Friday, December 10, 2010

Shock Coffee Triple Mocha

Coffee, we all know, is a fantastic source of energy, and damn tasty. A nice way to perk up your mornings might be a smooth cup of joe, or, when there's no time to brew a pot, an iced coffee. Shock Coffee, a well-established coffee company I hadn't heard of until recently, delivers coffee in multiple forms, hot and cold. Today, I'm giving the cold Shock Coffee Triple Mocha a try. Shock promotes their coffee as having 50% more caffeine than other gourmet coffees, and in an evaluation by, this very beverage was rated the best-tasting coffee drink on the market. Iced coffee is a favorite drink of mine, and I'm confident the Triple Mocha has some fantastic flavor to offer. I have an 8oz can, but this stuff is also sold in 15oz cans. I'm excited to get down to the tasting.

From the can, I smell a strong coffee aroma with wonderful texture and a creamy, chocolate smell underneath. It pours into my cup with a beautiful, medium shade of brown. The flavor doesn't hit the taste buds immediately, but when you get past the creaminess, deliciously sweet coffee emerges. The awesome nuttiness stands out unhindered by bitterness or sourness. Chocolate is not the main flavor here, but it does a great job of supporting and adding depth to the drink. At times, the quality of the coffee shines, and other times, the richness of chocolate is noticable. This is a coffee you want to enjoy with care, savoring every sip; no other coffee drink that I can remember was quite this enjoyable. I can tell Shock put a lot of love into this; the sweetness level works well for the drink, carrying the flavors along nicely, but not drowning them out. The amount of cream, in my opinion, is just enough for a certain smoothness, but also keeps everything discernable. Gumminess is nonexistent and never once gets in the way of the Mocha's awesome taste. After finishing the can, there is a bit of an aftertaste in the back of the mouth, but I'll find this to happen with coffee in general. Overall, I am highly impressed with what a delicious blend Shock's come up with here. Hopefully, whenever I'm craving a quality cold coffee, Shock will be around for purchase.

Shock's boost is not exactly equivalent to an energy drink's. I'm not getting jitters, nor do I feel like running a mile or two. This is the kick of a cup or two of coffee. I'm up and energetic but it comes with no vitality, which coffee is not really known for anyway. But of course, the lift is nice, being a two or three hour energy increase. The effects of these coffees will vary depending on your caffeine tolerance; to me this is moderate. To a caf-a-holic, this is a tasty fix. It's those who rarely have caffeine that this'll impact, like many highly caffeinated beverages.

The ingredients list should be fairly straightforward: Brewed espresso coffee, milk, sugar, maltodextrin, creamer [coconut oil, corn syrup, sodium caseinte (a milk derivative), mono and diglycerides, dipotassium phosphate], ground cocoa, sodium bicarbonate, and caffeine.

Actually, there are a couple of things I'd like to point out about that list. First, I see Shock's chosen to make this out of espresso, which is a welcome choice by me. Next, I see that milk is not the only creamer here, but a dairy-based creamer made out of caseinate, coconut oil, corn syrup, and glycerides is used. It sounds much like the stuff in the powdered creamers we so often use, having corn syrup. Glycerides, I find, are used as emulsifiers and they're mostly benign. Don't ask me why coconut oil and corn syrup make a good creamer, but it works. After the creamer is listed cocoa powder, hence the cocoa flavor. Finally, what I find most interesting is that caffeine is listed. It says to me that Shock wasn't satisfied with the caffeine in the espresso, so they decided to pump in some more. It brings a smile to my face and explains why this does, indeed, feel more powerful than plain coffee. Nonetheless, I'll be looking for Shock for its great taste.

