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Urge Intense.

Urge Intense. Image by Wikipedia user Tchernobog.

We’ll start the energy drink review series with a somewhat exotic beverage, a beverage that is produced by the world-wide Coca-Cola Company, but curiously enough only available in Norway. Urge is a soft drink was first introduced in Norway in 1996, and later in Denmark and Sweden. It is the predecessor of the American soft drink Surge, which was introduced in the USA in 1997. Urge was discontinued in Denmark and Sweden in 2001. Until September 15, 2014, when Coca-Cola re-released Surge in the United States, Norway was the only country where one could still buy a similar soft drink in any form. The Urge Intense Guarana flavored energy drink version was released in early 2009, and that’s the version we’ll be having a look at now.

Can

The can sure looks intense! At first I didn’t realize it was a drawing of a flower, it looked like some sort of psychedelically art drawn while under the influence of LSD or some other synthetic drug. It’s different from most of the other energy drink cans I’ve seen, so if you have a collection, it will look good on your shelve. The message on the can is that Urge Intense is a triple rush, with caffeine, “carbo” and Guarana flavor. Sure caffeine can give you a rush, but I’m not sure to what degree carbonation – I’m assuming that’s what “carb” stands for – will give you much of a rush. What about Guarana, then? Actual Guarana extract might, but just Guarana flavor probably won’t give you any kicks. Unless you’re a Guarana flavor addict. One of the ingredients listed on the can is actually Guarana extract, so I’m not sure why they write “flavor” and not “extract” in the punch line.

First smell

Well, this smells very synthetic and somewhat undefinable. Some sort of exotic berries, perhaps? I’m not sure what Guarana is supposed to smell like, but if this is it, I’m a bit disappointed. The smell also disappears quickly and subsequent sniffs from the can really doesn’t smell anything – it’s like it escaped somehow when the can was opened.

First sip from the can

The first sip can only be described as a disappointment. It tastes almost nothing. But that isn’t very surprising, given the lack of smell from the can. Urge Intense is not available in any other type of container than an aluminum can, so there is no way of telling if a plastic bottle could have saved the taste. There’s not much of an aftertaste, which doesn’t come as a huge shock, given the lack of actual taste. I’m left with a tingling sensation on my tongue and no real desire to take another sip.

Taste from a glass

But of course I do! I’m doing this not for my own pleasure, but for you, intelligent and good looking readers. This is important consumer advice, so I soldier on. With the glass comes a little bit more smell, but not much. And after the first sip from the can, it’s not very inviting either. There are notably even less taste from the glass than from the can. It’s almost like the taste, like the smell, found a way to escape as soon as the can was opened. A thin layer of slime is spreading in my mouth, most likely from all the sugar in the Urge Intense. Or perhaps it’s a side effect of the Guarana? I sure hope not.

Visuals

My first thought when I poured my Urge Intense into the glass was “urine”. Dark urine, that kind you get when you’re ill. On second thought, however, I think it looks more like non-carbonated beer. Or maybe apple juice. That something looks non-carbonated is a very bad sign for a beverage that brags about its “carb” rush on the can. But to be fair to Urge Intense, it doesn’t look very different than many other energy drinks. It’s just the lack of carbonation than a bit off-putting. I’ve paid good money for my carbon dioxide!

After 5 minutes

The layer of slime is spreading to most of my mouth. Each sip – about one a minute – is even less tasteful than the previous one. I do feel a little more awake than I did five minutes ago, but I’m not sure if it’s because of the Urge Intense I’m drinking or adrenaline caused by the feeling of disappointment. For some reason, each sip is also followed by a tasteless and silent burp. Is my body trying to reject the energy drink?

After 10 minutes

At the 10 minute mark, I realize I haven’t had a single sip in the last five minutes. The slimy feeling I have in my mouth now covers everything. Teeth, tongue, the palate, the inside of my cheek. It feels like it’s about to spread down my throat.

The can is empty

Well over an hour after I started, the can is finally empty. I had to force it down. My review session was interrupted by a diaper change on the baby, but I don’t think I would have gulped down my Urge Intense any quicker without the diaper change. I’m starting to feel my mouth again.

The final verdict

The Urge Intense can is inviting, but the contents is a sad story. I might even go as far as to call it a disaster. How it’s still on the market is beyond me, but that you can only buy this drink in Norway is probably for the best. There’s absolutely no joy in drinking a can of Urge intense. Buy it if you’re desperate and about to die from dehydration or if you collect cans. Otherwise, you should avoid it.

Quick facts: Manufacturer
The Coca-Cola Company is an American multinational beverage corporation and manufacturer, retailer and marketer of nonalcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups. The company is best known for its flagship product Coca-Cola, invented in 1886. Coca-Cola is the best-selling soft drink in most countries, and was recognized as the number one global brand in 2010. In addition to Cola-Cola, the company offers more than 500 brands in over 200 countries.
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.

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