Jason Draper (2751 reviews)

Jason plays bass in Failures' Union and owns/operates a screen printing shoppe called Wooden T-Shirts. He also eats veggie dogs by the gallon.

Honey Bee Basil See Drink with Melon Flavor

Honey Bee Basil See Drink with Melon Flavor

This drink is just as overly sweet and weird as I thought it would be. Here’s a rule you can go by; if a beverage this this bright of a green, it will more than likely be sweeter than you want it to be. The thing is that this really tastes like honey dew though. I mean it tastes like if you cut up a melon and dumped the same amount of sugar on it that your grandmother would dump on her morning grapefruit (or was that just mine?). The thing is that the melon flavor is artificial, yet it doesn’t taste like candy as things like this tend to do. The basil seeds really do nothing. As far as I can tell they have no particular taste, and they tend to slip down your throat without you even realizing they exist.

I’ve been waiting patiently for a proper melon beverage to make its way to me (other than watermelon). This is a step in the right direction, but I really want straight up cantaloupe or honey dew juice. I guess I will just have to make do with this until my dreams come true.

Country
Thailand
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Other/Weird
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on March 26th, 2018
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Starbucks Doubleshot Energy Vanilla

Starbucks Doubleshot Energy Vanilla

I find it strange that while arguably being the largest coffee company in the US, Starbucks certainly seems to have a lot of ready to drink products that taste very little like coffee. I will admit that this has more of a coffee flavor than the vanilla Frappuccino, but any of their products that have milk in them seem to goa bit overboard with that particular ingredient. While I said the other beverage mentioned here tasted like a melted vanilla milkshake with a shot of coffee in it, this would be that with the number of shots doubled to a whopping two. It’s like dessert in a can. I just wish it has a slightly less milky taste to it. I want more coffee in these drinks and less cow sustenance. At least it doesn’t taste like someone mixed a Red Bull into a cup of coffee that would be Barf City, USA population me. It shares a lot of the same ingredients to give you a kick of energy, luckily it doesn’t share a flavor. In this order this is milk, vanilla, and coffee. Switch that up a bit and this could have been a very, very pleasant beverage, instead of being a notch above serviceable.

Website
http://www.starbucks.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Coffee, Energy Drink
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on March 24th, 2018
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Rockstar Revolt Killer Grape

Rockstar Revolt Killer Grape

You absolutely know what you are getting yourself into when you grab one of these. If there was any question as to whether this was going to taste exactly like grape soda with melted candy in it, that goes out the window when you crack it open and that unmistakable scent floats up your nostrils. So the magic is not in the taste but in the calorie content. How is it that a 16oz can can (not the dance) contain 48g or sugar when it is sweetened with sucralose as well as sugar? What is the point of the sucralose at that point other than to distract from the grape sludge taste when it’s starting to warm up and you’re getting to the bottom third of the can? This is an odd product because it certainly feels like it would be enjoyed by children, but please don’t feed this stuff to kids. They are annoying enough as it is and I don’t need to deal with the mall hopped up on Grape Death (street name).

Website
http://www.rockstar69.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Energy Drink
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on March 20th, 2018
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Sail Away Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Sea Salt & Caramel

Sail Away Nitro Cold Brew Coffee Sea Salt & Caramel

If you are offering me hot coffee, it better have some sort of fancy flavoring to it, or else I am more than likely not going to drink it. Well, that just sounded rude. I’m not going to slap the mug out of your hand, or throw the hot liquid onto your person. I will simply say no thank you. If pressed I may add that I’m not a big coffee drinker. The thing is that while I’m not a fan of hot coffee, I do enjoy iced coffee, especially if it is cold brew. To me they are beverages that are in the same family, but have chosen different paths in life. Cold brew is simply a smoother coffee that even when unsweetened isn’t as bitter and harsh as its hot sibling. It’s a more pleasurable experience for me, and it shines a light on the aspects of coffee that I enjoy and hides the others in the shadows. Sail Away takes things one step further and uses nitrogen in their brewing with makes the coffee which makes it frothier/foamy. It gives it a texture similar to a latte, but without the “milk” in it. That certainly helps with my drinking experience. Also, it apparently gives the illusion of sweetness, or so I’ve read. Anything that tricks me thinking something is sweet without sugar (or more importantly zero calorie sweeteners) is a plus. Overall it magnifies the coffee’s actual flavor, or so I see it.

