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DARK DOG Energy Drink.

Dark Dog Energy Drink. Photo from CanMuseum.com.

DARK DOG IS GOOD 4 U! That’s not me talking, that’s the creators of DARK DOG who desperately tries to get your attention, both on their website and on the can. Look, they are only using capital letters. And they substituted “for” with 4 and “you” with U. So now we know they are an effective and cool bunch in touch with the kids. In many ways, they remind me very much of UMMBA!. And like that trademark, DARK DOG can’t quite agree with itself whether it’s DARK DOG or Dark Dog, but I’m going to stick with DARK DOG here since all caps seems to be their thing. The company behind DARK DOG presents the beverage as a “guarana and vitamin” energy drink. There is no explicit mentioning of caffeine in the description, but the can still contains the usual 32mg/100ml caffeine. DARK DOG energy drinks contain the caffeine of guarana, which is supposedly much better for the stomach than the synthetic caffeine used in most other energy drinks.

Can

The can is bright yellow, has a red stay-tab, and stands out like a construction worker on the store shelve. I’m sure you’ll be able to find it, no matter how exhausted or drunk you are. My box has “imported” written on it. At first, I thought it was there just to make the packaging feel a little more exclusive, but then I realized it’s because the can is actually imported – I bought it in Sweden, DARK DOG is manufactured in Austria. The can design also sports a rabid, mean-looking dog and if you’re picking up a DARK DOG after a few shrooms, you might end up having a bad trip because of that dog. In general – as you can see from the picture of the can – the design is a massive mess. It looks like the designer tried to cram as much crap onto the can as he possible could, and while he might have succeeded in that, the end result is confusing.

First smell

It’s sweet like candy. That’s exciting. No sarcasm here, honestly. It’s a welcome change from most of the other energy drinks I’ve been having lately. To be honest, I’m just happy this isn’t another godawful attempt on a generic Red Bull rip-off.

First sip from the can

It comes as not big surprise that the taste doesn’t manage to follow up on the promises of the smell. There’s not much taste at all and the fizz is almost non-existent. The parts of my mouth that the first sip touched immediately feel numb. Is it all the sugar, or am I having a stroke? I hope for the former, but fear the latter1. There is some aftertaste, a faint berry sensation.

Taste from a glass

A taste from the glass is pretty much the same as the taste from the can, I’m afraid. The rest of my mouth goes numb and most of it fills up with that sugary-slime we energy drink connoisseurs all know and love.

Visuals

In the glass, DARK DOG looks just like any other energy drink. There’s hardly any fizz to speak of, but the first sip from the can gave that away already.

After 5 minutes

My, oh, my. This is a disaster. There is nothing in DARK DOG that makes me want the experience to last any longer than it absolutely has to. Instead, I take a deep breath, and empty the rest of the can in one go.

After 10 minutes

N/A.

The can is empty

That whole endeavor took less than five minutes. Not because a can of DARK DOG is great, but because I just wanted to get it over with. And that can’t be good. Or perhaps it is? If the entire contents of the can gets injected into your system at once, that really should kick start everything, shouldn’t it? I do feel more energized than I did 5 minutes ago. And I needed it, since the neighbors decided to have a party where a fucking guy with a fucking guitar went on stage at fucking 12am and played for three fucking hours.

The final verdict

The creators of DARK DOG has been at it since 1995. I was hoping they had been able to come up with something great in the span of 20 years. From their website (which is down right now): “The company focuses on research and development, seeking to continuously improve its original products, whilst also developing new exciting recipes, in order to offer the best energy drink experience to the consumer.” NO! That’s a lie! At least not when it comes to taste, fizz, color, can… the whole package, really.

Quick facts: Manufacturer
The DARK DOG trademark was created in Austria in 1995. The final concept was approved and launched in 2000. The product successfully entered the Latin America market in 2003, and today DARK DOG is a leading and top-recognized brand worldwide, in countries like Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Sweden, Austria, France, etc. DARK DOG is one of the best energy drinks and distributed in more than 30 countries worldwide. The company focuses on research and development, seeking to continuously improve its original products, whilst also developing new exciting recipes, in order to offer the best energy drink experience to the consumer.
Quick facts: Caffeine
A central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. It is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug, but unlike many other psychoactive substances, it is legal and unregulated in nearly all parts of the world. Caffeine is used to reduce physical fatigue and to prevent or treat drowsiness. It produces increased wakefulness, faster and clearer flow of thought, increased focus, and better general body coordination.
Quick facts: Taurine
Essential for cardiovascular function, and development and function of skeletal muscle, the retina, and the central nervous system. However, its role in these processes is not clearly understood and the influence of high taurine doses on these processes is uncertain.
Quick facts: Guarana
A climbing plant in the maple family, Sapindaceae, native to the Amazon basin and especially common in Brazil. Its seeds contain about twice the concentration of caffeine found in coffee seeds. Preliminary research has shown Guarana may affect how quickly the body perceives itself to be full.

Footnotes

  1. No worries, it was the sugar, not a stroke.

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