Thursday, September 11, 2008


I love it when I see something new that catches my eye instantly. This can be, say, at a store, or perhaps outside somewhere. For me, this is specifically energy drinks, like the Independent Energy, which I have been struggling to locate for quite awhile now. You would have guessed I immediately grabbed one of these at a Circle K that was on clearance for only 50 cents per can, beating Big! Lots' 60 cents per can. I don't know why Independent Energy catches my eye. Maybe it's the simple red-black can colors, or maybe even the basic, yet eminent name. Independent Energy just seems to ring when I think about it, and just sounds better than, let's see, Starbuck's Doubleshot Energy blah blah, so on, so on. Simple names really tend to be the better ones too. Just look at Amp, Monster, Joker, Ace, Jolt, Diesel, you see? This why, I believe, Independent will most likely go down in the history of great, simple energy drinks, in mine, and many other's books. Aside form the name, the can design is silent, eerie, and mysterious. There's a lonely man in a red hoodie and red beanie facing away from us and into the darkness. This could be one of a rare metaphorical can designs I've seen here on Canned Reviews, probably suggesting a grim future ahead for him, and nothing...but...darkness.

This sly energy drink cans opens up and contains a fragrance more like dull pineapple with some essence of pear and peach, totally unexpected. Independent delivers a color most like the red from the front of the can, but a tad more fluorescent and obviously, a foamy head. Okay, I'll try my best to determine a flavor. At first sip, the considerable amount of sharpness drags you away from the main flavor, which can be described as a note of pineapple and strawberry, which makes sense. A few sips into it, I tend to like it better, having more peach and pear added into the main flavor and little medicinal sharpness. About half way through the can, I have to say, this flavor is really something, I mean, crisp for an HFCS filled drink. The medicinal sharpness is nearly gone, and leaves a heavy block of pear and pineapple, and now not so much strawberry and peach. You may be wondering what I would relate this drink to, and I right now, I'll say it tastes more like Kronik and WWE Raw Attitude. What do those two have in common? Herby flavor. All three have ginkgo biloba and milk thistle, both partaking in the flavor. A quick check in the ingredients list shows Sucralose, which is pretty disappointing; I knew I tasted something artificial. As for carbonation and gumminess, both are equal, I mean, both have equal parts of carbonation and gumminess. Overall, you may not like it when you crack it open, but after a few sips, it gets better, but not great enough to be worthy of being in one's 'book'.

Independent seems to have ingredients that are more like today's energy drinks with carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, taurine, citric acid, natural and artificial flavors, caffeine, glucosamine, glucuronolactone, ascorbic acid, guarana, ginseng, inositol, milk thistle, ginkgo biloba, niacin, and Sucralose. Well, you see how taurine is number three on the ingredients list, which usually calls for a massive kick, I'll have to see later. Caffeine, shortly follows it, which just improves my theory on a brutal kick. Unfortunately, it's got high fructose corn syrup, making it dull, as well as Sucralose, making it really artificial. Per can, there's an almost average 240 calories and a decent 58g of sugar, a bit more than a Monster, or Ace, or the same as an Amp. With only that much sugar, the drink had just that much flavor, really nice. Coming back a few hours later, the kick is exceptional. I felt more focus than jitteriness that's still going on, but sure to feel a crash soon enough. As you know, the Ginkgo and the milk thistle really did help produce some focus and the caffeine gave it that extra kick. All in all, I found this drink to pretty lame, dull, and artificial, but if it were sweetened alternatively it would have been amazing. For 50 cents, why not give it a try though?

Taste: 6.8 - A dull and artificial pear-pineapple flavor didn't appeal to me that much
Kick: 8 - Great kick, much focus was provided
Overall: 7.2 - If you catch one of these for cheap, go ahead and give it a try...otherwise, forget about it

Reviewed by: Chan

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Jeffery "Jeff," Chandler "Chan"