Exotic beverage: Rhino's Energy Drink

Rhino's Energy Drink in all its glory. I don't have much to report on this one. I somehow thought this would turn out to be one of the weird aphrodisiac drinks, containing extract of rhinoceros horn, or something. I guess import and poaching laws nipped that one in the bud, eh?

It's a tad paler than the usual slightly burned yellow colour energy drinks generally take on. I'd predicted red. I was wrong.

It smells similar to the scent of Red Eye Plus, a slightly fruity but contradictorily dairy aroma. It contains taurine and is pasteurised, so there's probably a link there.

It's really quite pleasant. It's got the vague taste of Red Bull (i.e. a sickly sweet flavour, kind of like vomit -- but in a good way) with a slightly spicy overtone. There's also very little taste of random chemicals, and miraculously no taste at all of vitamin-B. I'm impressed. Totally.


There's no aftertaste that's unexpected. The taste of generic energy drink lingers for a while, but it's thankfully lacking the flavour of vitamin B. It does leave a slight greasy "skin" on your mouth, but that's to be expected from these drinks. Bravo for someone finally making an energy drink that tastes like an energy drink should, but doesn't leave you feeling like you've just imbibed an entire health food store and a litre of sump oil.

I apologise for the dullness of this review, but I've not managed to find any part of Rhino's Energy Drink to mock, parody or otherwise take the piss out of. It's flavour is exactly how an energy drink should taste, with no outstanding good or bad points. It's pleasant, as a beverage. Hoorah, Rhino's Energy Drink.

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.

It's bad, very bad: Mother energy drink

Mother. It's deceptive, bro. Note: This review is based on the original recipe of Mother, which was released in 2006. In 2008, Coca Cola decided -- wisely -- to reformulate the crap into a basic Red Bull clone, and marketed it with the slogan "It tastes nothing like the old one", transparently demonstrating their acknowledgement of the fact that the drink you're about to read a review about tasted like Satan's crotchpit.

Mother claims to be an "all natural" energy drink, although I suspect most drinks can parade themselves under this label if they choose to. It contains an alarming amount of "natural" chemicals, including something extracted from the berries of the Açaí, a type of palm tree native to the Amazon basin, Korean Ginseng and the usual caffeine and guarana characters.

I got too close.

This drink is available almost everywhere, but I first located it in a convenience store in Sydney city. The store was being loaded with crates of the stuff, suggesting to me that it may actually be a decent drink.

It's slightly red-brown, and not as dark as cola. It's also quite carbonated and remains that way for much longer than other energy drinks.

It smells of ginger. It's like weak ginger beer, with a hint of medicine over it. I don't like ginger, or ginger beer, so this doesn't bode well for Mother.

It does (did) come in a funky bottle, though.

It tastes utterly unpleasant. In fact, it tastes as though it just corroded part of my soul. It's slightly gingery with no effort made whatsoever to mask the reeking flavour of b-vitamins. There's also a hint of aniseed and the general flavouring of medicine. I can detect no flavour whatsoever that feels either safe, nor good for me.

It leaves very little aftertaste, and what it does leave tastes simply fresh, as though I've just swilled with ginger mouthwash. There's a very mild hint of b-vitamins.

I find it rather difficult to rate this drink on a whole. It's neither pleasant nor unpleasant, and my immediate dislike of it probably stems from my general avoidance of ginger, which makes my opinion more biased than usual. The problem with these drinks on a whole is that the ingredients rarely perform the magical tasks they claim, and are rarely well thought-out as companion ingredients in the same beverage. Having "all natural ingredients" doesn't necessarily mean that the ingredients, when mixed together, won't curdle your innards. This drink isn't unpleasant, but it does taste of ginger. It's unlike any other energy drink I've reviewed, thus far, so it stands alone in its weirdness.

Exotic beverage: Speed

Speed. "Speed" is a licensed trademark of "Steb", and is apparently canned..or manufactured..or something, in Clayton, Victoria. It's distributed by L-Z Distribution. Not sure if there was ever an A-K Distribution. More research needed.

