Tuesday, December 2, 2008

180 Orange Citrus Blast

On a visit to Rite-Aid, I checked the fridge aisle for energy drinks and to my delight, I found 180 Orange Citrus Blast. 180 is not a company I'm very acquainted with, but I'm told it's one of the original energy drinks along with Red Bull and KMX. That's a drink I want to review, one of the originals, to experience an original and what I hope will be a quality drink. With a name like Orange Citrus Blast, I think I can expect a pretty strong orange and maybe some other citrus flavors. Not only do I predict some good flavor, but I can be sure the 8oz can will be fun to drink, since they are easy to slam down.

As I blast open the can, I take a whiff from those cool little openings of 8oz cans. The smell is a very sweet, not so sour orange, and it makes me think of Sunny D quite a bit. It's similar in the way that it's delightfully "creamy," so to say, rather than crisp. I can't hold back the urge to take a large sip, and my first taste is very good. At first, some sour tangerine/orange meets your mouth until it disperses and blooms into a very satisfying orange not exactly like any orange soda I've had to date. The common and unpleasant lingering sourness you get from a lot of orange sodas is not there, but it feels on the border of accumulating. The sweetness level is what I'm most pleased with, as when chilled, this drink is still thoroughly satisfying and enjoyable, while others may not be sweet enough - this definitely was meant to be served chilled. More than halfway through the can - yes, it's that addicting - gumminess is starting to accumulate, though it isn't much of a problem and can be handled easily. Carbonation is spot-on in the drink and isn't too fine or coarse, adding a very nice texture to the drink. The only minor flaw I can concieve is the absence of that delicious orange pulp taste found in real orange juice and also, surprisingly, Sunkist. Still, the drink is very addicting despite the sweetness level being slightly high and the 8oz can only makes it more enjoyable to drink. Overall, I say hands-down, this is one of the best orange energy drinks I've had and I'd definitely have one again, if it weren't for the steep price. I suppose that's just what you pay for a quality brand-name drink.

For ingredients this 180 has Carbonated Water, HFCS, Natural Flavors, Guarana, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate and Sodium Benzoate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), FD&C Yellow #8, FD&C Red #40, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12. Oddly enough, Caffeine is not in that list, but it does mention below the Nutrition Facts that this drink contains Caffeine. It's a solid ingredients list, not quite the most powerful one, but solid. What that tells you is that this is more of a casual energy drink, rather than one made for pure energy. 180 has tastefully created a light energy drink with a delicious orange flavor. As for exactly how much energy 180 yielded, I can only say it was decent, acceptable for a drink that focuses more on flavor than kick. What I felt most was alertness and a bit of focus with just a bit less energy than most drinks give. 180 contains 30g of sugar per can and 120 Calories, which isn't too bad. Overall, I really enjoyed this drink and could very easily imagine slamming one down now and then.

Taste: 8.7 - Very enjoyable and refreshing orange
Kick: 7.2 - A pretty average kick, focusing more on alertness than pure energy
Overall: 8.4 - My favorite orange drink so far

Reviewed by: Jeff

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Jeffery "Jeff," Chandler "Chan"