I’m not a huge caramel fan, so lucky for me that flavor isn’t very strong in here. Nor is the sea salt. Both are there in hints only, letting the coffee itself carry most of the workload. That’s the way I want it. For someone who isn’t a huge coffee fan, I still want my coffee drinks to actually taste like coffee. It’s the base and I want it to shine in a glorious way and that is what Sail Away has done with this product.

Website
http://sailawaycoffee.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Natural Cane Sugar
Categories
Coffee
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on March 18th, 2018
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Onli Natural Raspberry Ginger

Onli Natural Raspberry Ginger

For as much as I go on and on about how most beverages don’t need added sugar to be delicious, I must say that there is something about ginger drinks, especially ginger ale, that really benefits from a sweetener. While this doesn’t come right out and say it, and in fact makes it appear to be more of a raspberry soda, this is very much a raspberry ginger ale that is only sweetened by the fruit juice used to flavor it. That 6g of sugar doesn’t go very far and this is much closer to a seltzer than a soda. I really enjoyed it, but after a few sips I just kept thinking how much more I would like it if it had just a tad more sugar in it. I wouldn’t want it to be overboard, but let’s say a solid 15g of sugar would have made this perfect. I’m sure if I had never had a raspberry ginger ale before I wouldn’t think twice about it, but my body associates a certain sweetness with this type of beverage and I have found it hard to suppress that. Damn my sugary upbringing. I really want this to be enough, and it should be but I’m ultimately left unsatisfied. That is all on me though, and not a representation of this product.

Website
http://onlibeverages.com
Country
United States
Categories
Ginger, Soda Pop, Sparkling
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on March 13th, 2018
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Inko's Organic Energy Citrus

Inko's Organic Energy Citrus

Out of the Organic Energy line that Inkos puts out this is the only flavor that I didn’t absolutely love. Perhaps that’s because it’s the one that tastes the most like something was added to the tea. The tea flavor is there, but there is definitely something else floating around in the brew as well. Maybe it’s the stevia, but I have a feeling it’s more of the ginseng or guarana, as it’s less familiar. The flavor is not enough to ruin the drink for me, as I still enjoy it enough that I bought a case when I found it for ridiculously on sale. I just wouldn’t pay full price for it very often, with the other flavors available.

One of the things I appreciate about these Inkos drinks is that they are non-carbonated, organic energy drinks. So not only do they avoid all of the chemical garbage that other companies use that make me feel all crazy, but they also keep things different by not introducing bubbles to it. This is energy you can feel okay about. It’s made with white tea with just a splash of citrus in it. The more I drink, the more I enjoy it and think that hey, maybe I would buy this at full price on a normal basis afterall.

Website
http://inkostea.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Cane Sugar
Categories
Energy Drink, Iced Tea
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on March 12th, 2018
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Tiesta Tea Cold Brew Black Thai Tropical

Tiesta Tea Cold Brew Black Thai Tropical

Dear Tiesta Tea, I love you. We have a problem though. This is the same problem that I’m sure exists in many a bottled coffee drinkers relationships. You are truly delicious, but your price point is fairly high for something that I can approximate at home for a much lower cost. Sure it takes time and preparation, but at any given time I have a container of brewed tea just waiting for me in my fridge, and yes I have upgraded and I make it with loose leaf tea that has bits of fruit in it. Like you, Tiesta, it is delicious and I love to sip it on nearly any occasion for pennies on the dollar. I understand that not everyone takes the time to prepare like I do, and that you have your place. I mean even as I write this I am completely aware that I will buy more bottles of you in the future. Hell, if you were available in gas stations and mini marts that I frequent, I’m sure I would get lazy and get you on the regular, as you are a wonderful thing.