No spectacularly bizarre ingredients, but it does contain Citric Aurantium, which has no redeeming qualities other than being used occasionally as a flavouring in Asian dishes.

I guess the ultimate way to get people to buy your product is to name it as though it contains narcotics. Or to name it after a Keanu Reeves movie.

It's a darkish, dusty maroon. Purple, really. The photos don't do it justice. My camera is red/purple colourblind. It's quite fizzy. (The drink. Not the camera.)

It's got a really strong stink of raspberry, combined with a smell of stale beer and methylated spirits. That said, though, it doesn't smell too bad. What the hell is wrong with me?


It tastes slightly of raspberry and quite a bit like the official standard of "energy drinks", which is the overpowering flavour of vitamin B, usually coupled with some horrendous fruit flavour trying to hose it away. It's got quite a rough texture, too. Although having described it, it's still not that bad.

Once again I have to deal with the fundamental vitamin B flavour trying to eat away at my soft palate. The methylated spirits aroma from before again reappears, which isn't the most pleasant experience.

It's not that bad. I can't say much more than that. After all of the above mocking, it's still quite drinkable.

Exotic beverage review: Private Energy

Mmm, porn flavoured. This is the first energy drink I've seen to feature a porn star on the can. In pale green relief in the top corner is porn "model" Silvia Saint (link is from Wikipedia, it's relatively safe). I was curious as to whether this drink fell into the curious "energy drinks and aphrodisiacs" category, but it seems to contain no aphrodisiac ingredients, nor claim any magical powers in the bedroomal department.

It's yellow-brown. I partly suspected this was going to be either blue or green, but that's based entirely on the colour of the print on the can. I'm neither impressed nor disappointed in the colour of the beverage, so far. The label claims the drink is carbonated, but it was barely even pressurised upon opening and the drink poured as flat as a car parking lot.

Can you smell the porn?

It smells exactly -- and I wish I had a second can so as to test this theory properly -- like Red Bull. This leads me to suspect that Private Energy may be colonpipe.com's first rebadged exotic beverage! The colour and smell are absolutely identical to Red Bull. It's also pasteurised. The only spanner in these works is that Private Energy's label claims it contains ginseng, an ingredient not present in Red Bull. Lacking a mass-spectrometer, I cannot chemically analyze this drink. Thus, one test remains!

It's still Red Bull. I'm grasping at minutiae here, but it's a tiny, tiny, tiny bit sweeter than Red Bull.

It does an amazing job of drying out the mouth and throat. I've recently had a cold, and Private Energy seems to want nothing better than to make me cough in an awkward fashion.

Quite frankly, you can read my review of Red Bull for my opinion of that, because it's virtually identical. I shall paraphrase for the terminally lazy: It tastes kind of like vomit, albeit in this case vomit with added sweetness. And apparently ginseng. And I'm curious as to whether all cans of this gear are flat, or whether I simply bought a dodgy one.

Exotic beverage: Naughty Girl Energy Drink

"Hi, I'm red." This energy drink contains caffeine, carnitine, not much else. The more interesting of those two ingredients, carnitine, is a quarternary ammonium compound (whatever the hell that is) synthesised from amino acids. It's found in red meat and nuts, and is synthesised during pregnancy to aid in growth. It's listed on the can as a fat burning magical chemical of awesomeness, but I can't fathom the diagrams on Wikipedia well enough to explain whether this works or not. (It's in a sugar-laden aphrodisiac beverage. Methinks it does not.)

It's violently flourescent red. It's not just red, it's RED. Proper red. It's mildly carbonated. I'd expected it'd be pink, but at least it's not urine-coloured as I kinda suspected it would be.

It smells like window cleaner. The blue kind. (Not the red kind.) It's somewhat scary. One is tempted to include an appendix to this article detailing how well "Naughty Girl" polishes glassware.

The bubbles are trying to escape, bless them.

Once you stick it in your mouth, it's far from pleasant. It's basically a canful of the flavour that all energy drinks try to disguise, the reeking unpleasantness of vitamin-B. The can describes the flavour as "raspberry", but it's about as close to raspberry as a glass of aerated water saturated in b-vitamins.