Taste: 9.7 - Shock Coffee's flavor is sophisticated and very, very delicious
Kick: 7.6 - An enjoyable way for a kick comparable to a couple of cups of coffee
Overall: 9.2 - A delicious cold coffee that easily rivals Starbucks

Reviewed by: Jeff

Saturday, December 4, 2010

BAZI Energy Shot

In the realm of energy shots, there are essentially two categories: mediocre, simple, straightforward shots; and then the shots that really shine, the full-force, high quality, flavorful, powerful ones that make you wish for a larger bottle. I don't often make judgements on energy drinks prior to enjoying them, but I've done my research on this one. Today I've got BAZI Energy Shot to taste and experience. Many thanks to the company for providing me with a sample. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to be gracious when you receive a generous sample like this, but I don't praise BAZI for that reason alone. BAZI is a perfectly cylindrical, deep red 2oz shot and you can tell by its ingredients that BAZI has put some serious work into its creation. It's packed with eight, count them, eight (8) superfruits, including our beloved Acai and Goji. It's also got 12 Vitamins, an interesting mineral blend, and of course, an energy blend. I don't want to spoil all of the details in the first paragraph, so let's carry on with the tasting. Shall we?

I give BAZI a nice shake between my thumb and middle and twist open the cap. Check it out: underneath the cap, BAZI's placed a plastic seal, which tells me BAZI takes their shots seriously. The liquid inside is an opaque orange-red color like beets. I only use that as a color comparison. The smell is a rough sweetness surrounded in an earthiness like minerals and vitamins. However, it doesn't smell artificial. I'm thinking that earthiness is coming from the 8 superfruits, and I'm not afraid. Taking a sip, I'm glad to find more dimension in the flavor; it begins with a well-rounded sweetness with berry overtones, then a sourness meets the back of the mouth that's pretty satisfying and enjoyable. All the while, there's a chocolatey-ness to it that's gotta be coming from the smooth Acai. I can't make out every superfruit, considering I have never tried Jujube, Goji, Mangosteen, or Seabuckthorn. Despite this, I'll say that BAZI is a pretty tasty shot. The flavor is enjoyable in a different way than most shots, and it's not hard to down. It's going to be a new experience to first-timers, but if you're open to new flavors, you definitely want to give this shot a try. Now I wait to feel the effects.

I'm not going to lie; I'm very, very satisfied with BAZI's kick. Like many energy shots, you don't find yourself crashing after an overwhelming boost. After downing BAZI's two ounces I felt a gradual, gentle boost. Instead of a massive amount of energy, BAZI delivers a nice, constant pick-me-up with awesome vitality. You get a true sense of physical well-being and that's a great thing to have from an energy product. My guess is this comes from the plethora of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The vitamins present in BAZI include: biotin, folate, vitamin A, C, D, E, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12. So there we've got a large part of the "vitamin alphabet," including a strong B-complex. BAZI also contains 1000mg of a mineral blend which includes a fulvic mineral solution. Bottles of fulvic mineral solutions are sold and said to improve absorption of nutrients, body toxicity, metabolism, and even oxygen absorption. These components, along with BAZI's impressive 25-gram 8-superfruit blend, must be what provide its incredible vitality and awareness. Finally, the energy blend consists of 80mg of caffeine, 50mg of inositol, 50mg of Para Aminobenzoic Acid, and 20mg of Rutin. Para Aminobenzoic Acid is said to assist with fatigue, depression, irritability, and a number of skin diseases. Rutin, like, Para Aminobenzoic Acid, is an organic compound and is not proven to, but may help with inflammation and the blood. It's also an antioxidant. The rest of BAZI's ingredients are as follows: purified water, fructose, pear juice concentrate, natural flavor, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate. I have to say I am very impressed by what BAZI's creators have put together here. Some might complain that it lacks punch, but I'm very glad BAZI chose to limit the caffeine and energy ingredients. This is a shot that will leave you comfortable and feeling good overall. And that's what I need half of the time, not some energy bomb that has me jittery and keeps me up at night. I applaud BAZI, and highly, highly recommend you give it a try.

Taste: 8.2 - A unique, exotic, and very tasty energy experience
Kick: 9.0 - BAZI delivers with a smooth, alert, vital boost
Overall: 8.6 - Perfect choice for a healthy, enjoyable pick-me-up

Reviewed by: Jeff

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Duff Energy

Ah, Duff Beer, the classic epitome of Homer Simpson's lifestyle. A staple in the hit television show, The Simpsons, Duff Beer has always been an envied flavor by those who follow the show closely. Now, thanks to the makers of The Simpsons, anyone can taste that prized, Duff flavor. Of course they didn't put alcohol in one of these rarities, but perhaps it can still live up to it's reputation. The can (a typical-sized beer or soda can) closely resembles the Duff seen in The Simpsons (Often found in Barney or Homer's hands). The can is silver, red, white, and gold, behind a doodled "Duff", and a bold "Energy Drink." According to Homer Simpson, "Can't get enough of that wonderful Duff!" Let's see if he's correct...

