REVIEW: Mtn Dew Amp Game Fuel

Mtn Dew Amp Game Fuel

When Mtn Dew started using a variety of sweeteners to bring down the sugar levels in its newer limited edition flavors, I was fine with it. Instead of only high fructose corn syrup, the brand used a mixture of HFCS, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium.

As someone who enjoys diet soda, I didn’t mind the sweetener switch, but others shook their fists at Mtn Dew, and I just shook my head at them.

But now I’m wondering if I should shake my fists at Mtn Dew and shake my head at myself because I’m not sure I like Mtn Dew’s new Amp Game Fuel that uses the sweetener combo mentioned above.

According to its website, the new line was developed in partnership with pros and elite amateurs to create the first beverage designed just for gamers. It’s formulated with ingredients that have been shown to improve accuracy and alertness — caffeine (90 mg) and theanine. So I guess one could say it’s like the Gatorade for gamers.

The cans themselves features a tactile grip and resealable tab (more on that later). There are currently four flavors — Cherry Burst, Berry Blast, Tropical Strike, and Original Dew Destruction. Okay, actually, it’s just called “Original Dew,” but I felt bad it didn’t have a cool video game sounding name, so I gave it one.

While Amp Game Fuel’s name is a combination of other Mtn Dew lines, the actual beverage is more like another, Kickstart. They have similar consistencies. Both are not as syrupy and carbonated as the original soda, making them easier to drink.

Mtn Dew Amp Game Fuel 2

As for how they taste, most of them remind me of other Dew flavors I’ve had, but diet versions of them because they have an artificial sweetener aftertaste. Drinking the Original Dew version is like chugging on a Diet Mountain Dew. The cherry one, which isn’t like a Diet Code Red, teeters on the line between medicine and beverage, which makes it my least favorite of the four. The yellow one has a nice tropical vibe that seems to be a combination of pineapple and lime. The blue one, while I know it’s berry flavored, at times reminds me of cotton candy. Because of that, it ended up being my favorite of the bunch, slightly ahead of Tropical Strike.

To be honest, when I first tried them, I didn’t care for them, and I was shaking my fist at Mtn Dew. But, because I bought a 12-can variety pack from Amazon and it doesn’t have a Costco-like return policy, I had to drink them again. Doing so made me like them a little more, even the cherry one. But they’re not good enough that I can guarantee I’ll repurchase them.

But what about my accuracy and alertness?

I’m not a gamer, but I am a writer, and accuracie and afertness are tools I need while writing and editing. Did Amp Game Fuel improve them? Sure, but I didn’t notice any difference from what I usually drink, which is coffee or whatever energy drink is on sale at 7-Eleven.

What I’m more impressed with is the resealable plastic tab. It’s simple to use and does an excellent job of preventing the carbonation from fading. It also makes me feel as if I’m flipping up the head of a Transformer with hydraulic sound effects. But the treehugger in me is wondering how recyclable the aluminum can is because the plastic tab doesn’t come off easily. The idea of these cans messing with recycling centers makes me worry.

If you’re a gamer and want to improve, this will not help you as much as in-game purchases will. If you’re a hardcore Dew fan who hates all the ace-k and sucralose going into your Dew, you will definitely shake your fist at Amp Game Fuel.

Purchased Price: $19.99
Size: 12-can variety pack
Purchased at: Amazon
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Original Dew)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Cherry Burst)
Rating: 6 ouf ot 10 (Tropical Strike)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Berry Blast)
Nutrition Facts: (1 can – all flavors) 90 calories, 0 grams of fat, 180 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 23 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Diet Coke Blueberry Acai and Strawberry Guava

Diet Coke Blueberry Acai and Strawberry Guava

What are Diet Coke Blueberry Acai and Strawberry Guava?

After decades of merely fiddling with its Diet Coke lineup with the occasional vanilla, cherry, or lime addition, last year Coca-Cola let its food scientists run wild and released four new and exciting flavors aimed at the Millennial demographic. Diet Coke isn’t just for your mom anymore! Today, Coke adds two more: Blueberry Açaí and Strawberry Guava.

How are they?

Diet Coke Blueberry Acai and Strawberry Guava Cans

Both of these sodas have a strong fruity flavor, though I don’t taste much of the second listed fruit in either case. The Blueberry Açaí Diet Coke mostly tastes like blueberries, perhaps with some extra tanginess. It’s like how a fruit snack can somehow be more like its fruit flavor than the actual fruit itself.