The best feature of this beverage is its complete lack of an aftertaste, it's a shame there's no other good points, because inhaling air has the same effect.

On a whole, It's fairly disgusting. I couldn't manage a glass. It's unpalatable because there's no real taste to it, just the underwhelmingly vitamin-B like flavour of blurgh. There's no aftertaste to speak of, and it made my face twitch uncontrollably.

I suppose I should hesitantly address the other "property" of this drink: aphrodisia. I believe it's aimed at women. It didn't excite me any. This may be because I'm not a woman. Should I ever find a woman who's willing to drink vitamin-B and window cleaner, then tell me how her loins are feeling, I'll be sure to post the results.

Exotic beverage review: Red Devil Energy Drink

It's red, and one would imagine, devilish. It's all Red Bull's fault. "Red" has apparently become a convenient catch-all buzzword for energy drinks. Between Red Eye, which is pleasant, and Red Bull, which is bile in a can, it's a shame the term cannot be safely used to distinguish the palatable from the impalatable.

Red Devil is alarmingly tomato coloured. It kinda looks like someone has bled into it. It's not a comforting colour. I had anticipated it'd look somewhat like Red Bull, based entirely on the contents being similar. I'm almost disappointed.

It smells exactly the same as every other energy drink that tries to disguise the patently disgusting flavour of b-group vitamins with some kind of uberberry fruit deluxe syrupy flavour. It smells very much like someone's vomited some berries and added Berocca.

Close-up of Red Devil in a glass.

At the risk of offering a cheap-arse description of the flavour that'll be of no help to anyone, it tastes virtually identical to Red Eye Gold. It's got a strong medicinal flavour, buried beneath an unpleasant taste of partially digested berries, all of which are swimming on top of the unpleasant vegetable flavour of b-group vitamins, which still manage to poke their hideous heads through the masking agents to make this a vaguely unpleasant beverage. As flavours go, this one isn't too bad. I was afraid it'd taste like Red Bull, but thankfully it does not.

The only noticable aftertaste is that of the berry-like puke flavour, which -- as an aftertaste, at least -- isn't totally unpleasant.

It's not entirely bad. For something with all the ingredients of Red Bull, a name that begins with "Red", and a colour that looks like someone's been punched in the kidneys and taken a nice long piss, it's decidedly palatable and probably earns itself a place on the short list of energy drinks that don't make your soul depressed.

Exotic, uh, beverage? Sour Spray

It's been a while since I've written an Exotic Beverage Review, so here's one in a slightly different direction. The can. Click on any of these images for bigger, uglier ones.

I picked this stuff up at my local video store. Immediately, I got the urge to buy two cans, because this stuff clearly cannot last. This is another entry in the gargantuan line of sour sweeties, which seem to function entirely on the concept that the more disgusting a confection tastes, the more likely children are to want it. "Sour Spray" guarantees kiddies will love it by adding the bonus gimmick of being delivered to the taste buds in much the same way as Raid is delivered to insects -- by aerosol.

My immediate reaction to this was "Holy arsegiblets, Batman! This'll make small children think it's okay to eat bug spray!". My secondary reaction was "I'll take two!".

I had planned to make this a conventional Exotic Beverage Review, but the crap by nature defies the standard format of an EBR. It contains no truly exotic ingredients (apart from whatever the propellant in the aerosol is, evidently it's not hydrocarbon -- which cannot surely be a bad thing -- but the can divulges nothing as to what the gas actually is). The sugar content of the goo is not suprising, 10g in an 80ml serving.

The can is about the size of a handy deodorant can, the type women tend to carry in their purses. It's well sealed with a layer of shrink-wrapped cellophane plastic around the cap. The label on the can is also shrink-wrapped plastic, not enamelled painty crap like on most aerosol cans.

Click the jumpy jump to read more about this astounding aerosol --

The directions and precautions on the can are as follows, and I really wish I had made these up:

DIRECTIONS: open the can, spray candy directly into your mouth and SCREAM. Manufacturer assumes no responsibility for crazy outbursts, silliness and laughter you may experience. Do not mix with other whimpy candies. CAUTION: This candy does not cause boredom if used as directed.

