B-52 - Exotic Beverage Review

Boom. This is one of many disturbing drinks made in The Netherlands, like Private Energy, although they're all imported by different importers, as far as I can tell. This one states "Dutch Original" on the can, which is intriguing.

It's that generic "energy drink gold" colour. Kinda looks like either beer or pee, depending on whether you're a pessimist or a pessimist. It's slightly carbonated, and the carbonation vanishes speedily once the can is breached.

It smells identical to Red Bull. I had suspicions when I sampled Private Energy that it was merely re-branded Red Bull, but I was thwarted in that case by the inclusion of Ginseng, an ingredient not found in Red Bull. In this case, B52 does not claim to be pasteurised, which I assume is a mandatory statement on the can if it's the case. So again, not an actual Red Bull clone, just a similar recipe.

To taste: Whoa. It's very much unlike Red Bull. For approximately a quarter of a second, it tastes like Red Bull, then it becomes totally overpowering and bitter. The bubbles seem to amplify the excessively sour/bitter flavour, causing an uncontrollable shudder. Forcing myself to sip at the beverage now, I find I can manage no sips larger than about a half teaspoon at a time. It has a vague soapy fragrance hanging above it. It's worth noting that the can I have is past its best before date by two months, so it's possible the flavour has been affected. That said, I find it hard to imagine this tasted any better in November.

Generic energy drink gold. Mmm.

The only aftertaste is the irritating vitamin-B flavour, which tastes very much like you have a wad of fermenting lawn clippings wedged at the back of your throat. Overall, my soul doesn't feel too greatly damaged by this drink, although I don't believe I've imbibed more than a tablespoon of it.

It's a truly middle-of-the-road energy drink. It follows all the required criteria. Tiny can with snappy graphics on it. A name suggesting an explosion of flavour and energy. A price tag leaving you wondering why you wasted so much money on it. The reeking flavour of vitamin B, masked ineffectually by numerous fragrant fruit and artificial flavourings. Mild carbonation that vanishes upon opening the can. If Red Bull is the benchmark for an average energy drink -- in both content and flavour -- then this is just below the average point.