEWlation time! It’s the annual Mtn Dew VooDEW Mystery Flavor Guessing Game! If the previous three years are hints, it’ll be candy. In 2019, it was candy corn. In 2020, it was Skittles-like. In 2021, it was Starburst-like. In 2022… it’s, well, let’s find out.

First off, this smells like Skittles. But there’s no way VooDEW will taste like original Skittles for a second time, right?

So it’s sour, and I taste lemon and some berry, which got me thinking it might be Sour Skittles. Or it could be Sour Patch Kids, although now that I think about it, it might not be because it’s not as sour, and the lemon and berry flavors don’t remind me of the candy. Um, kind of wondering if it could be Lemonheads and, um, Berry Lemonheads? Are berry Lemonheads a thing, and are Lemonheads considered a Halloween candy?

Sour and fruity. Kind of thinking it might taste like a roll of Smarties. It’s a standard Halloween candy because I remember getting it as a kid and putting it in the unwanted candy pile after a night of Trick-or-Treating. They’re usually given out by heartless people. That’s still the case, right? Let me think about what else this could be. Extra caffeine is needed beyond the 91 milligrams in this bottle to help me think. SweeTarts?

Limited Edition 2022 Mtn Dew VooDEW Pour

All right. After pondering, I will base my guess mostly on how it smells. I believe this year’s Mtn Dew VooDEW Mystery Flavor is…Sour Skittles. Oh crap! I forgot to hide my guess using primitive cryptography in the paragraphs above. Argh!

While I’m not 100 percent sure what this year’s VooDEW tastes like, I do know this is one tasty Dew. I love the 2020 version that tasted like Skittles and this one equally. I also love the sourness and how it reminds me of Mtn Dew Pitch Black (which is rumored to return this year).

Limited Edition 2022 Mtn Dew VooDEW History

I hope Mtn Dew never stops with the mystery flavors. It would sadden me if they did quit like other brands.

NOTE: This year’s VooDEW is also available in a Zero Sugar version.

Purchased Price: More than anyone should pay for a bottle of soda
Size: 20 oz bottle
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) 270 calories, 0 grams of fat, 95 milligrams of sodium, 72 grams of carbohydrates, 72 grams of sugar (including 72 grams of added sugar), and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Mtn Dew Energy Baja Blast

Mtn Dew Energy Baja Blast Can

What is it?

Baja Blast has washed down Nachos Supreme with authority for nearly two decades. Introduced in August 2004 as the first ever fast food exclusive soda collaboration between Pepsi and Taco Bell, the fan favorite has been allowed to spread its bubbly wings over the past eight years. Not only can the popular pop be bought in 20-ounce bottles and 12-packs at Walmart, but in 2022 it expanded into the burgeoning low-calorie energy drink market via Mtn Dew Energy.

How is it?

Baja Blast was designed specifically to complement Taco Bell’s salty and spicy food, so the profile has always been kind of mild and admittedly isn’t a favorite of mine from the Mtn Dew lineup. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll get the Zero Sugar version anytime I get a fountain drink at Taco Bell, but on its own, it doesn’t pack a whole lot of “wow” factor compared to the original, Code Red, or recent limited editions like Spark.

Mtn Dew Energy Baja Blast Glass

The flavor is hard to pin down because it’s so mild, but regular Baja Blast is described by PepsiCo as “a tropical lime storm,” and that’s fairly accurate if we’re talking about a very mild and sweet storm, like a key lime storm. Take that bit of sweet key lime and collide it with the classic inevitable Dew flavor and some nondescript citrus, and you’ve got your Baja blanket. To go along with the mild flavor, the can delivers a low level of carbonation with fairly wide bubbles that I want a bit more presence from. Even though the smoothness may be preferable for some, I like a nice bubbly burst and think some tighter bubbles would bring out more citrus storminess.

Mtn Dew Energy Baja Blast Pour

Anything else you need to know?

One of the features of Mtn Dew Energy is its use of fruit juice, and that small 5% of fruit juice does have an impact here, and it’s not a good one. The use of white grape juice concentrate makes the Energy version of Baja a touch less sweet than its purely artificial-based counterpart, which is a detriment to the flavor as a whole. I even get some grape juice flavor in the finish that builds the more I sip, which isn’t surprising since it’s the second ingredient. It’s very drinkable, and I’m sure it would go swimmingly with a Crunchwrap Supreme, but as a flavor, it’s not an improvement over the original.


Mtn Dew Energy Baja Blast Caffeine

Mtn Dew Energy remains a good but not great line, with only one or two flavors that really impress me. I could see myself repurchasing this if it was on a good sale but will likely reach for a bolder, punchier lime when I want my citrus craving quenched.

Purchased Price: $2.99
Size: 16 oz can
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 6 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, 0 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, and 180 milligrams of caffeine.