Red Bull Silver Edition Lime.

Red Bull Silver Edition Lime

When it comes to the question of whether or not I should reload my energy drink review series, I’m still very much on the fence. Recently, though, I came across a Red Bull Silver Edition Lime review draft I started in 2015, but never got around to finish. So regardless of the reload or not, it’s time to get this draft done and published. It’s based on the old, boring review format. I’ve decided to stick with it for this review, perhaps to prove a point, or perhaps because it’s the path of least resistance to get the review published.

Without further ado, let’s get started.

A variety of Red Bull flavors has appeared on the shelves lately1. Marketed as “Red Bull Editions“, they sure are a welcome addition to a somewhat stale energy drink market. Most manufacturers desperately try to copy the original Red Bull flavor, when they should rather use the opportunity to innovate. Instead, it’s Red Bull itself that comes up with something new and original flavors. Give them a rounds of applause!

The Red Bull Editions come with the same energy related benefits as a can of the original Red Bull, but in a range of other flavors. Currently, three are available: Cranberry (The Blue Edition), Cranberry (The Red Edition), and Lime (The Silver Edition). In this review, we’ll give the lime flavored Silver Edition a try.

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A Boost of Energy: Reloaded?

Once upon a time i reviewed energy drinks. Then I didn’t. Now I might do it again.

Energy drinks have long been the source of great controversy. They’re being marketed to young adults, and thus the young and hopeful go ahead and kill themselves drinking too much. I covered this issue extensively in the post “Death by Energy Drink!” last year. Personally, I’m a big fan of energy drinks. I’m nowhere near the product’s target audience, though. Having just broken the magical Big Four Oh, I can’t say that I’m a young adult, neither mentally nor physically. Neither am I a particularly active extreme sports athlete, and I hope I don’t qualify as your stereotypical energy drink gulping douche.

Even though I’m not your average energy drink consumer, I enjoy a sparkling can now and then. I’m at my most creative early in the morning, after a couple of sips from one of the available brands, from Red Bull to Monster Energy. My love for the fizzy creative juice culminated in a series of energy drink reviews, seven in total. The series ran for about a year, in 2015 and 2016.

The reviews had two major problems, however. First of all, the format I chose was too strict, and therefore very limiting. Secondly, the energy drinks I reviewed were surprisingly boring. Most of them tasted like cheap Red Bull knock offs. Because of this, the reviews quickly started to feel stale, boring, and dull. So I simply stopped writing them.

But now, with unexpected inspiration from a popular Norwegian blogger, I might just give the series another try.

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Death by Energy Drink!

There’s a killer in your grocery store. It’s colorful, tempting, and refreshing. But if you let your guard down, it’ll strangle you with its sweet, sweet fists. It’s death by energy drink!

Lanna Hamann was an apparently healthy 16-year-old. In 2014, she went to Rocky Point, Mexico, with her friends. There, she tragically died of a heart attack. After a day of drinking energy drinks at the beach, Lanna complained that she was not feeling well. Shortly after, she went into cardiac arrest, and died. According to her friends, Lanna was not drinking any water. In a well-organized social media campaign launched after Lanna’s death, her friends and family blamed Red Bull as a contributing factor to her heart attack.

Every now and then, this and similar news stories will surface, most notably as click-bait (in Norwegian) in your Facebook feed. As a warning to young irresponsible people with no concept of actions and their possible consequences, they serve a purpose. But every time one of these “guy drinks 10 cans of caffeine and mysteriously croaks”-stories is published, the someone-think-of-the-children-mob appears with their torches and pitchforks.

Why isn’t there any click-bait articles being written about the deaths from alcohol consumption? According to the CDC, excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths each year in the United States from 2006 to 2010. If there’s something in your grocery store you should start a crusade against, then perhaps alcohol is a better choice than energy drinks?

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Red Bull Zero Calories.

Red-Bull-Zero-Calories-Boksen-NO-closed_0

So you thought I’d stopped drinking energy drinks, did you? Well, I haven’t. This review has been stuck on my hard drive for about ten months, and now it’s about time to get it out the door.

You’re probably aware that Red Bull exists. The brand is well-known for its association with extreme sports, there are very few extreme sports events that are not covered in Red Bull advertisements. Those that aren’t are usually plastered with Monster Energy logos instead. Red Bull is also heavy into computer gaming and eSports, various music festivals, and also the pinnacle of motor sports, Formula 1. In short, if something that is even remotely related to adrenaline is happening, you can be sure that Red Bull is involved somehow.

Red Bull Zero Calories is the, you guessed it, zero calories version of the familiar Red Bull recipe. I’m not sure if calories should be your major concern when you gulp down a can of Red Bull, though. Caffeine is the only ingredient advertised on the can, but the Zero Calories edition also comes with taurine, and a high dose of B6 and B12 vitamins.

Can

The Red Bull can is easy to recognize anywhere, and the Red Bull Zero Calories can has exactly the same design as the standard Red Bull can, except for a different color scheme. It also comes with the familiar Red Bull cap, which means you’ll be able to distinguish a can of Red Bull from another energy drink even if you’re blind or stuck in a very small, dark closet with a Red Bull and another brand, and you really, really want to the Red Bull. Genius.

First smell

From the can, the Red Bull Zero Calories smells sweet and of berries – perhaps blueberries – which is a bit of a surprise. You’d think the zero calories version and the original should smell the same. Unlike many other energy drinks, the smell of the Red Bull Zero Calories doesn’t go away, which I take as a sign of high quality. Or lots and lots of synthetic ingredients.

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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.

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