So that's the joke warning panel. The real warning panel reads as follows:

WARNING: Contents under pressure. Do not puncture or incinerate. Exposure to high temperatures may cause bursting. Avoid spraying in eyes. Intentional disuse by deliberately concentrating and inhaling the contents can be harmful. Store below 120F.

Fair enough, says I.

But wait..

DIRECTIONS: open the can, spray candy directly into your mouth and SCREAM.


Intentional disuse by deliberately concentrating and inhaling the contents can be harmful.

I assume the screaming is due to the probably highly carcinogenic propellant you're not meant to inhale while the CAN IS SPRAYING INTO YOUR MOUTH HOLE speedily eroding your lungs and causing some kind of narcotic trip.

Or maybe I'm just too cynical.

The nozzle. Don't suck on it.

A poorly translated Chinese paragraph on the side of the can suggests the can contains 28 feet of foamy goodness. Upon reading this, I immediately realised the potential for an..


So, without further ado, I hereby rip off pay homage to Cockeyed.com:

Realising I needed a method to measure the output of the can, I quickly comandeered my kitchen bench and set up a high-tech measuring apparatus:

Cling wrap + tape measure.

The plan was for the cling wrap to contain the overwhelming foamy madness, which would be distributed across its width in 12 inch sausages, as measured with pinpoint accuracy by my fluourescent green tape measure. It was a plan that could not fail!


Unfortunately, I'd failed to anticipate that the word "foam" is apparently a bad Chinese translation for the Chinese word that means "slightly damp snotty goo that turns to rancid fluid within seconds". So my nice foamy sausages speedily mutated into streams of unpleasant pink sticky matter. But one soldiers on, in true How Much Is Inside? tradition!

Ten feet of pink!

Here's the first ten feet of pink goop, which by now has congealed to a kind of Klingon blood-like substance. Thankfully, the cling wrap is containing it quite nicely, as the top left corner indicates. As hard as it's trying to escape, the surface tension of the Klingon haemoglobin is too strong to break the bounds of the plastic.

oh god no

Here's a final photograph of the stuff as it begins to break through the gravitational boundaries of the cling wrap and starts to invade my kitchen bench. Ultimately, the final spray count got to 28 foot-long lines of pink crud, but the stuff was congealing and liquefacting and disintegrating and eating through my house so quickly I didn't have a chance to photograph it. I was too busy attempting to scoop up the plastic sheeting into a sort of bag-like formation before the stuff became a permanent part of my kitchen.

However, having proven the can did contain at least 28 feet of "foam", as per the label, I decided to get brave and sample a bit of the stuff.

I sampled the stuff. My tastebuds collapsed in upon themselves like a black hole, retreating from the seething pink goo I had so disdainfully thrust upon them. It felt like I'd sprayed rancid, carbonated vinegar onto my tongue. It's also worth mentioning that it's not at all possible to have any control over the direction and ferocity of the spray, so you might as well toss a handful of coins as to whether you want the "foam" to go into your mouth, down your throat or up your nose.

Curious as to how much crud remained in the can, I exhausted it into the makeshift cling-wrap bag:


It's a goddamn alien lifeform, I'm telling you.

I debated whether to drink the stuff, attempt to preserve it, or feed it to a homeless person and sit back and watch. After some deliberation, I decided the best fate for the red glowing bile was..

The ultimate fate of the rancid pink goo. Also, red + blue = purple.

Never again. Ever.

As an addendum, however, I returned to the kitchen to discover the cling wrap had at some point failed me, and the red crap had actually stained my bench:

It's still there, weeks later.

Never. Again.

Exotic beverage: Pepsi Samba

Pepsi, now with more samba. This stuff is mango and tamarind flavoured. Mango and tamarind. This does not sound pleasant. Mango is alright, I guess. Mango I can accept. Not sure about mango and Pepsi combined, but I'm okay with Mango. My only experience with tamarind, however, is an Asian "sweet" that consists of dried up balls of the fruit soaked in sugar and chili powder, producing a horrid, horrid, horrid burning mass of gross.

