V8 V-Fusion + Energy Peach Mango

V8 V-Fusion + Energy Peach Mango

Man, I had no idea that when combined the letter V and the number 8 could be such a turn off to people. I was given a six pack of these little guys and being the generous person I am I offered to share them with the people I was hanging out with and every single one, minus the person who gifted them to me, said “Ewwww. No Thanks!” I know that tomato juice is a horrible thing, but that doesn’t mean that every product that V8 puts out is going to taste like that.

I tend to enjoy their Fusion line. It’s a combination of fruit and vegetable juices. In this case it is peach, mango, apple, sweet potato, tomato, and carrot. Don’t worry though it tastes more like a fruit juice than a cold, sweet soup. Now that would be horrible. There are hints of vegetable flavoring around the edges, but this is almost all fruit flavored.
The energy aspect of this juice comes in the form of added green tea and B vitamins. It doesn’t really effect the taste, and I haven’t really felt any boost in energy, but I am completely exhausted so that may have overpowered things. I don’t think it’s meant to be a full on energy drink though, just a little nudge.
Oh yeah, there is also the garbage sweetener sucralose in here, but I luckily couldn’t taste it at all. Let those fruits do their job.

Website
http://www.v8juice.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sucralose
Categories
Diet, Energy Drink, Juice
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on August 4th, 2017
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The Maple Guild Black Tea Lemon

The Maple Guild Black Tea Lemon

This is a nice guy. The maple syrup actually rounds out the taste and allows it to be a bit smoother than even a cane sugar pop and somehow, sweetens it enough while somehow keeping the calorie count in half. This whole bottle is 90 calories while a Snapple lemon black tea, for instance is 150. Snapple uses real sugar and tacks on an additional 60 calories and that might not seem like much, but for those who are counting calories, it might make or break your decision.

The whole drink is really just a delight. I shared it with a buddy at work and he thought the same thing. It was decently sweetened. This isn't "a tad sweet" to use the Lipton sweetening verbiage. It's between that and the teeth disintegrating sweetness of a Southern style sweet tea. Not to make a pun but "the sweet spot." I have yet to see this on shelves and they sent it to us so that leads me to believe this is a new line. If you see it, I'd put down what you're used to and trying something new. They know what's going on inside the confines of this bottle and they're letting us in on the secrets of maple sugars.

Website
http://https://www.mapleguild.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Maple Syrup
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on August 3rd, 2017
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The Maple Guild Black Tea Peach

The Maple Guild Black Tea Peach

Let me start this off by telling you all that I am a goddamn weirdo. Not only do I not put syrup on my pancakes and waffles, but I also don’t put butter on them. 99% of the time I eat them plain with no added condiment (do they count as condiments?). Occasionally if I’m eating out and it comes with it I will eat them with some sort of fruit and whipped cream. I get weird looks by anyone who has never eaten breakfast food with me. I am by no means a maple man. My maple intake is limited to one day of year at the fair I go to the maple stand and try some super dark syrup and maybe have a maple donut or some popcorn. I like maple, but I like it sparingly, because it all too easily can become an overpowering taste.

This tea could get me to consume maple more often. It uses just enough of it to sweeten the tea (10g of sugar) and give it a light maple flavor. There is nothing heavy handed about it. It is not thick and syrupy and the flavor doesn’t overpower the taste of the tea. I would say that the peach and maple ratio are about dead even in the flavor category. The result is that this is also a very smooth tea. It just glides right down your throat.

I want to drink this out in the woods while I am camping. Everyone else can get their pancakes sopping wet with cheap syrup and I will eat mine dry, but wash them down with this tea. It will be magnificent. Also, who makes pancakes while camping? It seems like a needless amount of extra things to bring. I suppose I am a minimalist though, who lives slim and goes often of tangents often.

Website
http://https://www.mapleguild.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Maple Syrup
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on August 1st, 2017
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Franklin & Sons Ltd Wild Strawberry & Scottish Raspberry

Franklin & Sons Ltd Wild Strawberry & Scottish Raspberry

Sometimes you randomly stumble upon fancy drinks in stores not known for carrying beverages. I found this at Home Goods, you know where normal people go to buy fancy cinnamon for their pancakes, and I feel that single bottle that was on the shelf will probably be the only one I will ever see in the US. It’s a treat, but also a taunt, when it ends up being so delicious and you know you’ll have to fly to another continent to try it again.