Duff has an enticingly sweet aroma of pure orange; a bit like orange soda. Taking a quick sneak-peak at the ingredients list, I see High fructose corn syrup, a key sweetening agent in many sodas. The color, as I anticipated, is a clear, dark orange. At my first taste, I am a bit let down. Though the flavor is orange, it's rather bland, tart, and masked by a combination of the corn syrup and the carbonation. The flavor fades fast, and leaves virtually no aftertaste. The caffeine is noticeable, as this Duff is somewhat bitter. After finishing a few ounces, it goes down somewhat smooth, and feels much like water, maybe due to the thin, watered down texture of it. The gumminess is minimal, and the carbonation is moderate, for an energy drink. I must say, Duff has let me down with a weak, tart, orange energy drink, that tastes almost no different than a regular soda --other than the low amount of carbonation, and the watered-down flavor.

Hopefully Duff can get some credit with a decent kick. While I wait for some sort of energy, I'll list some key ingredients in this can. In one can of Duff Energy, there's filtered carbonated water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, citric acid, taurine, sodium citrate, caffeine, natural flavors, potassium benzoate & potassium sorbate, inositol, guarana, ginseng, yellow #5, niacin, D-calcium pantothenate, Red #40, pyridoxine HCL, and cyanocobalamin. Per can, Duff's got 160 calories, and 40 grams of sugar. With 1000mg of taurine, and 120mg of caffeine, the kick is above-par, enough to get you through a few hours of work, but not much more than drinking a few cans of Coke or Pepsi. Overall, most people can get their kicks from a novelty can of Duff; therefore, this is one meant to be a keepsake, rather than a quick drink.

Taste: 6 - Bitter, boring, and flavor-lacking orange
Kick: 7 - Little more than bottle of soda
Overall: 6.5 - I'll give it some credit for being a novelty

Reviewed by: Chan

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bite Me Energy

A couple of our bros notified us about a drink we'd never reviewed, and very graciously saved us a couple of cans. Here I have Bite Me Energy, which seems to be some of the damn tastiest stuff we've come across in a while, or so says Chan. From all of my bros, I've heard that this is one of the greatest Monster clones around. The front of the can reads "energy with attitude" and "warning extremely potent." Bite Me definitely wants to give the impression that this is a serious energy concoction. A few things I like about this right from the get-go are the graphics on the front reading "Energy with Attitude" and "Warning Extremely Potent!" Also, across the top it reads "Chill Me, Lick Me, Bite Me!" I'm not really sure what this means. Anyway, I'm trying this chilled and over ice.

The smell from the can strikes me as syrupy and less fruity than I had expected. A sip from the can delights me because not only is the taste quite palatable but because the drink isn't too sweet, just as I was expecting. Often times, I've felt let down by drinks with a good flavor that are much too sweet. As for the flavor, it's tart and quite delectable, but not easily discernable. Much like a Monster, the flavor isn't easy to tell, but it is tasty so I would call this a Monster clone. Its differences include more tartness, less sweetness, and a slightly more chalky flavor. It's a nice take on the Monster clone, though I'm at a loss for words when it comes to describing the taste. It don't recognize any familiar flavors, really; all I can make out is vanilla with some kind of crisp, fruity backdrop. It's an easy drink to enjoy and it leaves quickly.

Bite Me's ingredients list: Carbonated Water, Sugar, Citric Acid, Natural Flavors, Fruit and Vegetable Juice (For Color), Taurine, Glucuronolactone, Caffeine, Inositol, Sodium Benzoate, Niacinimide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, D-Calcium Pantothenate, and Cyanocobalamin. The reason for the moderate sweetness I mentioned is that Bite Me contains only 25g of sugar per serving. That's 2-6 grams less than most drinks, and in my opinion it makes Bite Me much easier to down. As for the energy blend, there are 160mg total of Caffeine, a strong dose, 1000mg of Taurine, 300mg of Glucuronolactone, 50mg of Inositol, and a short stack of B-Vitamins. I'm not exactly sure where this stands next to a Monster supplement-wise, but I do know that it's a bit more caffeine-heavy, with 160mg where Monster has around 140. I can't say much about the boost. It was definitely there; I felt energetic and ready to do anything. The one thing that irked me was how dehydrated I felt from the Caffeine, but that is to be expected from any source of caffeine. In the end, I'm very happy with Bite Me, mostly because of a clean taste and good sweetness level.

