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!
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!
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!
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.
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.