Berry sodas are known for their ridiculous sweetness and the joy of this is that there is nowhere near the amount of sugar in here that you would anticipate (9.3g). the result is that it actually tastes like fruit juice and not some sludgy syrup. I’m not exactly sure what the difference between Scottish raspberries and the ones you’d find around NY are, but every drink I have had with them in it is extremely delicious. While this is 32% apple juice and 1% or less strawberry and raspberry, both of those flavors really shine through. I would never expect their percentages to be so low. It is really the lime in here that brings it all together though. I feel it is equally present as the two flavors in the products namesake. You might find it odd that there is black pepper in here, but it is extremely faint, and I believe it’s inclusion is only there to maximize the fanciness of the drink.

I just looked at the company’s website and it bummed me out even more that I will probably never run across it again. Each of the seven different flavors looks incredible in its own way. Can I justify a transcontinental trip, just to try some new sodas? Can I work expense that?

Website
http://franklinandsons.co.uk/
Country
United Kingdom
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on July 25th, 2017
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Elmhurst Naturals Horchata Traditional

Elmhurst Naturals Horchata Traditional

There is nothing quite like consuming more tacos than anyone on Earth should in one sitting and then washing it all down with some Horchata aka the perfect dessert beverage. In case you are unfamiliar with this liquid wonder it is basically cinnamon rice milk. Sometimes, if you are lucky, there is a little vanilla in there as well. It sounds so very simple, but it taste so very good. It’s the kind of drink that even if it were regularly available to me, I would save it for special occasions because I would not want it to become commonplace. It is a treat I like to give myself when I think I’ve earned it.

I’ve had premade horchata before and they have always left something to be desired. While on the better side of things, this bottle is no exception. It’s almost there, but at the same time it also tastes a bit on the watery side. I just don’t know if perfect horchata could have any sort of shelf life. The dairy would spoil too quickly. I did enjoy this, but it was taunting me, knowing how great it could be. It is a good substitute if you were to live in a town that didn’t have a proper Mexican restaurant that served the real stuff. It’s got that cinnamon rice flavor, and even a touch of vanilla, but it’s all just a little too weak. Drinking this makes me want to jump in my car and drive the 20 minutes to get a glass at my favorite Taqueria. I really shouldn’t, but I want to. Let’s say this is starter Horchata. A Mexican treat with training wheels if you will.

Website
http://www.steubenfoods.com/elmhurst-naturals
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Milk
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on July 20th, 2017
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Kra Sports Drink Berry

Kra Sports Drink Berry

You will not believe the amounts of sports I have just done. I hit all the field goals, shot all the home runs, kicked all the goals, and slammed all the points. I did it all, and boy am I dehydrated now. It’s lucky for me I have this bottle of Kra to get me back to normal. It’s a slightly salty (in the best way) sports drink with actual juice in it. This is the third flavor of Kra I’ve tried and I have been on board with all of them. They are tasty and hydrate me when I need them to. You know, like right now after all those sports I just did. I’m exhausted and dripping with sweat. I could literally wring my shirt out and get a substantial amount of fluid from it. This drink that tastes like a salty blueberry apple juice that is slightly watered down with fill me with hydration the way normal sports drinks never could. When that happens I will be ready for more sports! Huh? What do you mean I haven’t been playing sports? I mean I’m soaked and tired. Oh, I’ve just been printing shirts in my basement all day in the extreme heat and humidity, standing next to a 1,100 degree dryer and I’m now delirious? Well, Kra helps with that too then!

Website
http://https://www.drinkkra.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Cane Sugar
Categories
Sports/Dietary Supplement
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on July 14th, 2017
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Mati Healthy Energy Blueberry Pomegranate

Mati Healthy Energy Blueberry Pomegranate

Here we are at the end of the Mati products (at least until they release more). It’s been an interesting trip. I went from quasi disgust, to thorough enjoyment, to being completely confused as to where I stand on this company. I still mostly fall into the latter category. As I drink the sixth flavor in their line I alternate between enjoyment and dislike. Guayusa is such a strong flavor and it gets weird when paired with other flavors. This is supposed to be a blueberry pomegranate flavored beverage, and while those flavors are there the majority of the taste weight is being carried by the guayusa and lime. I guess that brings me full circle back to my original review where I stated that it’s always weird when a beverage is not what you expect it to taste like. It can take you right out of the experience.