Taste: 8.8 - One of the best-tasting energy drinks I've come across recently
Kick: 7.8 - Gets you energized and ready to do pretty much anything
Overall: 8.7 - Easy drink to enjoy anytime

Reviewed by: Jeff

Monday, July 5, 2010

Wave Sugar Free

Wave is a brand I hadn't heard of until recently. With a stylish, yet simple can design, Wave claims to be the best tasting energy drink on the market today. That's not an easy thing to accomplish, and with my energy drink reviewing experience, I'll be the judge of that. With all natural flavors and some interesting ingredients, I'm expecting something different from Wave. However, as with many sugar free drinks, there's a bit of worry in me over the sweetness. Hopefully, Wave has created the best tasting sugar free energy drink on the market. I'm mostly clueless as to what flavor this will be. The only way to find out is to open it up.

Immediately after popping the top, I smell a rush of something soft and sweet, like strawberry. Taking it in at the opening, I smell less of the sweetness and, unfortunately, an unpleasant bitterness like vitamins. Wave enters my cup with a deep, clear crimson that's quite nice to look at. A big swig invites me to taste that same vague and rounded sweet flavor supported fairly well by the artificial sweeteners. Still, I cannot shake the bitter, vitamin taste. That's not a good sign. It's most prevalent when I take a whiff of the drink, though it's not as in my mouth. I feel bad saying it, but I wouldn't expect the best-tasting energy drink on the market to taste like this. Nor would I expect a brand which sponsors a car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup to taste like this. What is good about Wave, however, is that the artificial sweeteners haven't lost their sweetness, as they do sometimes. Topping off the can, I've proven to myself that Wave Sugar Free is by no means undrinkable, which is a good sign.

As you would expect, Wave contains Carbonated Water, Aspartame, Ace-K, and a dose of B-Vitamins. The rest of Wave's ingredient list is a bit nonstandard, with a few natural ingredients you don't see very often. First of these odd ingredients is Black Carrot Juice Concentrate, which is used to naturally give the drink a dark red. Next I see Elderberry Extract Concentrate. I'm not sure exactly what it's for, but it may be simply for flavor. Purple Sweet Potato is another fascinating ingredient, and it may be present for its color as well, or perhaps it's in here for the antioxidants. The last natural ingredient I see is Red Cabbage Juice Concentrate, which may also be for color or antioxidants. Wave's Proprietary Energy Blend is 2.28g of Taurine, Caffeine, Inositol, L-Lysine, Choline Bitartrate, and Guarana Extract. All of these I've heard of except for Choline Bitartrate. It turns out Choline is a very essential nutrient similar to B Vitamins that contributes to brain development and cognitive function. That's something I like to get from an energy drink, not just energy but lots of focus. Choline Bitartrate and L-Lysine, along with the B-Vitamins found in Wave provide just that. After drinking Wave, not only was I energetic, but I did have a great deal of concentration. That is definitely going to help Wave's score.

Taste: 6.2 - A vague strawberry-like flavor all but ruined by some kind of chalky vitaminy taste
Kick: 8.7 - One of the better boosts I've had from an energy drink, with plenty of focus.
Overall: 7.6 - I can't say this is the best-tasting energy drink on the market

Reviewed by: Jeff

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Buzz Bites Mint Chocolate Energy Chews

Alas, from the makers of Foosh Energy Mints, comes Buzz Bites, a chew packed with an intense hit of chocolate and mint, oh, and not to mention 100 milligrams of caffeine. Foosh has stepped up to meet the demands of caffeine junkies such as myself and Jeff by preparing a good dose of energy in the size of a mint, thereby excluding the need to drink an entire can of an energy drink, or a mug of coffee. Not that I don't like doing either of the two, but to me, popping a mint in my mouth, and receiving a great burst of energy, alternatively seems so much cooler. Instead of a hard, chalky mint, this time Foosh released their new, softer energy chews, and let me tell you, they are Seriously Caffeinated, as their motto suggests. On the rectangular tin, there's a neat design of a square chew, with mint leaves next to it. In each tin, there's 6 pieces, individually wrapped. After trying a few of these chocolatey, minty chews, I decided it was time to get down and review. I feel I can make this review more accurate by trying a couple of mints prior to sitting here and typing this up. Anyways, let's unwrap one of these bad boys.

