REVIEW: Mtn Dew Major Melon

Mtn Dew Major Melon Bottle

Watermelon is known as a summer fruit because it grows best when the weather is warm. So the season is also when we see watermelon-flavored products hit the shelves and then disappear when it gets cold. But I don’t restrict the showing of my legs to just the summer months, so the same should be said for watermelon-flavored products.

But some brands have moved away from summer releases. Last year, we saw Red Bull Watermelon in February and Monster Ultra Watermelon in September. So here we are in winter, and there’s a new, season-be-damned watermelon-flavored beverage — Mtn Dew Major Melon. It’s a permanent variety, so it’ll be available year-round, like the viewing of my legs.

Its aroma evokes memories of sitting under the hot sun, sweat rolling down every inch of my body, wondering if I should reapply sunscreen, and taking a whiff of a previous Dew flavor that smells just like Major Melon. I can’t quite put my nose on which of the gazillion Dew varieties it is, though.

However, while it smells similar to another, its flavor is definitely a different Dew, and it’s fabulous. My tongue notices the citrus first, and then the watermelon follows soon after. It’s pleasantly sweet, but, and this might just be me, it’s not as cloying as other Dew varieties. There aren’t any artificial sweeteners in it, only HFCS, so I’m not sure why it tastes that way to me. The soda also has a mild tartness, so don’t think of it having a bold sour watermelon taste.

My first sip of Major Melon was like the initial swigs I had of Mountain Dew Code Red and Maui Burst, which left me thinking, “I’m definitely going to overDEW it with this Dew.” Although, if I’m ranking flavors, this would be slightly below Code Red and Maui Burst.

Mtn Dew Major Melon and Zero Sugar Cans

Major Melon is also available in a Zero Sugar version, but I’m less enamored with it. It’s okay, but its watermelon flavor mixed with the artificial sweeteners makes it taste a bit floral. The sugar-free soda’s flavor also reminds me of non-carbonated, sugar-free watermelon beverages I’ve had.

Overall, the HFCS-sweetened version of Mtn Dew Major Melon is a major success, but not so much with the Zero Sugar one.

Purchased Price: More than one should pay on eBay
Size: 20 oz bottle and 12 oz cans
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Regular), 6 out of 10 (Zero Sugar)
Nutrition Facts: (12 ounces) Major Melon – 160 calories, 0 grams of fat, 50 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 44 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein. Zero Sugar – 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 50 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Driftwell by Pepsi

Driftwell by Pepsi Cans

The number of times I’ve had a drink to turn up: 9,356

The number of times I’ve had a drink to get ready for bed: 0

Well, until now.

In a world run by Dunkin’, overflowing with Starbucks, and exploding (or, BANG-ing?) with pre-workout energy drinks, the latest PepsiCo’s brand addition came as a massive surprise to me. Sure, some people like a little whiskey nightcap or swear by a soothing cup of warm milk. But aside from a much needed shot of NyQuil to literally pass out when sick, I have never tried, or even seen, a drink designed and advertised to go down like a gentle lullaby.

Driftwell is an enhanced water beverage designed to help you “sip into relaxation” via 200 milligrams of L-theanine in each 7.5 ounce can. The company claims it designed the drink not as a knockout punch (like booze or marijuana) but as a stress reducer. L-theanine is an amino acid most commonly found in tea leaves and sometimes taken as a supplement in pill form that can increase relaxation without causing drowsiness or reducing your resting heart rate.

Unlike grabbing a can of REIGN from the fridge and expecting to be able to run through a wall in 15 minutes (love it!), Driftwell suggests to the brain it’s time to sleep in an even milder way than melatonin. Halfway through the can I felt a noticeable shift in my headspace and was seemingly more sleepy. It was already late, and about 30 minutes before I planned on getting in bed, so the context was right. My eyes didn’t force themselves closed, but I was excited to get in bed. My attention gently drifted away from the excellent movie I was finishing (Batman Returns), and once I hit the pillow, it was easier than usual to slip into a dreaming state. I haven’t been having problems falling asleep recently, so take it for what it is, but I think this stuff kind of works!