One of the few redeeming features of this drink is its television spot, a commercial featuring a pair of disembodied dancing legs, legs that belong to David Elsewhere, master illusionary dancer (there's a career none of us considered) and generally cool dude:

It's orange-er than regular Pepsi. Clearly there's some hint of tropical fruit about the colour.

For it was blue, with an orange top..

There's almost no smell. It smells like regular Pepsi, really, with a very very vague hint of that Tropical Sunkist crap they put out a few years ago. I'm under the assumption this is the same syrup, mixed with Pepsi. And tamarind.

Oh, it's gross. It tastes like Pepsi with soap in it. For anyone familiar with these drink reviews, it has the "we're trying to mask the taste of vitamin-B by adding overpowering fruit flavours" taste. Which wouldn't be a problem, except THIS ISN'T AN ENERGY DRINK, AND HAS NO VITAMIN B ADDED TO IT.

The aftertaste is horrid. It's still soapy. I'm having a hard time telling whether it's due to the base of this drink being regular Pepsi, which is usually pretty grim in its own right. Also, for some odd reason, there's a hint of eucalyptus or mint or something.

Considering this is based on Pepsi to begin with, it's not that bad, I guess. It's soapy, but it's kind of fruity. Tropical Sunkist was far, far better.

Exotic beverage: Speed Chrome

Apparently chrome is yellow. I haven't opened this can yet. The name conjures some interesting possibilities, two of which are: It looks like chrome. This is unlikely, as I'm unaware of it having become legal to include actual metal in beverages. The other alternative is: It acts like chrome, meaning you can spray it into a rag and inhale it for happy fun time. I doubt both reasons, but bear in mind we are talking about an energy drink manufacturer who's modus operandi is "name it after something morally reprehensible".

It doesn't look like chrome. It looks like slightly greenish, carbonated wee.

When you open the can, there's an overwhelming stink of window cleaner. On sniffing the liquid itself, it smells like a relatively benign fruit drink. Whether or not it's actually benign, I'm as yet unsure.

Mm, wee.

It's...............interesting. It's slightly fruity. The other sensation it carries is quite similar to the "HOLY CRAP IS IT MILK OR IS IT SODA" effect the choc-orange Fanta Spider demonstrated. It's like there's a haze of awkward gaseous matter surrounding the real flavour, which, like most energy drinks, consists mostly of strong, sweet fruit flavours attempting to mask the overwhelming presence of Vitamin Berocca.

The flavour dissipates pretty quickly, leaving you with the horrid tang of vitamin B and the weird sensation of the "flavour haze" described above, which doesn't seem to go away, no matter how much other fluid you consume afterward.

It's not pleasant, but that's okay. Few of these drinks actually are. As they go, this one's pretty middle-of-the-road. It's got gross bits, it's got good bits. At least it's not liquid metal.

Update: I just took a huge swig, thinking "it's not that bad! You just typed out an essay saying so!", but...it is. It's horrid. It tastes like really nasty fruit drink with some methylated spirits in it, and possibly some pee. Blurgh.

Blue Ox - Exotic Beverage Review

Three cans, each more terrifying than the last. 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.


It's not Windex, honest.

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.

It's not really as orange as it looks.


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.

If your pee looks like this, see a doctor. Or lay off the beetroot.

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.

Exotic beverage review: Red Eye Platinum

Red Eye Platinum in the "old" bottle. They've since changed to all green bottles, and (as of 2013) have gone through two label redesigns. Note, circa 2013: This review from 2005 is interesting, as Red Eye Platinum is my current favourite among energy drinks. It's almost exclusively available at supermarkets only, warm from the "lifestyle drinks" shelves. I have occasionally found it in truck stops and convenience stores, but it's strangely rare for a drink that's got non-exclusive supermarket distribution. Now, back to 2005:

It looks pretty much the same as all the other "mild" types of Red Eye. This particular bottle was slightly warmer than the optimal drinking temperature, resulting in the usual spray of tiny bubbles manifesting themselves as massive bubbles instead.

It smells strongly chemical, even to the extent of reminding me of a cleaning product. Like most Red Eye variations, there's a strong scent of sweetness, but it's hard to put a finger (or nostril) on what the actual smell is.