After close examination of the square, sticky chew, it's not too difficult to predict a dark brown color, with a few damaged corners and edges. Popping one chew in my mouth, I immediately notice a quick rush of mint, and as I sink my teeth into the mint, chocolate becomes more noticeable, as does some bitterness, likely due to the amount of caffeine. In terms of taste, compared to the Foosh Mint, Buzz Bites is much more desirable - who doesn't like chocolate? The bitterness is extremely nicely masked by the choco-mint concoction, but it's not too sweet at all. Although it's almost sugar free, it's sweetened mostly artificially, by sucralose and acesulfame-k. As far as I can tell, I can only taste the artificial sweetness in the aftertaste, which is a mixture of fake chocolate and bitterness. I assure you, it's not too bad.

In means of energy and ingredients, Foosh is superb. In one mint, you get 25 calories, and only 3 grams of sugar. There's basic energy ingredients such as thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, Vitamin B6 & B12, ginseng, taurine, and of course caffeine. As for other ingredients, there's corn syrup, sweetened condensed skim milk, sugar, part hydrogenated coconut oil, unsweetened chocolate, water, cocoa powder, caffeine, energy blend (Listed above), whey with calcium caseinate, natural and artificial flavors, salt, sucralose, acesulfame-k, and soy lecithin. Merely 15-20 minutes after one energy chew is downed, I feel an immediate burst of awareness, and plenty of energy rushing through my body. As I have stated in the Foosh review, one mint is more than enough if you want a good pick-me-up, and I never would condone ingesting more than two or three in one sitting. Foosh has once again succeeded with a fantastic new chocolate-mint energy chew, with the same trademark 100 milligram boost per chew/mint. If you haven't found Foosh just yet, you truly are missing out. I highly recommend grabbing a tin or two of Foosh from their website, if you cannot find any at local stores.

Taste: 8 - Tasty chocolate-mint flavor per chew, but a fake, but, not nearly grimacing bitter aftertaste
Kick: Again, this can vary per chew. 1 chew= ~7-8, 2 chews= ~8-9
Overall: 8.5 - Great alternative product if you're not in the mood for an energy drink or coffee.

Reviewed by: Chan

Monday, May 17, 2010

Wired X344

Getting loads of caffeine into your body isn't as hard as it used to be, now, with the help of energy drinks. Even so, a 16 ounce Monster has about 160mg, whereas one hot cup of coffee has about 100mg. Just today, my buddy wanted me to review a new drink he found, called Wired x344. Now, I didn't find a substantial difference between Wired, and say, any other energy drink on the market until I scoured the can thoroughly. Thereabout, on the back of the can, I found a few key words that led me to the caffeine content of Wired, such as "Triple Caffeine", "Massive Energy", and "Get Wired". All right, any guesses on how much caffeine this puny 8 ounce can really has? I mean, it can't be that much -- er...Okay, so perhaps Wired did live up to its references. It's got about 181mg of caffeine, just in one serving. I want to talk more about this, but I think I'll wait for the last paragraph. I want to expect Wired to taste like orange-citrus, judging by the can color, but, being the lone flavor (Except for the DIET), my heart is nudging me to expect a Red Bull Clone.

