These are a handful of energy drinks I found in Albury, on the New South Wales/Victorian border. They're kinda nice, in that they're very obviously a knock off of Red Bull in that they've borrowed the "Coloured Bovine" approach to naming drinks.
They also have the spectacular consumption warning of “Consume no more than 5 cans a day.” Yes. Five. Five. FIVE. That's terrifying on so many levels.
Also, the can art is a label. It's not printed directly onto the aluminium. Such is the price you pay for a spectacular range of flavours, I guess.
I reviewed these rather speedily on location, and I took notes to allow me to finish the reviews properly after the fact. I've included scans of my original notes for your edification, should you like that kind of thing. If you don't, that's cool too. I'm easy about things like that.
First up, the blue one. It's the "original" flavour, which means not a jot to me, as I'm not familiar with whatever originality Blue Ox has going for it. It's quite unpleasant. It shares the same characteristic of slightly aged plastic as Go Fast, which ain't saying much. Make it go away. Please.
Blue Ox Orange: It's orange. Kind of. It's verging on brown, with kind of a luminescent yellow tinge to it. If it was seeping out of a wall at say, Chernobyl, you wouldn't think it was out of place. It looks like something's been oxidising inside of it.
It smells like really strong orange cordial with vitamin C tablets dissolved in it. En masse.
There's a type of cold medicine called "Actifed". This tastes very much like it. If it were seeped in rotting celery for several months. This drink could possibly be a cure for the common cold. Or a carrier for cholera.
Blue Ox Cherry: It's called "Black Cherry". It's dark and vaguely resembles cherry. So far, so good.
It actually smells like cherry. Which would be a good sign, if cherry didn't smell like medicine.
It's......crunchy. Hard to describe. There's an odd powdery texture to it that clings to your teeth afterwards. That said, it's by far the best of the three Blue Ox flavours I've been privy to. Which isn't saying much.
If you have a choice of Blue Ox (rather than, say, Blue Ox Russian Roulette), pick this one. And hold your nose.
The Blue Ox collection isn't the worst thing, all things considered, that I've ever stuck in my mouth. It's certainly not the best, though. All three flavours suffer from bizarre powderiness, overpowering vitamin-B flavours, and peculiar textures.
Since this review was written in 2005, I have since come across Blue Ox in another form, a similarly coloured set of drinks labelled "BLOX" (you can see the cans in this article), with little cube men on the front rather than the characteristic blue cow. I'm not sure if this is a result of Red Bull going "Hang on..blue ox? Red bull? HOW COINCIDENTAL", or the marketing team at Blue Ox simply branching out into more geometric demographics. Who knows. I never drank the BLOX drinks, largely under the assumption that they'd taste like crap, too.
For those unfamiliar, a "spider" is a combination of soft drink (soda) and ice cream, forming a kind of carbonated thickshake. I've always been really opposed to the idea, due to my belief that soda and dairy deserve to be well separated at all times. This stuff is called "choc orange", which I assume means it's meant to represent orange Fanta mixed with chocolate ice-cream, although the colour of the beverage doesn't represent that at all. Orange fanta and chocolate ice cream would produce something that looked like shit and would sell few beverages.
It's kind of apricot in colour and vaguely milky. Somehow, I was expecting it to be thicker, but it's the same consistency as every other soft drink. It's also not especially bubbly.
It tastes like Jaffas. Precisely like Jaffas. The smell of carbonation is the only thing that makes it smell like anything other than a handful of small red balls that taste like orange.
I was really hesitant to taste this stuff. Like I said above, I have some reservations about the whole "spider" concept. Anyhow, taste I did. It's...really odd. I wouldn't actually call it pleasant, to be honest. It's got a number of layers to it. I shall explain, in the order in which they hit you:
1. Weird consistancy. It kind of feels like there's a skin of ice over the surface of the drink, even though there isn't. I think this could be to do with the fact that it smells completely different to how it tastes, so as you sip it, your brain switches from smell receptors to taste receptors, or something.
2. Milk. It tastes like milk. Not specifically chocolate milk, though. Just..dairy in general.
3. Cheap chocolate. About a nanosecond after the milk flavour appears, the beverage remembers it's supposed to be chocolate flavoured and begins to produce the taste of really cheap chocolate, like those crappy lil solid chocolate Easter eggs everyone gets squillions of. It's not really pleasant, but it's definitely chocolate.
4. Orange. Hiding beneath all of this is the Fanta itself, which kind of breaks through as soon as the bubbles leave your tongue. And it's also not incredibly pleasant. I don't like this drink.
Okay, so the aftertaste has been pretty effectively nailed. If you erased my memory for the past five minutes, I could be easily convinced that I just sat down to a meal of Easter eggs and washed them down with a quart of Fanta. Usually with bizarre drinks, the taste is tolerable and the aftertaste is thoroughly unpalatable, but in this case, it's the reverse.
It's not totally unpleasant, I guess, but I just don't like it. That said, it is everything that it claims to be.