It's sweet, and slightly fruity. Again, I can't define the actual fruit, but there's a definite fruitiness to it. Possibly peach or apricot, but without the furriness usually associated therewith. It should be noted that this stuff tastes quite vile when it's warm, quite akin to lawn clippings.

Very little aftertaste. It has the same chemical-like residue that Red Eye Extreme displayed, but otherwise it's not totally unpleasant. It should be kept cold, however, as the taste it assumes when it warms up is quite sickening. At least it only tastes this way when it's warm, though. Most energy drinks taste like shredded lawn from the get-go.

Exotic beverage review: Red Eye Power

The can art follows the design of the Red Eye energy drink bottles, it's quite stylish. Red Eye has a fairly good reputation for energy drinks, as far as I'm concerned. All of their drinks are, more or less, entirely drinkable, and Red Eye Power follows suit. It does, unfortunately, suffer from the familiar problem of being absolutely identical to virtually every drink that comes in a 250ml can, with only a scant few exceptions (V, Jugular, Hype, for example).

It smells of sickly-sweet bile, vitamin-B and evil. So, not to put too fine a point on it, it smells like every single other energy drink on the planet. I swear there's a gigantic factory in the jungle somewhere that churns out Red Bull in blank silver cans and farms it off to any company willing to put their catchy title on it.

It doesn't have the weird, immediate "OH DEAR GOD IT'S VOMIT WITH SOAP IN IT" flavour and sensation of Red Bull. It does, however, have the weird chemical flavour. I've never been able to adequately describe the flavour. It's almost like drinking soap, but not as unpleasant. Man, it's hard to come up with a new and exciting description for the SAME FLAVOUR every time. I'd say this one would be, after some consideration, probably 30% on the better side of Red Bull, my benchmark.

The aftertaste is slightly oily, and quite floral. Or (everyone get ready for it).. exactly the same as all the other drinks. The differences between these drinks (if they're even different at all) are so subtle I don't believe it'd be possible to accurately gauge them unless one was to sample them all in sequence. And hell if I'm gonna do that, my stomach lining is questionable enough as it is without adding vast litrage of caffeine and Christ-knows-what into the equation.

Well, it's an energy drink. There's nothing at all wrong with it. It tastes plenty good. However, it doesn't win any originality points, because it's clearly another out-churning of the standard recipe. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Exotic beverage review: Wild NRG

It's wild, and contains "NRG", There are so many things wrong with this drink. For a start, it's the only "energy drink" I've yet encountered that comes in a plastic bottle. Secondly, despite being "100% Australian owned, made in Australia with Australian and imported ingredients", the tagline for the drink still uses the Americanis(z?)ed spelling of "Energize" and not "Energise" as the Queen's English would have us former convicts use. And we haven't even considered the taste, yet.

If beer were beige, it'd look like this stuff. Like most energy drinks, it holds its carbonation for about a nanosecond, then goes totally flat.

It smells......interesting. It smells like a bizarre bastardisation of Red Bull and cheap chocolate. The flaky, powdery kind of chocolate. Bad chocolate.

Holy crap, it's tart. Really tart. It hits you like the biggest tart thing that could ever be hurled at you. Oddly the chocolate sensed nasally recurrs to freak out your taste buds, only briefly before the whole affair is engorged in some kind of super-powered fruity tsunami. Also, there's some weird flavour going on on top of all of this that I cannot describe as anything other than the taste of pastry. I'm as afraid as you are. Probably more, as this crap is now inside me.

It settles down fairly nicely to leave you with only the flavour of SUPERFRUIT(tm), which continues to swill around your now-dry mouth, stimulating your saliva glands into dry reaching and ineffectually swelling your cheeks up.

This is another energy drink that falls into the category of "not that bad". That said, it's not fucking great, either, and I don't think I'll be drinking this whole bottle just to prove it.

Exotic beverage review: Red Eye Plus

Yellow, much like its label. It's astonishingly yellow. Not to put to fine a point on it, it looks like pee. It's got the traditional Red Eye trait of instantly losing all carbonation as soon as the bottle is opened, also.