Driftwell by Pepsi Glass

The flavor is very subtle and mostly pleasant; it is more or less what I expected from a product that boasts zero sugar and zero calories. Blackberry Lavender is a pretty unique flavor that interestingly tastes a lot like a combination of cantaloupe and honeydew with notes of chamomile. There’s definitely a tea-like aura to the whole Driftwell experience.

I tried it both cold and room temperature on separate nights. Since the box and website have no indication of how to consume this new sleep aid, I’m going to give a formal recommendation for room temp. It reminds me a lot of Hint Water, which I find is very hit or miss with its execution. Fortunately for PepsiCo, this is a pretty solid starting point in terms of taste for a drink that isn’t supposed to erupt with flavor.

Driftwell by Pepsi Box

PepsiCo was the first of the soda titans to respond to the sparkling water craze, launching its own brand Bubly in 2018, well ahead of Coca Cola’s AHA brand in early 2020. Does Driftwell’s slow trickle into the market indicate the company is ahead of the curve again? Or is this a crazy overpriced niche market drink for yogis? I’m edging towards the latter, but time will tell. Hopefully, this makes its way into stores in smaller packs or even single cans so people can test it out for themselves. Even though it does as advertised, it is more expensive than booze, and ten cans is a lot to commit to.

Purchased Price: $22.98
Size: 7.5 oz cans/10-pack
Purchased at: Amazon
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 0 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 0 gram of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Crush Sour Patch Kids Berry Soda

Crush Sour Patch Kids Berry Soda

What is Crush Sour Patch Kids Berry Soda?

It’s a blue raspberry-flavored and Blue 1-dyed soda with a sour twist that’s brought to you by our friends at Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc. and Mondelez International. Also, like all Crush sodas, it’s caffeine free.

How is it?

It has that familiar, sweet blue raspberry aroma. But if I jam my nose into the bottle’s spout and take a good sniff, I smell a hint of something that could be considered tropical. Maybe that’s from the sour ingredients. Or possibly my nose got damaged from jamming it into a bottle’s spout. But, as a whole, it smells wonderful and enticing.

But I’m hesitant to use those same adjectives to describe the soda’s flavor.

Look, it sounds like I’m about to type that I hate this Cool Water cologne bottle-colored soda, but after drinking half of it, I find it to be decent tasting. However, I’m not craving for another bottle.

The blue raspberry flavor is super sweet, and perhaps too sweet for my taste buds. Its sourness level is noticeable, but it isn’t high enough to make me pucker even a little after each sip. But it does make me want to drink this slower than other soft drinks. Also, just like when I took a good sniff from its spout, I noticed something that registers as “tropical” in the aftertaste.

Anything else you need to know?

This isn’t the first Sour Patch Kids soda. 7-Eleven and Jones Soda Company partnered to come out with the Sour Patch Kids Watermelon Soda back in 2016. It’s also not the first collaboration between Crush and Sour Patch Kids. Earlier this year, the two offered Crush-flavored candy.

Also, is this the season for blue raspberry beverages?

Conclusion:

Crush Sour Patch Kids Berry is a novelty soda, and like most novelty foods, it’s worth a try at least once.

Purchased Price: More than anyone should pay on eBay
Size: 20 fl oz bottle
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) 290 calories, 0 grams of fat, 105 milligrams of sodium, 75 grams of carbohydrates, 74 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Limited Edition 2020 Mtn Dew VooDEW

Limited Edition 2020 Mtn Dew VooDEW Mystery Flavor

SPOILER ALERT!!!

If you don’t want to know what the 2020 edition of Mtn Dew VooDEW tastes like, since it’s a mystery flavor, I’d suggest you do not scroll down. Although, there’s an excellent chance what my taste buds think is absolutely wrong. Because last year’s Mtn Dew VooDEW mystery was revealed to be candy corn, which many drinkers didn’t guess correctly.