Diet Coke Blueberry Acai and Strawberry Guava Closup

The Strawberry Guava Diet Coke mostly tastes like strawberries, though a bit mellowed in this case. It seems inadequate to say the guava adds a tropical flavor, but here we are, me having written the obvious and you having read it.

Is there anything else you need to know?

A confession: I know that readers rely on us at The Impulsive Buy to be your knowledgeable guides through the ever-changing culinary world, but I have to admit that I had no idea what açaí actually is. I don’t even know how to make that weird “c” thing (Thanks, spellcheck!)

Sure, it’s trendy, so I’ve eaten it in various bowls, smoothies, and other overpriced preparations, but what exactly is an acai? Google tells me that it’s a “small edible blackish-purple berry.” So it’s a blueberry. That explains why I could only taste the blueberry flavor in this soda. Or was I just tasting the açaí?

Conclusion:

If you’re a diet soda fiend like me, you’re always happy to have more options at hand. Man cannot live on Coke Zero alone. These two new additions may not be as exotic-tasting as their names suggest, but they’re tasty nonetheless.

Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: 8-pack
Purchased at: Festival Foods
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 can) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat,0 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 35 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar, and 0 gram of protein.

REVIEW: Festive Limited Edition Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Cinnamon (United Kingdom)

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Cinnamon

What is the Festive Limited Edition Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Cinnamon?

Coca-Cola has introduced a new cinnamon-tinged variety of Coke Zero (excuse me – Coke Zero Sugar) – only during the holiday season and only in the UK.

How is it?

There was just a basic Coke aroma inside the bottle. No trace of cinnamon, which is unusual since I find most “flavored” items rely heavily on scent.

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Cinnamon 2

The first mouthful read “Coke Zero” for a good two seconds before the cinnamon announced itself. It was a good, middle-of-the-road cinnamon – present but not overbearing. I didn’t find it to be glaringly artificial, either. This wasn’t Pepsi Fire – it wasn’t bringing heat, just a mild spice, which I really appreciated.

Coke Zero Sugar Cinnamon would make a great party drink for teetotalers who want a little extra something besides the usual soft drinks, but it would also make a great base for cocktails. How about a rum and Coke Zero Cinnamon with a splash of orange liqueur? Call it a “Christmas Potpourri.” Or don’t, because that’s a terrible name for a beverage.

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Cinnamon 3

Is there anything else you need to know?

This might be a tough find. Released in October, it is only appearing until the end of December. It was already scarce in the city centers I visited in Scotland. I only saw it in one Tesco, after I’d half given up searching for it in about a dozen other groceries and convenience stores.

Editor’s Note: If you’re SUPER eager to try it, there are folks on eBay selling bottles for ten times the selling price, plus shipping.

Conclusion:

Coke Zero Cinnamon was a pretty good (temporary) addition to the Coke lineup – a mild and tasty cinnamon shot. I can’t see this as a year-round flavor, but I would certainly repurchase it during the holidays. It’s worth a try if you can get it. I hope it’s released stateside, but will we have to wait until next year?

Purchased Price: £1.25 (approximately $1.57 USD)
Size: 500 ml bottle
Purchased at: Tesco
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (per 250ml) 1 calorie, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of sugars, 0.03g salt
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QUICK REVIEW: Coca-Cola Clear (Japan)

Coke Clr

What is Coca-Cola Clear?

I’m in Japan – the mecca of novelty junk food! Of course, I sought out some new and quirky offerings. Coca-Cola has introduced a colorless version of its signature pop – trailing a quarter of a century behind Pepsi in the clear soda arms race. Without all that pesky caramel-y cola, it’s billed as lemon-flavored and is a zero-calorie drink. It is currently only available in Japan.

How is it?

Right out of the bottle, the aroma veers away from the usual Coke. It’s milder with a low-level citrus smell.

Coke Clr 2

I was expecting something with a strong lemon taste, ala Sprite or 7Up, but this was subtler – like squeezing a lemon wedge into your already-sweet seltzer water and adding a dash of cola. Despite the lemon base, it was identifiable as a Coke derivative and had the same sweeteness level, but was lighter and brighter than regular Coca-Cola. It didn’t have the neon citrus feel of other sodas.

While not unpleasant, Coca-Cola Clear failed to establish its own flavor personality. Hence, it’s easier to describe what it ISN’T – it’s not cola, it’s not un-cola. Because of this vagueness of character, I wondered why this? Why now? Is 2018 the right time just because Coke hadn’t done it yet?