Tearing open the small can, I knew I was correct, noticing a familiar, aromatic, and down-home, basic Red Bull Clone scent. It smells almost exactly similar to that of Red Bull. Taking a quick swig, I find a remarkably similar flavor as well, though a bit more bitter at first. Having so much caffeine and B Vitamins, there's going to be some bitterness to mask the primary flavor of a basic clone. Well, in case you forgot, or don't know exactly how to describe the flavor of a Red Bull, I'll do my best, here. To me, Wired (Or Red Bull) has smooth green apple, a bit of sour raspberry, a bit of 'bubble gum' and vanilla to even off the sourness. In this case, expect a good helping of bitterness to mask much of the flavor. It's nicely carbonated, and leaves a good bite after the initial flavor fades. The more I drink of Wired, the more delicious it becomes. In my own opinion, I find this drink is most enjoyable lightly chilled, as too chilled subtracts some of the sweetness and overall flavor, and too warm makes the drink seem sweeter than it really is; try that out-- it's a bit of an experiment Jeff and I have tried over the past few years as part of Canned Reviews. Overall, I found Wired to be satisfying and refreshing, though not very much different than your every-day energy drink you find on the shelves.

Getting into the technical information of Wired X344, I jot down the supplement facts: 110 calories and only 25 grams of sugar in one serving, in which Wired has 1.05 servings per can. There's hearty amounts of the energy blend, at 1.87 grams (taurine, caffeine, guarana, etc.). In one can, there's carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, citric acid, taurine, potassium citrate, natural and artificial flavor, caffeine, preservatives, caramel color, inositol, niacin, White Tea extract, nicotinic acid, guarana, D-calcium pantothenate, Pyridoxine HCL, Yellow #5, and cyanocobalamin. Wired's got some pretty standard ingredients, so it seems. There's some White Tea extract, as you can see. After just a bit of research, I find out White Tea has many alleged health benefits. It's more effective than green tea at inactivating bacterial viruses, it protects skin, and can reduce the number of new fat cells produced and break down the fat in existing ones. Sounds exciting. I'm wondering if other energy drink companies know about the benefits of White Tea, and decide to use it more prominently. Wired produced a great kick, so I felt. About 10 minutes after topping off the can, I felt a rush of jitters, and more liveliness. I enjoyed the idea of knowing I didn't have to ingest twice as much sugar, and twice as many calories, to get the same --if not more energy than a Monster, Rockstar, or Amp.

Taste: 8 - Smooth vanilla, apple, raspberry/Red Bull Clone with decent amounts of bitterness
Kick: 8.4 - Strong kick for such a small can, and a great substitute for a larger energy drink
Overall: 8.2 - Great find for such a little-known energy drink company

Reviewed by: Chan

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mountain Dew Distortion

The last and most anticipated Mountain Dew review for me will be the Distortion, the lime-blasted Dew. The fluorescent green is as enticing as the regular green, but it pairs nicely with the dark label. Just like the other flavors, Typhoon and White Out, Distortion is a candidate to become a permanent member of the soda brand's line. I checked out the Dewmocracy forums at to find a fierce debate about all three flavors. The discussion is never-ending and intense. The outcome of the voting will surely make a lot of people happy...and even more crestfallen that their flavor will likely never be seen again. With the final review, Chan and I will make our decision and cast our votes for which flavor we want to see prevail.

A whiff straight from the bottle rouses me with a foundation of the regular citrus formula, and on top of that is the sharply sour smell of pure lime. It really smells like someone just squeezed a lime into a Mountain Dew, and it's amazing. Poured into a cup of ice, the smooth, dark green transmutates to a bright key lime. Fizzy, Distortion could possibly be mistaken for the regular Mountain Dew, but as it mellows out, the lovely lime really stands out. It's also more noticeable over ice. To be honest, at first, the Distortion might seem a little disappointing, which is why I'm not drinking it all at once. Wait a little while, have it over ice, and that's when the delicious lime flavor truly shines. Some may argue Mountain Dew tastes too much like the regular Mountain Dew, and in truth, it is very close. But something about the shot of lime when it hits you is utterly delicious.Whether you favor it or not, this drink is one you've just got to try.

Now, considering Mountain Dew is a soda, it's not going to provide such a great boost as a full-on energy drink. Despite that, Mountain Dew does provide a nice buzz from the 91mg of caffeine per 20oz bottle and of course all that sugar. Per serving, there's 30 grams, 76 total. Like any soda, Mountain Dew's primary ingredients are carbonated water, HFCS, and flavorings. Interestingly enough, where the regular Mountain Dew lists orange juice concentrate, the Distortion does not. Also found in Mountain Dews is brominated vegetable oil. I can't say exactly what that is, and it doesn't sound like something that really belongs in a soda, but in fact, it plays an important role as an emulsifier in citrus drinks. Concerning the kick, just like any other Mountain Dew, Distortion will pick you up with its 91mg of caffeine per bottle, though I have to admit, the large amount of sugar drags me down sometimes.