Let me say it’s me and not you. Taste-wise I don’t know what else you could do to improve. You are a high quality black tea that is brewed with pieces of apple, papaya, mango, orange, pomegranate, marigold pedals, and guava. You went as far as to add guava and that takes a special type of dedication. You truly are thinking of me and are trying to win my heart all for your own. Your unsweetened tropical fruity goodness tickles my taste buds in a way that I don’t think the majority of Americans would honestly appreciate as much as they should. You taste like tea was meant to be made, in that you taste like tea and not sweetener. Perhaps I should just shut up with my complaints and love you for what you are; a near perfect tea. Perfection comes with a price and I should be happy to pay it. I’m a fool Tiesta, please take me back.

Website
http://tiestatea.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
No Sugar Added
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on March 11th, 2018
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Starbucks Doubleshot Protein Dark Chocolate

Starbucks Doubleshot Protein Dark Chocolate

Doubleshot has a double meaning apparently. It can either mean coffee and energy, or as with this product coffee and protein. I think I would have preferred the former. I was really into the idea of dark chocolate coffee. I mean I’ve had dark chocolate mocha before and it’s nearly always great. The thing is Starbucks tends to go a bit overboard for my tastes when they introduce milk into their prepackaged beverages, and the addition of protein amplifies even that. This really just tastes like a dark chocolate milk with a splash of coffee in it. The opposite would have been more appreciated. I suppose you know what you’re getting into when you are drinking a whey protein drink, but I was just hoping for something that didn’t taste like it came directly from a dark brown cows udder. The upside of this is that it is sweetened with a combo of sugar and erythritol and I drank the whole thing without realizing there was a zero calorie sweetener involved. That always gets a thumbs up from me.

Website
http://www.starbucks.com
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Coffee, Diet
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on March 9th, 2018
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Mountain Dew Kickstart Energizing Blood Orange

Mountain Dew Kickstart Energizing Blood Orange

For some reason I decided to give Mountain Dew Kickstart another chance. Oh yeah, that reason is that it’s my job of sorts. Well, I pretty much feel exactly the same about this product as I did with the first handful of flavors when they were released; it’s pretty meh. The combination of high fructose corn syrup and sucralose leaves it too diet tasting to care about the calories it’s saving you, but also it has too many calories too deal with the chemical taste. Also, the juice content is still very minimal (5%). If this were a regular or a full fledge diet blood orange Mountain Dew I could enjoy it more, but the way it is presented now just feels like the company is trying to pull a fast one on consumers. I know they aren’t and I get where they are going, but it’s just not working out.

Website
http://www.mountaindew.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Categories
Diet, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on March 8th, 2018
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Pure Leaf Tea House Collection Organic Black Tea with Strawberry & Garden Mint

Pure Leaf Tea House Collection Organic Black Tea with Strawberry & Garden Mint

The version of me from a previous time would be mighty pissed off at current me now, but I just need to come out and say As a culture why do we even bother giving “cheap” iced tea the time of day? That’s right I am reformed and this might be the most adult thought that has ever crossed my perpetually 15 year old mind. Long gone are my days of guzzling Brisk or downing can after can of Arizona tall boys. In my current world it’s quality over quantity, and to be honest the price point isn’t that drastically different. Even if it were I would happily pay a little extra for a product such as this that actually tastes like tea and my just syrupy sludge that we have convinced ourselves tastes like tea. It really doesn’t and we just need to accept that and move on.

This is exactly what I want from an iced tea. It’s brewed, and not made from a powder. That is step one in the right direction. Step two is that it is sweetened with real sugar, and it’s not overdone. I would say this is mediumly-sweetened and that is the limit of where I want my sugar level. It allows you to still be able to taste the other ingredients and not just an overt sweetness. Perhaps most importantly taste-wise is that the added flavoring isn’t a syrup or a powder. The strawberry and spearmint are brewed with the tea; you know how it is when you buy some nice fancy tea that doesn’t come in teabags. I admit I end up eating some of that tea dry because of the dried fruit, but I’m a maniac what do you expect. This is nicely lightly flavored and the mint doesn’t leave you feeling like you brushed your teeth just before consuming the beverage. Everything here is done right. Lipton has evolved and now so do we.

Website
http://theloveofleaves.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Organic Cane Sugar
Categories
Iced Tea
Rating
5/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on March 8th, 2018
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