Monday, November 3, 2008

Archer Farms Juice Infused Pomegranate Blueberry

It doesn't happen too often where I review two or more drinks in a row of the same company, but tasting Archer Farms Wild Berry really kicked it off to try more of their great drinks. I have not yet seen every new flavor they have came out with, but I know that I can easily access them at my local Target, which supports Archer Farm's line of everything, practically. Like I said before, Archer Farms changed things up a bit, now coming in 12 ounce cans, rather than 16 ounces, and they require a bit more money. Per can, they want about $1.79 for 12 ounces, and honestly, it's not the best deal, but if all of them are just like the Wild Berry, I'll guarantee to you, it's worth it. Archer Farms has never used high fructose corn syrup in their drinks, and looking at the can, I do not see HFCS in this one, which most likely means I won't find it in any more Archer Farms. I see no real sweeteners in this can, instead I see it's sweetened with fruit concentrates and artificial sweeteners like Sucralose and Acesulfame K. Well, seeing those two aren't so bad in a sugar free drink, but I can't seem to find a reason why they would put it in a regular energy drink.

As I break open the can, I note a scent of intense blueberry and pear, with a small amount of pomegranate in the background, but a potent scent in general. Pouring it out of the can, I see a golden amber color, similar to that of a Monster, looking like pear, blueberry, and pomegranate juice combined. Oh man, I would have never seen this type of flavor coming at me. You imagine blueberry, pomegranate, and pear as an insane blend, especially in an energy drink, but as I taste it, I find the artificial sweeteners have become a large factor to this energy drink. As soon as you were to take a sip, you find a usual and crisp blueberry and pomegranate flavor, but as soon as the flavor actually sinks in, you're hit with an artificial and bland pear flavor, that's bitter on the tongue, and just plainly has no fruitiness whatsoever. Tasting more, I struggle to find a better flavor, as this is seeming to be a poor attempt of a juice-induced blue pom energy drink. It's aftertaste is nothing really but a small amount of pear juice, and blueberry, which combined tastes slightly like apple. In terms of gumminess, I have not yet had half of the can, but only drinking a small amount, I find that it's pretty gummy, especially in the back of the throat. It's carbonation is nice and mild, just like all other Archer Farms energy drinks. I thought it would be smart to come back in a few and taste this at room temperature, it's a whole lot different. In fact, it's most subtle and less artificial, with also much more primary blueberry and pomegranate flavors. Overall, a lame drink chilled, and an okay energy drink at room temperature. It still doesn't impress me in general.

As for ingredients, Archer Farms is pretty nice, although there are a few I'm not liking up there. Here's the complete list: Water, pear juice concentrate, citric acid, calcium, pomegranate juice concentrate, magnesium, blueberry juice concentrate, ascorbic acid, caffeine, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, panax ginseng, guarana, zinc, taurine, niacin, Sucralose, natural flavos, acesulfame K, pyridoine hydrochloride, riboflavin, cranberry juice concentrate, glucose. cyanocobalamin, and caramel color, Well first of all, Sucralose and acesulfame potassium should never be in an energy drink together unless it is labelled 'sugar free'. I noticed cranberry juice concentrate is one of the last ingredients, meaning there's less of it. So if there's more Sucralose than cranberry, that's a bit sad, being that I can taste more of that than more cranberry. Per can, you get a small 80 calories and an even smaller 19g of sugar. The sweetness was all right for 19g of sugar, I mean, there's wasn't too less. I don't see any energy ingredients listed so I'll assume they're pretty small amounts, which brings me to the kick. The kick is weak, that's why I say what I say when there's small amounts of caffeine, taurine, guarana, and ginseng. I felt a short buzz, and a lame crash following shortly afterwards. All in all, this brought my hope in Archer Farms down a lot, I hope they can regain it with a few more drinks to come.

Taste: 6 - Lame blueberry and pomegranate flavor, with an artificial pear to follow
Kick: 6 - The kick is no better than the taste, both being below par
Overall: 6 - As much as a fun of juice I am, I can't say I was satisfied with this juice-induced energy drink

Reviewed by: Chan

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Jeffery "Jeff," Chandler "Chan"