Friday, August 1, 2008
I'm way overdue for an energy drink review, and I finally have some time, so I'm going to review Freedom Energy Drink. I was surprised one day to see the 12oz Freedom at a nearby dollar store. I couldn't imagine this being sold in a dollar store because the can design looks too elegant and sophisticated, as simple as it is. I'm not sure if this is relevant, but this drink comes from Las Vegas, Nevada, canned by the Freedom Beverage Company. Perhaps that's the explanation for the fancy black and white can design and the white silhouette of a bird which looks like maybe a hawk or an eagle. It might have something to do with Las Vegas, I don't know. On the backside of the can, I see two bold words in white and all caps, reading "CONSCIOUS REVOLUTION" and the url of the energy drink's website beneath in red. I'm not sure what that means, but it sounds like a revolution going from an ignorant populace to a conscious and more intelligent one. I don't know how an energy drink would quite fit into that scenario, but whatever. I'm ready to review.
The first sniff smells very close to the Squirt Power soda energy drink and the Inked Chikara with a sharp, sour, and slightly bitter smell like mildly artificial grapefruit with some natural rind included. What interests me about this is the color, which looks a deep sky blue inside the can, but is which is a cross between cotton candy blue and tiny bit of seafoam blue/green. That smell is still there, but it's not very aromatic at all. Compared to those two drinks I mentioned previously, I'd say there is no orange or lemon like there seemed to be in the Inked and it's not as pungent as the Squirt, with a very pure grapefruit that doesn't deviate at all. Disappointingly, this seems a bit diluted and I think it may be for two reasons. First, this doesn't seem sweet enough. With every 12oz drink, I have to do a little bit of math to find out the grams of sugar per 8oz, rather than 12. In this one, it turns out to be 26. That's slightly less than a Monster, which could be why it doesn't taste sweet enough. Second, the grapefruit flavor is either so narrow or so faint that I just can't get into it. Oh, and the HFCS is a problem, giving the drink a characteristic dull sweetness. The carbonation may also be a factor, since it's not particularly coarse, but it does sting a bit. As for gumminess, it hardly delivers any, which is a plus, but I often don't mind gumminess unless it's really severe. Overall, I'd call this just a plain decent drink, less than what I expected from a major brand, but about par from a dollar store drink. It shows because I'm still not done with the can after this longer-than-average paragraph.
Freedom provides a respectable boost. Because I haven't had an energy drink in a short while and I was expecting this to really give me a jolt. But what I mostly got was just some mental alertness and a small amount of energy. I'd say the energy lasted for about 2 hours, which sounds about normal, but really, I'd call that below average, considering a drink like a Monster provides maybe a 3 hour boost and then a constant buzz that has never failed to keep me awake at night. And just like a dollar store energy drink, this one has a somewhat limited set of energy ingredients. I see HFCS after water and then taurine, citric acid, D-glucuronolactone, sodium citrate, natural and artificial flavors, ascorbic acid, inositol, choline bitartrate, caffeine, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, and what I believe to be a bunch of B Vitamins. The only ingredient I don't recognize there is choline bitartrate. It turns out it's one of those essential nutrients and it works well with B Vitamins. Overall, I'd call this a simple and dull drink I wouldn't really care to try again.
Taste: 6 - A dull and generic grapefruit taste that doesn't get me excited
Kick: 7 - A basic kick which seems more focused on alertness and vitality than energy
Overall: 6.6 - Nice can design but boring drink
Reviewed by: Jeff