It smells quite refreshing, actually. There's a vague aroma I can only describe as "dairy", and a hint of vitamin B.

It's not unpleasant. If it were possible to have managed to get energy drinks right, I'd have to say Red Eye are the ones who've succeeded at it. You can taste the unmaskable vitamin B, which shares a flavour with rotten celery, and the dairy smell somehow manifests itself in a taste which is actually kind of chocolate-like.

There's a noticable aftertaste of vitamin B, although it's more of a chemical flavour than the aforementioned tang of rotten celery.

Again, it's not unpleasant. It's not great, all energy drinks that make a big deal out of including vitamin B either suffer from a deplorable taste of rotten celery or from being overly fruity to try to mask the horrid vitamin. This one's kind of a half-way house between the two flavours.

Exotic beverage: Schweppes Pink Lemonade

It's significantly pinker than the original version. Schweppes released "Traditional Pink Lemonade" some time around 1994. This isn't the same stuff, unfortunately, but it counts as exotic and thus gets a review. I searched Google Image Search pretty frantically, hoping to find a photograph of the original bottles TPL was sold in, but I've failed miserably. If anyone can get their hands on an image of the original packaging, or better yet, an actual bottle, please let me know.

It tells no lies, indeed it is pink. It's also slightly milky.

It smells kind of sickly sweet, actually. The strawberry component smells more like strawberry yoghurt.

When you drink it, it's pink lemonade, precisely. It tastes like Schweppes Traditional Lemonade (i.e. basically Solo or Lift) with a hint of strawberry. The only downside to this is that strawberry's earned itself a reputation as being a dairy flavouring, like chocolate. You see strawberry ice cream and strawberry milk, but rarely strawberry soft drinks or jellies. So there's a slight sensation of dairyness to it. Still, palatable in the extreme. The strawberry flavour takes on a slightly plastic taste after a while. It's nothing unusual, though.

Although it's not really this pink.

Schweppes has definitely changed the recipe at some point, as this stuff does not taste like the original "Traditional Pink Lemonade" they manufactured about ten years ago. To wit, this stuff is called simply "Pink Lemonade"; there's no tradition about it. The original was a much paler beverage, also, and tasted less manufactured.

Exotic beverage review: Recharge by Sprite

It's turquoise! It's, um, turquoise. I was not expecting turquoise. I've had this stuff before, and all I can recall is that it tasted pretty horrible, so seeing it outside the can was something of a surprise. Recharge by Sprite bottles are coated, head-to-toe, in opaque labels, so even the glass containers provide no hint as to the blue-ness hiding inside. It remains carbonated for a great length of time, also.

Also worth noting is that the Recharge by Sprite cans are exorbitantly lengthy, containing an extra inch of aquamarine goodness. I postulate that a further inch is required to provide the same amount of fluid as in a regular shaped can.

It does not have a strong odour. It vaguely stinks of medicine and vitamins, which is odd as it does not seem to contain the usual myriad vitamins these drinks boast.

It tastes quite medicinal. There's a good portion of earthy vitamin flavours hiding behind it, and there's a zing of something slightly anaesthetic, possibly mint.

The anaesthetic taste/sensation continues, leaving an aftertaste of nothing but medication. I have a suspicion someone switched the vats of genuine Recharge by Sprite with Listerine while the Coca Cola folk weren't looking, because quite frankly, it tastes like mouthwash.

It's blue, tastes like mouthwash and remains fizzy for great lengths of time. Other than that, it's pretty morbid stuff.

Exotic beverage review: Red Bull

It's both Red AND Bull. It should be noted before going into depth about this particular beverage that it's pasteurised. This is the process they put milk through in order to remove the bits of random cow bacteria that they figure won't be compatible with bits of random human bacteria it's likely to encounter. There's much more to it. But that's still enough to make me wonder what the sweet Christ is in Red Bull (or moreso is no longer in Red Bull) that required a massive dairy-based process to remove.

It looks like beer, albeit a bit browner. It fizzes tremendously upon being opened, and forms a brief head atop the beverage.

