Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Archer Farms Wild Berry

Ah, just as I thought I was finished reviewing Archer Farms drinks, Target's line of energy drinks, in other words, I find a whole new row of perhaps 5 or 6 new Archer Farms. These are just a bit different than that of the original three, being in a 12 ounce can, new blends, and just a tad more expensive. Now, I do recall getting 16 ounce Archer Farms for about 89 cents per can, but the mark-up on these 12 ounce cans substantial, being $1.79 per can. I can be pretty sure these are more expensive because, what really isn't expensive right now? Oh well, if the price is around reasonable, I'm likely to pick it up and review it, so that's what I did with this one, and a few others. I wanted to review Wild Berry first because Wild Berry is such a mysterious flavor, as if it's tough to actually make a good one. From past experiences with Wild Berry, I've found them to taste all different, and some being gummy, others not. Wild Berry really is a vague term to name an energy drink; wild berry could basically mean any or all berries out there, for which there are many types. When berry comes to one's head, usually they think of raspberries, blueberries, cherries, etc., when really those are a form of modified berries, which the fruit is formed from other parts of the flower. A true berry is a type of fleshy fruit in which the entire ovary wall ripens into an edible pericarp, which include the tomato, grape, lychee, loquat, lucuma, plantain, avocado, persimmon, eggplant, guava, uchuva (ground cherry), and chili pepper. Hm, wild berry, well I think I get what Archer Farms means.

Opening up the can, I find a wild berry scent that's a bit plain and could be described as hard cherry, blueberry, raspberry, and a bit of blackberry. When it pours out of the can I see a shocking and questionable key lime/lime green color, which I see is more common nowadays, being that wild berry is a mixture of colors. Well, unlike what my nose picked up, I taste it and I'm decently surprised to find a berry flavor that Archer Farms did a darn good job on. It can be described as a very sweet blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, light notes of cherry, and just a bit of boysenberry, but with a certain brightness, as in, all the flavors are brought out and all attack the taste buds. Seeing this and basing on previous experiences, I'm nearly positive it does not contain high fructose corn syrup, and as I check, I'm right, it's sugar or sucrose. Tasting more of it, I grin as I find an aftertaste that's mostly burnt berry, as if it did have high fructose corn syrup. As if the aftertaste wasn't enough, it's extremely gummy, which leaves me wondering what triggers this gumminess: the sweetener, or the flavor? For the most part, Wild Berry energy drinks tend to be pretty gummy, and sucrose doesn't tend to bring gumminess, so I'm going to leave it at wild berry to blame. On a lighter note, the gumminess is mild and nicely done. Topping it off, I'll conclude the upfront taste was a tasty, irresistible mixture of modified berries until the burnt aftertaste comes in and sort of ruins most of the prominent flavors.

As for ingredients, Archer Farms really doesn't differ, between, say, a Monster. Looking at the nutrition and ingredients, it seems to copy everything about a Monster, calories, main ingredients, and energy ingredients. Here's the ingredients list, to start off: water (carbonated), sugar (sucrose), ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), citric acid, sodium benzoate,potassium sorbate, ginseng, caffeine, niacin, natural flavors, guarana, calcium phosphate, taurine, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, Sucralose, cyanocobalamin, and caramel color. Once again, seeing sucrose is always cool in an energy drink. Vitamin C, ginseng, caffeine, guarana are all good as well, especially as high as it is on the list. Of course, it wouldn't be a new energy drink if it didn't have Sucralose in it, but I guess it's okay if it doesn't make too much of a difference in the taste. Per 12 ounce can, you get an average 150 calories and a low 36g of sugar. I always like seeing a low sweetened energy drink with the perfect amount if sweetness. Energy ingredients are undisclosed, but that's all right, perhaps it's average if it gave me a nice boost. It lasted about a good 2 hours with mostly energy, not really focus. So, concluding the review, I'll say I was impressed and kicked off the start of a new line of Archer Farms drinks real well.

Taste: 8.4 - Nice, smooth wild berry flavor with a tasy zing and a snap to finish it off
Kick: 7 - Not bad for a 12 ounce can, also suggesting the energy ingredients are average
Overall: 8 - I can't wait to crack open a few more of these new drinks and review them...

Reviewed by: Chan

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Jeffery "Jeff," Chandler "Chan"