Monday, September 15, 2008
You know, it's always funny to see knockoff brands of energy drinks outplay the big brands in taste and in kick. I can name quite a few off the top of my head that are better than, say, a Monster: Joker, Ace, Deton 8, you get the picture. I came across Talon the other thinking it's just going to be another lame Monster Clone, until I examined it closer. It turns out Talon is Circle K's line of energy drinks and will not taste like a Monster, but will taste more like citrus, hence the "Golden Citrus" phrase listed at the top. Now, you may think that it's probably just a citrus flavor, not the original, but that's where you're wrong. It clearly states "Original" along a banner largely across the top of the can. Below that is an awesome-looking golden fiery eagle with large talons used for attacking anyone that comes near it. It's wings are spread, making it look even more fearful as will as its fierce black eyes. In the same golden color, Talon is stenciled in the largest font, and covered with sharp thorns, perhaps the same as the claws on the eagle. To top it off, there's a nice black background with artistic thorn vines lightly colored in gray. Okay, let's claw into this beast and see what its got.
Breaking the can open, I find a scent that's unlike your average citrus, but more like pure lemon-lime and orange, without the dullness which usually is provided. I would say it smells most like Squirt but obviously crisper. Talon's color is an extremely unusual bright, fluorescent yellow hue, relating most to lemon candies, you know, just bright and unexpactant. My first thought on this drink is just pure amazement. To me, this drink tastes totally like a crisp version of Mountain Dew and Squirt put together. The main flavors are lemon-lime, orange, grapefruit, and perhaps a bit of tropical punch in the background. Knowing this crisp, I check out the ingredients list to see the two powerful sweeteners: sucrose and glucose, wow! It's extremely uncommon nowadays to find energy drinks sweetened with sucrose and glucose, and if you were to find one, it's hard to find it without Sucralose as well. Luckily, Talon contains no Sucralose, which is pretty easy to guess even without looking at the ingredients list. It's lightly carbonated so it makes it even more refreshing, with litle exceptions. It has a sour bite to it after drinking the whole can, most from the aftertaste, but some from the original flavor. Overall, Talon impressed me throughly, being the crispest and most refreshing citrus flavored energy drink I've reviewed so far
On ingredients, Talon has ingredients that reminds me of ingredients that were in energy drinks when they first were released. They read as following: carbonated waster, sucrose, glucose, citric acid, taurine, sodium citrate, natural and artificial flavors, glucuronolactone, ginseng, caffeine, guarana, modified food starch, niacin, acacia gum, ester of wood rosin, and brominated vegetable oil. Now, as you see, sucrose and glucose is a long-lost combination of sweeteners that I really haven't seen in an energy drink since I reviewed the last Monster. A lot of these ingredients are commonly found in citrus-flavored energy drinks, like brominated vegetable oil and modified food starch, espsecially found in the Rip Its. Per can, you get about an average of 240 calories and an unexpacting 56g. For that little sugar I was extremely surprised to see only 28mg per serving, just a bit more than a Monster. As for energy ingredients, you get 174mg of caffeine in the whole can, more than a Monster, and a bit more than in regular energy drinks. There's a usual 2000mg taurine, 50mg of guarana, and 100mg of ginseng. Coming back about an hour and a half later, I can say the kick was fantastic, although it was mostly jitteriness. All in all, taste-wise, and kick-wise, Talon has to be the best Citrus energy drink around.
Taste: 8.8 - Most crisp and natural-tasting citrus energy drink around
Kick: 8.7 - Great kick, lasted for a good 3 hours with a slight crash afterwards
Overall: 8.7 - Man, you really have to dig your talons into a few cans of these...I'm interested in seeing how the Sugar Free Talon compares.
Reviewed by: Chan