But if you still want to know what this year’s Mtn Dew VooDEW could be, follow the list of Mtn Dew VooDEW’s ingredients, which give no hints to what it could be.

Carbonated water.

High fructose corn syrup.

Citric acid.

Natural and artificial flavor.

Sodium benzoate.

Gum arabic.

Caffeine.

Sodium citrate.

Glycerol ester of rosin.

Calcium disodium EDTA.

Sucrose.

Acetate isobutyrate.

Limited Edition 2020 Mtn Dew VooDEW Mystery Flavor Closeup

So I understand VooDEW’s opaque white color helps with the mysteriousness. Kind of a hint when there’s color involved. I also think the cloud-like hue makes it look like there’s a ghost in a glass. Though, a clear DEW would’ve been even more mystery-like. That’s something PepsiCo should look into next year. Let me know what you think, PepsiCo. Even though I’m pretty sure no one there will read this. So that’s what this year’s VooDEW tastes like to me.

Oh, I didn’t share my guess, you say? As I’ve done with previous mystery flavors, it’s hidden in the paragraph above using the simplest cryptography.

Even though I think it tastes (and smells) like what I’ve hidden in the paragraph above, I’m probably wrong. Because some folks believed last year’s VooDEW flavor was what I think this year’s is. Since 2019’s version ended up being candy corn, I imagine this one is also supposed to be something sweet related to the fall season. Maybe it’s Candied Yams Dew, Pumpkin Pie Dew, or Caramel Apple Dew, and my taste buds are completely broken.

Whatever the flavor ends up being, it’s wonderful. Although, if this was in a blank can, I wouldn’t be able to tell it’s a Mountain Dew variety. It’s definitely worth trying if you love mysteries or the particular food item I believe it tastes like.

Purchased Price: More than anyone should pay for a can of soda
Size: 12 oz can
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 160 calories, 0 grams of fat, 55 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 44 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Coca-Cola with Coffee (Dark Blend and Vanilla)

Coca Cola with Coffee  U S Cans

The cans of Coca-Cola with Coffee tell me they have great Coca-Cola taste blended with rich, luxurious coffee.

In less flashy terms, it is a coffee-flavored soda containing real coffee powder for a uniquely fizzy hybrid beverage. I’ll be reviewing the Dark Blend and Vanilla flavors, but there will also be a caramel one when these debut nationwide in early 2021.

I am a coffee lover and a soda lover, so I’m absolutely pumped to experience their love child months before the official release. Both have a nice fizz and the signature dark brown color of regular cola. Each one also starts off with a very familiar Coca-Cola taste.

Coca Cola with Coffee  U S Vanilla

It’s interesting as the beginning just tastes like cola, but then each one transforms. The vanilla one brings in some creaminess towards the end, but I’m not sure where the coffee is. I can maybe taste it if I really think about it. This one pretty is much like Coca-Cola Vanilla. It’s good, but the coffee flavor is kind of lost amongst the cola and vanilla.

I was underwhelmed with the vanilla version, but boy oh boy does the Dark Blend make up for it. After trying it, I can confirm the coffee flavor is scarce in the Vanilla variety because this one contains such great coffee essence.

Coca Cola with Coffee  U S Dark Blend

The beverage starts off cola-y and morphs into a fizzy roasted coffee drink. If you have ever had an imported Italian coffee soda, it actually tastes like a lighter, Coke-flavored version of those. The flavor was pretty intense upon first sip but then lessened a bit the more I guzzled down. This may not be the best drink to wash down a burger and fries because of the flavor mashup. But as a late morning/early afternoon drink or in the heat when cold brew is not an option, it would be absolutely phenomenal. YUM!

It also likely won’t 100% replace your favorite go-to soda or satisfy your coffee fix whenever you need it (it has 69 mg of caffeine, more than a regular cola but less than a cup of joe). But overall, it is a darn good drink to add to your rotation.