Coke Clr 3

Is there anything else you need to know?

Be prepared for the pop. The Coke products I sampled in Japan were packaged in a way that caused the initial rush of gasses out of the bottles to be downright explosive. My travel companion and I startled each other all week with the loud cracks of Coke bottles opening.

Conclusion:

Overall, an OK lightly lemon soda, but as Dr. Ian Malcolm would say – Coca-Cola scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should. Try it if you’re a hardcore noveltyist, but only one bottle.

Purchased Price: 48 yen (approx. 69 cents US)
Size: 500 ml bottle (17 oz.)
Purchased at: MEGA Don Quijote Shibuya, Tokyo
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (100 ml) 0 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 0 grams of total sugars and 0 grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Mtn Dew Merry Mash-Up

Mtn Dew Merry Mash up 2

What is Mtn Dew Merry Mash-Up?

Replacing the famed Mtn Dew Holiday Brew from holidays long past, the new limited edition Mtn Dew Merry Mash-Up, with its seasonal cranberry-pomegranate flavor, has arrived on store shelves with such a clatter, that I had to spring from my bed to see what was the matter.

How is it?

I have always wondered what Christmas would taste like if you could capture its essence in a much-loved soda pop, and the Merry Mash-Up does, I believe, come pretty close. Imagine, if you will, the sweet blood of Rudolph captured in a bright red 20-ounce bottle for all the children to share; the tangy pomegranate mixes spectacularly well with the tart cranberry, making a drink-mix that finally needs no alcohol to dull its senses.

Even at 290 calories a bottle, I would absolutely add this high-fructose concoction to my Christmas list and check it twice, but, sadly it’s another one of their limited edition flavor collaborations. So, in the fever of the holidays, load up on a few decorative bottles and serve the spirited beverage as your own homemade holiday punch this year. It’ll be our secret.

Mtn Dew Merry Mash-Up

Is there anything else I need to know?

I don’t know why they called it “Merry Mash-Up” when the far superior “Merry X-Mash,” coined by me just now, was available. Call me next year, Dew-makers, and we’ll come up with something equally clever together.

Conclusion:

This crisp step-brother to the Mtn Dew family fully enraptures me. The best one of their raucous limited releases of 2018, this is not the extreme version of the Dew were hyper-used to by now, but, instead, a party-hearty ready blend of joyous holiday flavors, spreading merriment to all who wake up to this in their stocking. Dew bless us, everyone!

Purchased Price: $1.59
Size: 20 oz. bottle
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (20 oz.) 290 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 105 milligrams of sodium, 77 grams of carbohydrates, 77 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein..

QUICK REVIEW: Mtn Dew Ice Cherry

Mtn Dew Ice Cherry

What is Mtn Dew Ice Cherry?

The latest concoction from Mountain Dew’s burgeoning “Ice” line, Ice Cherry takes everything you love about cherry soda, mixes it with a little of that Mountain Dew magic and then turns up the ice, I suppose. Oh, and it’s clear too, which is a bit weird. Kinda makes you wonder what its larger gameplan is with all this Ice stuff, doesn’t it?

How is it?

Like a cherry Laffy Taffy that’s been your pocket for way too long or an illegal helping of pure ICEE white cherry syrup, Mtn Dew Ice Cherry tastes like a bottle full of melted fake cherries. But that’s not a bad thing, just something you have to take in small doses due to its incredible sweetness.

Mtn Dew Ice Cherry 2

With its strong cherry flavor and light carbonation, it might remind some of cherry-flavored Alka-Seltzer. Those people, like me, who’ve been known to drop about five or six tablets in their glass at a time, will love this.

Is there anything else I need to know?

I thought the sugar would be through the roof, but 41 grams doesn’t seem all that bad, does it? This Ice variant contains high fructose corn syrup, acesulfame potassium, and sucralose and no real sugar per se, but all that fake sugar can’t be good for you, can it? Oh well. 41 grams collectively doesn’t seem all that bad.

Conclusion:

Mtn Dew Ice Cherry 3

While not as mind-numbingly delicious as Pitch Black but way better than that DEW.S.A. dreck, Mtn Dew Ice Cherry falls somewhere in-between, leaning a little more on the plus side of the bracket.

Purchased Price: $1.29
Size: 20 oz. bottle
Purchased at: Buy for Less Supermercado
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (20 oz.) 160 calories, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 90 milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 41 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, and 91 milligrams of caffeine.