Monday, December 22, 2008

All In Grape

I want to give Jeff a chance to review All In Grape, since I knew he was looking forward to this. I wanted put in just a short review on my behalf for the taste, as I wanted to review it as well. One last thing: props to David for finding me a few cans to review; thanks, man.

Chan's take: All In Grape has a real natural grape scent, with a just hints of artificialness, once cracked open. There really aren't too many grape energy drinks out there, so there really isn't much to expect. The only grape energy drink I can recall having is the Amp Traction, and one was pretty darn good. Pouring it into a cup, I notice the color is not an expecting purple, but a dirty, clear carbonated water color. For the most part, it's clear, but with a slightly dark, brown tinge to it. Hoping for the best, I swig a few ounces I poured into my glass cup...This All In Flavor has a nice, pure grape flavor to it, with some subtle blandness in the background. Tasting more, the bland, artificial flavor seems to envelope the quick-vanishing grape flavor. As I may recall, All In Grape is completely sugar free, and has 10 calories, hence the monstrous wave of artificial bland flavor. About 4 months ago, I remember reviewing the Bawls Guaranexx Sugar Free, which was just nasty, bland, artificial. The All In Grape has that same exact flavor alongside the smooth grape, which nearly ruins the drink. About halfway through the drink, it's tough to find much grape flavor, as it's mostly that unappealing artificialness. It's aftertaste seems to be nothing extreme, just a light tinge of Sucralose on the tongue, simple and unnoticeable. All in all, I feel I was a bit let down by the flavor of All In Grape, look at Jeff's final paragraph for ingredients/kick.

Jeff's take: Poppin' open the All In, I'm curious about the flavor. As I touch my nose to the top, I smell a fairly satifying cool grape that reminds me of cough syrup. It's always a joy to drink out of these compact little 8oz cans. As I take a sip, I taste some of that same grape that isn't bad and then the delicious sweetness that comes along with it from the Acesulfame Potassium and a tiny bit of Sucralose. Now, knowing this to be grape-flavored, I'm curious about the color. I've seen many shades of purple in my time reviewing and I'm eager to see what color All In has devised. I'm surprised to see instead of a lustrous shade of deep purple or violet, a simple crystal-clear color. That's quite odd, but I like it, because I'm not distracted by the color of the drink. Instead, I have a delicate and elegant clear, bubbly drink that makes me think about taking another sip. Although I have come to dread many sugar-free drinks, All In excels with a delicious combination of Ace-K and Sucralose, hardly at all tasting nasty or like a "fake sweetness," as I have come to call it. Indeed, All In's decision to use Ace-K was a wise one and it makes me happy. As I've heard, All In is designed with poker players in mind and because of this, the flavors are mild and enjoyable without too much complexity in order to not distract from the game. Exploring the flavor of the drink, I find that this is true. The smell of All In is that of sharp concord grape on a light grape backdrop. The beginning of a sip is smooth and All In is very thin to protect from gumminess. From there, the flavor develops somewhat but tries not to be overwhelming at all. After the peak, when the carbonation only barely tingles the tongue, the flavor subsides and starts to taste a bit fruitier. Finally, you are left with some very slightly bitter grape and the aftertaste of the Acesulfame Potassium. Overall, All In Grape is a drink with a mild and barely addictive artificial grape flavor meant to keep you focused on your game when you want something to drink. I'm just irked by one aspect of this drink. Although I applaud All In's choice to use Ace-K, I dislike the accumulating artificial sweetener aftertaste that it leaves behind. I doubt this would become a problem, except to the more refined consumers, with finely-tuned taste buds.

The energy ingredients in All In include: Carbonated Water, Taurine, Natural Grape Flavor with Other Natural Flavors, Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Acesulfame Postassium, Inositol, Caffeine, Herbal Blend (Astragalus, Panax Ginseng, Panax Quinquefolium, Schisandra), Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Sucralose, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Pyrodoxine HCL, Red 40, Folic Acid, and Cyanocobalamin. All In contains all your usual energy ingredients, inluding Caffeine, Inositol, Ginseng, and Taurine. But what I also like about the drink is the interesting herbs added. Astragalus is a plant native to China that has a yellow root and is a big part of Chinese medicine. Astralagus's function is essentially to strengthen the body's immune system and it's also used in Chinese energy tonics taken daily at certain times of the year. Quinquefolium, I've learned, is very much like Ginseng, although it grows in America, thus the name American Ginseng. Schisandra, as it turns out, is also Chinese and posseses many beneficial qualities. It is good for the immunte system, while it also relieves the body from anxiety and stress and perks energy levels. Overall, I'd say All In Grape is, in fact, a drink that will provide some energy along with concentration and all-around vitality.

Taste: 6 - Smooth grape flavor, lame artificial secondary flavor though...
Kick: 8 - Not a bad kick, actually, for an 8 ounce can
Overall: 7 - There are a few more flavors of All In, I want to see how they can improve after this barely-average energy drink

Reviewed by
- Chan and Jeff

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Jeffery "Jeff," Chandler "Chan"