So, now's the time I decide which flavor I'm for. It hasn't been easy deciding, but in the end, I'd want to see Distortion on store shelves more than any of the three. The originality and distinctiveness of the subtle, yet delicious, simple, yet sophisticated lime draws me to this one the most. Though I'm disappointed to see Distortion falling in the polls, and despite many assertions Distortion is not different enough to win, I still think this is the best flavor that could possibly join the Mountain Dew lineup.

And for those of you who say it shouldn't win because it's the same color: pour the regular Dew and the Distortion into a glass. Dew's yellow. Distortion's green.

Taste: 9 - A spectacular lime accenting the awesomeness that is Dew for a simple, yet sophisticated and altogether delicious beverage
Kick: 6.4 - Good game fuel, good to see from a soda
Overall: 8.8 - I'll be rooting for this one all the way

Reviewed by: Jeff

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Foosh Energy Mints

Energy drinks aren't always the quickest way to get caffeine, it seems nowadays. Coffee can be bothersome, as you have to prepare a pot, then down it piping hot. Energy drinks were thus created. As if chugging a 16 ounce can was difficult enough to get a good burst of energy, energy mints were created in succession. I like the idea of energy mints. Just think of the advantages: Sugar free, portable, 6 calories per mint, and only the size of about 2-3 Altoids. The only disadvantage that realistically could exist would be the realization that you're not drinking anything to get energy, which is probably the main way consumers attain caffeine. I know that some folks enjoy drinking an energy drink, or a cup of joe to get energy, not only to drink, but because they enjoy the flavor. A bit of background information on Foosh reveals that in just 1 single mint, there's a total of 100mg of caffeine. No joke. Doing loads of math, I find out that two mints roughly equal a 16 ounce energy drink -- perhaps even more. A Monster has about 150mg in a 16 ounce can, in comparison to only 2 minute mints.

This paragraph will be rather brief, only because I don't intend on focusing much on the flavor. Just a few minutes ago I opened up the metal case containing the mints, and popped one in my mouth. Immediately, a rush of strong minty flavor came at me, with some noticeable bitterness in the background. I can relate the flavor to that of your every day dinner mint. The shape of the mint is larger than a regular dinner mint, has a chalky-white color and texture, and the word 'Foosh' is engraved on one side of the mint, with a familiar symbol of electrons swirling around an atomic nucleus. Surprisingly, this minty flavor has masked most of the bitterness, which potentially, could be strong due to the high amount of caffeine and B vitamins. It takes about 5-10 minutes for the mint to dissolve completely, depending on how intent you are on finishing it.

When it comes to energy, Foosh means business. They relate one mint to a cup of coffee, in means of caffeine content. I mean, if you're a coffee person, and this still doesn't convince you I don't blame you. That is, until you find out Foosh contains ginseng, taurine, niacin, thiamin, and Vitamins B6 and B12. By now, not only are getting the same caffeine amount, but you get the healthy stuff, too. Judging the effects of Foosh over the past few days, as I've been using these mints every now and then, I find a lot more than I initially expected. The kick is great. I liked how after only one mint, I feel a sudden burst of energy, and a general upbringing of my mind and spirit. Not yet have I tried two minutes at once, only because I haven't felt it necessary thus far. If you choose to, go nuts. On the other hand, one of the effects I've felt peeved me was how dehydrated I felt after the mint dissolved and the energy kicked in. My lips felt dry as dirt, and no matter how much water I would drink, the effect lingered. It left a decent crash as soon as all of the caffeine was used up, too.I want to know how the mint affected you; when you have the chance, drop by and leave a comment on your experience with Foosh.

In one mint, there's only 5 calories, 25mg of sodium, and no sugar. As for ingredients, there's sorbitol, natural peppermint extract, caffeine, other natural and artificial flavors, propreitary synergistic energy blend, Magnesium stearate, acesulfame potassium, aspartame, and blue 1. Although it's artificially sweetened, I find very little distaste in the mint.

