Tuesday, March 24, 2009

No Fear Bloodshot

Fruits make up most of the energy drink flavors, wouldn't you agree? Granted, you have some other non fruit-based flavors, like coffees, sparkling waters, chocolates. You can see these aren't so common in energy drinks, so companies try and cover all the fruits, to make a complete variety and range of their products. You can see Monster has covered most fruits, as has Rockster, and Amp. Though when these companies run into a "Road block," so to say, they must think outside the box. Give or take, you narrow it down to a few flavors, and you decide which one fits an energy drink the best, and that is blood orange. Hopefully, you've all seen or heard of a blood orange, which happens to be of course in the orange family, but with a darker, redder skin, and much smaller than a regular orange. It makes perfect sense the blood orange received its name from the color of its juices and flesh, resembling the color of blood. Glancing at one at the market the other day, I noticed they look a bit like a few different fruits, and after a bit of research I find they are a hybrid between a pomelo and a tangerine. So far, I've seen more companies thinking outside the box here, to produce this blood orange energy drink, like Rubyy, and, as you see here, No Fear. This can design is really nothing new for No Fear, as you can see in the picture, however they themed their secondary color orange. I'm fond of their titling, "Bloodshot" across the bottom of the can in a suburban, orange font, with the wing-attached orange-outlined skull. I couldn't help but notice the brief flavor description at the bottom of the page, reading "With blood orange & Dragonfruit juice." My hopes are high, and my mouth is dry; I'm ready for some energy.

Tearing into this mainstream energy drink, I'm pleased to a good extent of the scent I pick up. It's describable as an extremely sweet blend of creamy orange-tangerine, with a nice boost of candy-like, signature 'burnt' flavor of dragonfruit. Reminding me of my younger years, I find the aroma is similar to the orange cream-sickles you can buy; its rich, and somewhat creamy scent is real attractive, and leads me on to taste it. Pouring it out of the can, and into the cup, its color reminds me of orange soda, but again, with that tinge of creaminess added on, most likely from the blood orange flavoring. If you've never tried a blood orange before, I can try my best to explain it. I mentioned a few sentences up how it's almost like an orange, but with less sweetness, more sourness, and it's actually somewhat creamy and rich, though with a familiar hint of a milder grapefruit. Knowing this, I find a thick presence of blood orange and rough flavor of dragonfruit flow into the mouth, with much sweetness added on. It's finished with a smooth, creamy, yet sour, grape essence that leaves a nice flavor in the mouth. About half-way through the can, there's a bit more grape showing up, as well as a bit of pear, too. I'm appalled at the fact that I'm searching, yet I cannot find any dullness in the initial flavor, thus knocking out the idea of high fructose corn syrup in the guessing of the sweeteners. Tasting more and more, I find myself referring the drink to a South American, subtropical area in which I might find such a combination of flavors, and I think "Am I in South America?" As for gumminess, I find a decent amount of gumminess, most likely from the natural sugars inside the citrus fruit, as well as the sugars in the dragonfruit. I, myself, don't see it much as an issue, and I hope neither will you. Carbonation is on the low side here, as much of the intense, sugary flavors take it over and flow gently onto the taste buds. Overall, No Fear Bloodshot lived up to its reputation, as they keep slamming down the great flavors that are produced. You want a great example of blood orange, without the hassle of searching the stores for one? Go and pick one of these bad boys up, yourself at your local grocery store.

It's always fun locating key energy ingredients in an energy drink, especially in energy drinks with numerous ingredients, like No Fear. No Fear has this tendency to use an immense dosage of energy ingredients, some I've never really heard of, and others I've heard of, but not seen in an energy drink. After listing the ingredients, I'll go over the terms I haven't discussed here on Canned Reviews, I promise: First off I see carbonated water, sugar, grape juice concentrate, orange juice concentrate, pear juice concentrate, taurine, citric acid, natural flavors, sodium citrate, dragonfruit juice concentrate, blood orange juice concentrate, pectin, ascorbic acid, monopotassium phosphate, inositol, caffeine, purple grape juice concentrate, gum arabic, L-Carnitine, grape seed extract, cochineal, L-Arginine hydrochloride, Zinc Methionine sulfate, panax ginseng, glycerol ester of wood rosin, guarana, pyridoxine hydrochloride, rice flour, Selenium complexed with amino acids, folic acid, acetate, and cyanocoblamin.

As you can see, this ingredients list is fairly large; perhaps the largest ingredients list in an energy drink I've reviewed thus far. Anyways, I'll start by naming off some key ingredients I've found to be useful in delivering a nice kick: grape seed extract is known to be good for wound healing, tooth decay, osteoporosis, skin cancer, and ultraviolet damage to skin; pretty useful, eh? If you noticed, there's also various fruits involved, mostly for flavor, such as grape, pear, orange, blood orange, and dragonfruit, all having pretty hefty doses into the drink. I noticed rice flour, which is odd in an energy drink. My guess is it gives it its thickness, and it brings all the flavors together, but I'm not positive. The ingredient is most recognizable in baby foods, surprisingly. After finishing up the can, I notice the kick react pretty swiftly. My senses are improved, thoughts are together, and I'm definitely more alert, which is actually pretty helpful after a long day's work. Per can of No Fear Bloodshot, you'll get 200 calories, and only 46 grams of sugar! As for energy ingredients, you'll get a nice 174mg of caffeine, 2000mg of taurine, and decent amounts of Vitamins B and C. After everything, I'll conclude No Fear really nailed yet another energy drink, especially blood orange. Comparing it to Rubyy's blood orange, I think I'd prefer this one, for a cheaper cost.

Taste: 8.4 - Smooth, rich blood orange, grape, and dragonfruit came together nicely
Kick: 9 - You can never go wrong with a No Fear, if you're looking for kick
Overall: 8.7 - Don't miss out on one of these. I'm positive you can find a few cans at your local market

Reviewed by: Chan

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Jeffery "Jeff," Chandler "Chan"