There is a pretty well-known saying of Everything Old is New Again. Well, here we are again, as this drink follows Coca-Cola Blak and Pepsi Kona from years past that failed to light the world on fire. So it is not a brand new idea by any means, but maybe 2020 can be the year when cola coffee finally becomes a drink staple. Not to mention that a version of this beverage has been making the rounds internationally for the past few years.

Coca Cola with Coffee  U S Ingredients

One odd thing about this beverage is the sugar content. Not only is it a hybrid with flavors, but it is also a hybrid on the sweetener scale because it contains high fructose corn syrup, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium. I don’t think the taste is impacted as it doesn’t taste too heavy like a soda or too sweet/fake like a diet one. However, it does worry me that it may put off those that exclusively drink one or the other.

Ever wonder what a mixture of Coca-Cola and coffee would taste like? Or are you tired of the fruity-flavored colas and want to quench your thirst with something new? Come January 2021, you are in luck. But skip the Vanilla version and reach for the Dark Blend one for a deliciously unique coffola (It should have a fun name, like a celebrity couple) experience. Maybe we can make it stick around this time!

DISCLOSURE: I received a free sample of the product. (Thanks, Coke!) Doing so did not influence my review.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 12 fl oz cans
Purchased at: Received as part of the Coca-Cola Insiders Club
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Vanilla), 9 out of 10 (Dark Blend)
Nutrition Facts: (1 Can) Both flavors have identical nutrition facts – 70 calories, 0 grams of fat, 40 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 18 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Limited Edition Mtn Dew Spark

Limited Edition Mtn Dew Spark Bottle

What is Limited Edition Mtn Dew Spark?

It’s a Dew with a burst of raspberry lemonade flavor, and it’s an exclusive Speedway flavor. The label features a drawing of a crazed race car. It’s a fitting image for a convenience store named Speedway, which is what car racing tracks are called. I also imagine that a crazed race car with a mouth is also something someone who takes speed way too much would hallucinate.

How is it?

Its aroma reminds me of a pack of Starburst, and its flavor brings another Mtn Dew to mind — Mtn Dew Amp Game Fuel Zero Charged Raspberry Lemonade. (And maybe Voltage?)

In my Mtn Dew Amp Game Fuel Zero review, I wrote, “…for some reason, my taste buds and brain occasionally think they’re drinking a raspberry iced tea. Maybe it’s because the berry flavor reminds me of the Lipton Brisk Raspberry and the lemon flavor, which doesn’t really pop that much, makes me think of lemon iced tea.”

With Mtn Dew Spark, the berry part still reminds me of Lipton Brisk Raspberry Iced Tea, but the flavor and tang of the lemonade stand out much more. There’s also a little bit of an added non-lemonade citrus taste, but it didn’t confuse me into thinking this was anything other than raspberry lemonade-flavored. It’s tasty, but I’m a little disappointed it’s kind of a recycled flavor.

Anything else you need to know?

Limited Edition Mtn Dew Spark Bottle Label

Some of you might be wondering, “What’s a Speedway?” Well, **puts on reading glasses** it’s a chain of convenience stores with a few thousand locations mostly in the Midwest and East Coast. Just this month, it was purchased by the parent company that owns 7-Eleven. For more brick-and-mortar retail chain news, don’t depend on this site.

Also, there doesn’t appear to be a diet version. But if you want a beverage that tastes somewhat similar and with zero sugar, there’s Mtn Dew Amp Game Fuel Zero Charged Raspberry Lemonade.

Conclusion:

Mtn Dew Spark is another solid Dew offering. If you live near a Speedway store, it’s worth a purchase.

Purchased Price: More than anyone should pay
Size: 20 fl oz bottle
Purchased at: eBay
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) 290 calories, 0 grams of fat, 85 milligrams of sodium, 77 grams of carbohydrates, 77 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.