It smells like Combantrin worming medication. So, rest assured that while Red Bull may not give you wings, per-se, it'll quite likely rid you of worms. Seriously, though, this stuff smells vaguely toxic.

It's (literally) bilious.

It tastes like vomit. Chefelf described it as bile, which is much of a muchness when it comes to internal fluids ejected orally. But yes. It's sickening. It tastes like a heavily carbonated combination of worming medicine and vomit. The reason this stuff initiates a gag reflex in me is, I fear, not due to its taste, but due to my body going "Hey, I know this flavour, it goes outward, not in!"

The illusion of consuming spew continues in the aftertaste, which cannot be described more efficiently than "it tastes like you just blew chunks". And possibly attempted to wash your mouth out with worming medicine to remove the taste of expelled bile.

It tastes like puke. With bubbles. And for some reason, I bought a four-pack of it.

Exotic beverage review: Red Eye Gold

Brown. My general opinion is that the Red Eye energy drink company tends to make the best energy drinks on the market. This review proves the exception to the rule, as Red Eye Gold is hideously unpleasant. Read on.

It looks like cola. It's a little bit yellower and much less carbonated. Again, as in all Red Eye drinks, the carbonation vanishes once the cap is removed.

It smells vile. It smells like the aroma you get inside an Asian candy store, but where all the candy has spoiled. And mixed together. And it has a strong stink of medicine.

It's ghastly. First sensation is a strong taste of berries, which continues in the aftertaste. On top of the berries are about fourteen layers of shit, including what tastes like I assume bathroom disinfectant would taste like, a strong dusty sensation and the usual vitamin B sensation, which is somewhat odd as this drink contains less vitamin B than the others, according to the label.. It made me cough, also. I was unable to take large sips, as the strength and horridness is quite overpowering. There's an odd medicinal sensation that goes straight up your nose when you drink it.

Still brown.

Strong chemical aftertase. The odd medicinal scent/flavour that goes up your nose remains for an extraordinary length of time. Flavour of rotten celery from the B vitamins also remains. Oddly the initial flavour of the drink is completely gone within seconds.

It tastes like apple and blackcurrant juice with a quart of Dettol in it, sprinkled with rotten celery. It's fucking unpleasant.

Exotic beverage review: Red Eye Extreme

It does indeed feature a large red eye. It looks like cheap champagne. It's tinged slightly yellow, which is actually surprising as in traditional energy drink style it comes housed in a green glass bottle to mask its true appearance.

The beverage is "lightly carbonated", which manifests itself as several squillion tiny bubbles clinging to the inside of the glass, as shown in the next photograph. It should be noted that the stuff loses its carbonation at a rate of knots, and leaving it in the glass for any more than a few minutes renders it flat as a tack.

It smells like...those powdery candy bananas everyone used to eat as a child. The ones that are made from the same substance as musk sticks, but taste of banana instead. It also has a mild aroma of some undefined chemical, although it's an energy drink, so this is to be expected. Removing the cap from the bottle produces a fairly large rush of carbonation to the surface of the drink, probably during which the majority of the carbon dioxide escapes, thus beginning the end of the bubbles as mentioned above.

You can't smell them from where you're sitting, but I swear there are tiny bananas.

It actually tastes like candy bananas. It's quite pleasant, and not overpowering with any of the usual energy drink flavours (i.e. vegetables, medicine, wee). It loses its flavour quite speedily as the product loses its chill, however, so it's best to either drink it in its entirety while it's still as cold as possible, or refrigerate it and ration it into speedily consumed glasses. A lot of effort, perhaps, but a pleasant tasting energy drink is a rarity at best.

The aftertaste is quite mild. It's basically just a residue of whatever produced the slight chemical odour that was present in the sniffing stage, and it fades quite quickly. The only unpleasance is a slight sugary coating it leaves on the lips and teeth.

Without a doubt the most pleasant energy drink available. Tastes basically like an odd-flavoured soft drink. As for its energy inducing powers, I've not felt anything out of the ordinary. Although having sampled it, I don't feel I need to retch. Perhaps that is out of the ordinary after all.