For a while, now, I've been craving a quality energy drink, and since I had this, I decided to bust it out. Talon is not a name I'm familiar with, but Chan was very pleased with the regular Talon. My hope is that this one is just as good and that Talon can handle the sweetener properly. I'm taking a look in the ingredients and what's good to see is Acesulfame Potassium in conjunction with Sucralose, instead of Splenda alone. Right now, I wonder what this might taste like. My first guess is a take on that crisp Monster flavor found in many energy drinks, and since Chan liked the regular so much, I'm willing to bet this one will be almost as good. What else gives me a hint that this may be a quality drink is the really nice can design with a tribal bird of prey in yellow and some really nice tribal graphics over a black background. A nice can design often means a good drink. However, not always.
I took a whiff and my first thought was, "Wow." I haven't smelled something this crisp and fruity in a long time. The smell, described to the best of my ability, is sweet, non-bitter grapefruit with possibly a bit of tangerine that balances the flavor out a bit. The flavor is similar, however there is a little more grapefruit and some orange and possibly some lemon-lime. Midway through the sip, it's quite similar to a lemon-lime drink such as 7Up or Sprite. A bit of the way through a sip at the beginning, lots of sourness and a little bitterness from the grapefruit gives a pleasant tingle and then settles. As I pour this stuff out, it's got a cloudy bright yellow hue with no hints of gold or amber. As for the sweetener supporting these flavors, it does an okay job and doesn't taste very artificial at all, yet it does taste like this drink is diluted with water, similar to common sports drinks, like Gatorade. And what's also puzzling is the fact that though this tastes a bit diluted and it has no natural sweeteners whatsoever, only during the first few sips does gumminess appear. Yes, during the first part of this beverage, your mouth is filled with gumminess seeming to come from nowhere. What's good is after about half a can, once the drink has lost its carbonation, it's much smoother with less sourness and imparts much less gumminess, if any at all. Overall, this is a very good quality drink, I'd say for something sugar-free and I'd slam one down anytime.
Now, after drinking this it's only natural that I take a look at the ingredients and Nutrition Facts. A quick glance reveals this drink has quite a hefty offering of energy ingredients: Taurine (2000mg), Glucuronolactone (200mg), Panax Ginseng (200mg) Guarana (100mg), Caffeine (174mg per can), and Inositol (60mg). As for vitamins, Talon Sugar Free has a bit of a limited selection, including only Vitamins B6, B12, and Pantothenic Acid (B5). This decent range of energy ingredients provides a hefty kick with a bit of alertness, though I've noticed a strange trend. With every energy drink I've had recently, the kick has been somewhat sub-par, yet the day after, I have great alertness and energy. Others I know have also reported this and I'm hoping to investigate this phenomenon, but in the meantime I will only mention that the morning after consuming the Talon Sugar Free, I had no trouble whatsoever waking up or staying awake. I might be able to conclude through experimentation, that having an energy drink the night before could possibly affect your energy levels later.
Anyway, moving on, the rest of this drink's ingredients are as follows: Carbonated Water, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Sodium Benzoate, Acesulfame Potassium ("Ace-K"), Modified Food Starch, Sucralose, Acacia Gum, Glycerol Ester of Wood Rosin (an emulsifier), Brominated Vegetable Oil, and coloring. What I gather from that list of ingredients is that there are many emulsifiers and thickeners used in this beverage, which I don't see the need for, but Talon must have found necessary. Overall, we have to keep in mind that energy drinks affect everyone in distinctly different ways, and thus I can't tell you how your body will react to this drink, or any drink for that matter. However, I can tell you that this drink, based on the energy ingredients held within, is one of the stronger drinks, near a Monster.
Taste: 8.6 - Very nice grapefruit/lemon-lime, excellent execution with the artificial sweeteners
Kick: 8.2 - A nice jolt
Overall: 8.4 - A good drink to slam down anytime, in my mind
Reviewed by: Jeff