Strictly Commercial

August 4, 2008

Energy Drinks, Round 2: Son Of Panic

Filed under: Commercial — castlewriter @ 11:10 pm

Did I mention I?m a caffeine addict? I think I did. Well, here comes Round 2.

Besides the roundup of ?fruit-flavored? energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster, Amp and Rock Star, however, there has arisen a crop of energy drinks that take the whole caffeination experience in a full (if twisted) circle: Coffee-flavored energy drinks.

  • These started with the Starbuck?s Double-Shot:

starbucks-doubleshot-122ec10a.jpg

This was my first coffee-inspired energy drink, probably everyone else?s as well. As with the more usual suspects, there quickly arose an armada of generic imitators, which invariably tasted like home-brewed ass. Then the Big Boys of the energy drink game came to the table, notably Rock Star and then Monster Energy, producing:

rockstar-roasted-line1.jpg

There are actually four in the Rock Star Roasted lineup, all quite tasty — Coffee (not pictured), Vanilla, Latte and Mocha. These all became instant favorites. My preference for most things is quality over quantity, and the flavors took a little getting used to after the pure, unalloyed deliciousness of Starbuck?s premiere entry. On the other hand, when these hit store shelves, the Double Shot was still in the relatively trifling Red Bull size can, and when you?re slamming energy drinks, you want the slam to last a little longer than just a… well, just a double shot. So I reluctantly said goodbye to the Bux except as a quick treat and made the Roasted lineup my mainstay.

But then…

3366962.jpg

My mainstream energy drink, Monster Energy, hit the coffee/energy brew scene, and hit it BIG. Aside from Nut Up (Hazelnut) Chai Hai (self-explanatory, more or less) Lo-Ball (Huh?) Russian (no idea) and Irish (Cream) Blend, there?s also Mocha Loca, Mean Bean (Vanilla) and… one other one I don?t even remember the name of. That would probably be the strength and weakness of Monster?s ?Java Monster? lineup — it?s a huge lineup, with names that aren?t entirely clear as to what you?re going to taste when you crack the can.

Granted, they?re all delicious, it?s just damn hard, with some of them, to identify exactly what you should expect it to taste like. And in the 21st century, with upward of 99% of any given beverage?s flavor being a matter of suggestion rather than sensation, being able to guess what you?re supposed to taste is a tragic yet very firm reality. Try me if you think I?m wrong on that — pour a Vanilla Coke into a glass, hand it to a friend without telling them what it is — odds are, they?ll still ask you what they?re drinking after they take a sip. (And what?s more scary — the fact that they don?t know? Or the fact that they took a drink of something they couldn?t identify?)

After some fearless experimentation with Monster?s contenders, I decided that, although they own my taste buds in the non-coffee-themed energy drink market, with Amp coming in a close second, I could really take or leave their Java Monster incarnations, same as with Rock Star Roasted.

But then, Starbuck?s came through. Odd that it took them so long, but here we have:

starbucks-double.jpg

Ah, yes — my old favorite now in 15 competitive ounces! Coffee, Mocha, Vanilla — delicious, easy to select and now in a good, hefty can just right for a serious caffeine upload process!

Gonna have me one now — or… hmm. Well, I?ll let you know how many it takes to hit overload. 😉

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1 Comment »

  1. Your blog is interesting!

    Keep up the good work!

    Comment by AlexM — August 17, 2008 @ 3:45 pm


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