Overall these beverages are just fine. As far as energy drinks go I could drink them on the regular and not feel terrible about myself. I guess that is more than you can ask for than with most beverages in this day and age.

Website
http://www.matienergy.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Energy Drink
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on July 11th, 2017
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Ripple Chocolate

Ripple Chocolate

For months this tub o’ milk substitute has been staring me down in the organic section of my local Wegmans. I think it’s mostly because even though I know the product is called Ripple, the way the typeface is on the bottle I always read it as Apple and subconsciously my taste buds are tricked into thinking that it was going to be some sort of delicious chocolate apple milk. The somewhat hefty price tag ($8 I believe) help me back from making the purchase. My ladyfriend finally pulled the trigger, because unaware to me it has also been pulling at her with its chocolatey siren’s call.

My first thought when I took as sip was a ridiculous disappointment. How on earth could I expect this to taste like apple when I knew it wasn’t at all is a secret my brain to will take to its grave. I can’t hold a lack of apple against the company when it was never promised in the first place.

My second thought was, well this isn’t really a sipping beverage. It’s a bit chalky and you can taste the plant protein in it (it comes from peas, luckily it tastes nothing like the semi-grossness of peas when they exist outside of a pot pie). It reminds me a lot of protein drinks, but less thick. I think the ideal use for this would be as a base for a smoothie. I can’t see myself drinking a full glass of this, or putting it on cereal, but I can see me mixing it with some peanut butter and such mixed up in a blender.

This is nothing I would spend money on for the price, but it does have its purposes if you have the disposable income.

Website
http://www.ripplefoods.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Cane Sugar
Categories
Milk, Other/Weird
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on July 9th, 2017
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Alpha Wolf Focus & Revitalizing Beverage Goji / Pomegranate / Mango

Alpha Wolf Focus & Revitalizing Beverage Goji / Pomegranate / Mango

One of the simple pleasures in life is when you come home and there is a package waiting for you that you were not expecting. There is the rush of excitement when walk up to the package wondering what it could possibly contain. It’s even nicer when you look at the return label and discover that it is not junk, but something you could truly enjoy. I came home to this, opened the box and then less than 15 minutes later I got an email from Alpha Wolf telling me that they forgot to give me a heads up that a package was coming. I appreciate their oversite because it perked up my day a bit.

I wish it wasn’t my job to pay close attention to beverages. I put these in the fridge to get cold, and when I finally cracked one open it was wonderful. It tasted fruity and real. There were some other flavors in there as well, but it was all pleasant and it seemed to all make sense. I have never had mango mixed with an antioxidant rich fruit before and now I don’t know how no one ever paired them up before. They complement each other perfectly. After a few wonderful sips in when the troubles began. I looked at the ingredients list. Right there in the #2 position was erythritol. Up until that point I had no inkling at all that any zero calorie sweeteners were being used in here at all. After reading that I took another sip and it was painfully obvious. I’m taking full blame on this one. It’s not on Alpha Wolf. If they can make a product that uses erythritol and stevia and not have me notice it instantly they have created something great. I’m chalking it up to my brain searching out the flavor once I knew it was in there. This is a wonderfully fruity beverage that will do it’s best to help you achieve some clarity in this horrible world in which we live.

Website
http://https://www.drinkalphawolf.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Erythritol
Categories
Diet, Energy Drink, Sports/Dietary Supplement
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on July 9th, 2017
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Monster Juice Mango Loco

Monster Juice Mango Loco

Summer is upon us and along with disgustingly hot sticky days it also means that companies are rolling out their new summer lines. To celebrate the season Monster has released this new flavor in their “Juice” line.

From the smell of this I expected it to be a similar super syrupy mess as the Arizona mango beverage. Luckily it was not. In fact, it is decidedly not syrupy and also not super mango flavored. It has more of a general tropical taste, which makes sense seeing as it has guava, grape, apple, pineapple, lemon, apricot, orange, peach, and passionfruit along with mango juice in it. In fact it is 16% juice, and I’m guessing that might be the highest concentration of juice any non-natural energy drink has to offer. This hodgepodge of purees, juices, and syrups is quite a delight on hot summer days when you need a little kick in the pants in order to not take an afternoon nap in the shade. I don’t really get what the Day of the Dead motif has to do with the drink or the time of year, but maybe I’m missing something. I do really like the blue of the can though. It’s as bright as the flavor.

Website
http://www.monsterenergy.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Energy Drink
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on July 7th, 2017
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