On one last note, I want to remind you all the dangers of too much caffeine. It may be easy to access this much caffeine, but it never means you should. It's not safe to exceed 3-4 mints in a sitting, unless you're down to experience serious heart palpitations, massive headaches and stomach pains, and a mean crash. Overall, I believe Foosh has created the next generation of energy intake.

Taste: 6 - Strong peppermint flavor, with decent amounts of bitterness
Kick: This can vary. If you're having one mint, expect a good pick-me-up. Two mints, strong jitters. Three mints, well, you can tell me how that felt.
Overall: 9 - Great concept, and I want to make sure Foosh gets known to every caffeine consumer world-wide.

Reviewed by: Chan

Friday, April 30, 2010


About a week ago, a distributor from the energy drink company, Wave, offered to send samples of a rather new energy drink. Wave might jog your memory, as its logo is somewhat universal. It's the design on NASCAR driver Mike Bliss's car, and apparently they drive a sedan around with the logo of Wave stickered all around the car. I did a bit of snooping around on Wave's website, and I found out some cool facts: they use all natural flavors, they claim to have lower caffeine & carbonation, and have a Crimson appeal, for "sophistication." It's neat to see Wave post their ingredients list and nutrition facts on their site. Taking a glance, I quickly become alarmed at the sight of 300 calories, and 70 grams of sugar per can. After 100+ reviews, I can't say I've come across a 16 ounce can packed with that much. Nonetheless, I got to sample some Wave before I started this review, which I feel is crucial to accurately review the drink.

All right, so I break open the 16 ounce can, and immediately recognize the homey scent of a Monster clone. I understand I use the term heavily, though I feel it appertains to the situation, especially this one. The color is a beautiful light red/pink color, as I pour it out of the can and into a glass. I won't just judge until I try more, but so far, I find a basic cotton candy, apple, raspberry, and bubble gum, as an initial flavor. However, I'm impressed Wave literally meant lightly carbonated. It's got just enough carbonation to tingly the tip of your tongue, and just enough to allow you to chug without the uncomfortableness you usually get from other energy drinks or sodas. Getting to about halfway done with the drink, I find the flavor to be more dynamic than your average Monster clone, there's less bubble gum/cotton candy flavor, and more dry, wild berry flavor, while maintaining the same sweet and tartness. I hardly found a reason for the high amount of sugar, as this drink is hardly as sweet as I initially expected it to be, and is about as sweet as a Monster, if not less sweet. Overall, a good Monster Clone, but I don't think you're missing too much by picturing old Red Bull/Monster with some added dryness, and sweet-tartness.

Looking at the nutrition facts, there's about 300 calories and 70 grams of sugar per serving, like mentioned earlier in the review. There's about 1.14 grams of proprietary (energy) blend, which contains an undisclosed amount of taurine, caffeine, inositol, L-Lysine, Choline Bitartrate, and Guarana Seed. In one can, there's also carbonated water, sugar, dextrose, citric acid, sodium citrate, natural flavor, black carrot juice, Elderberry extract, purple sweet potato, L-Lysine, niacin, red cabbage juice, D-calcium pantothenate, pryidoxine hydrochloride, thiamin, and cyanocobalamin. A few uncommon ingredients in Wave, such as black carrot, elderberry, red cabbage, and purple sweet potato, all have something in common -- the color. Of course Wave doesn't use these ingredients much for flavoring, I believe, but instead to give it that beautiful, light crimson color. Wave delivered an interesting kick. It wasn't so much based on caffeine, but I felt the utilization of B vitamins to deliver a kick chock-full of alertness, and overall strength revamped in my body. When all is said and done, Wave has a generic Red Bull-like flavor, with just a few added twists, but I have to admit I enjoyed the kick more than anything.

Taste: 7. 5 - A basic bubble gum/berry/apple flavor with few variances
Kick: 8.4 - Fantastic kick, full not just of caffeine, but plenty of vitamins
Overall: 8 - Expect Wave to be a well-known company in the near future. Be sure and grab a can.

Reviewed by: Chan


Jeffery "Jeff," Chandler "Chan"