Another old review: Pulse Live energy drink

Really cool looking bottle.
Really cool looking bottle.

This is another energy drink review that I need to apologise for. Much like my review of Pimp Juice, this one is going to suffer from the fact that I didn't actually write anything down when I drank the damn thing several years ago. I took photos, though. That's something.

Pulse Live is as obscure as hell. I can't find much about it through googling, largely because it's completely obscured by Pulse, the more famous energy drink with vodka added. This drink doesn't seem to be affiliated with Pulse.

The bottle looks awesome. The label is transparent, and the artwork is really quite cool. It's a long-necked bottle unlike most bottles you find, so it stands out.

The drink itself is totally colourless. Not even a hint of yellow. (Although having said that, with age, it's turned slightly beige. I won't be drinking the out-of-date bottle any time soon.)

It smells and tastes exactly like lemonade.

That's about all I have to say about that.

Also, this is the last one of these stupid "I took photos five years ago, so now I'll write a review" reviews. I promise.

No colour whatsoever.
No colour whatsoever.

This is awkward - exotic beverage: Pimp Juice

One assumes they wrung a pimp out to make this.
One assumes they wrung a pimp out to make this.

This is awkward not only because this drink is endorsed by Nelly, and is called "Pimp Juice". It'll also be awkward because I drank the damn thing four years ago. I was thoughtful enough to take photos, but evidently not thoughtful enough to make notes. You'd think I'd have known better.

Regardless, I shall press on.

While searching for any residue of a review I may have written when I sipped the stuff, the only text I can find on my computer relating to Pimpjuice is part of an IRC chat transcript from 2008:

Datazoid: I bought another three energy drinks whilst in Adelaide.
Datazoid: I shall add them to the pile of thirty or so I've yet to sample.
Datazoid: Most of which are rapidly exceeding their use-by dates.
Chubbs: Datazoid: will it make any difference
GremZzz: It might even improve them.
GremZzz: The sugar content will ferment and you'll get wasted.
Datazoid obtained "Hiro Vitality", which contains essence of brocolli, alfalfa and celery.
Datazoid: It's bound to taste of ass.
Datazoid: I also located Pimpjuice.
Datazoid: I had to ask for it by name over a counter.
Datazoid: "Please can I have some, uh, pimpjuice please."

Apart from that, here's what I can tell you: It's green. The can art is quite nice, if you're in to bling and all that.

The Pimp Juice website is horrible. It makes noises when you point to the menu items. It contains way too much Nelly. I have learned that the drink is apparently still being made, and now comes in a purple colour.

The green one was supposedly berry flavoured, but I have some memory of it tasting largely like water and vitamin B, with some sugary horridness overtop.

I believe this drink's sole redeeming factor is that it's GREEN.

I still have a full can of this stuff in storage, but as it's at least four years old there is no way known I intend to drink it. I'll leave that job to someone else.

Exotic beverage: V Graphite


Update, July 12, 2013: I'm getting loads of hits on this article (by loads I mean literally tens), so I'm going to put the killer question up front for those who're asking:

What does V Graphite taste like? It tastes like spectacularly artificial chocolate.

Now, back to the original article:

This energy drink is a tie-in with The Wolverine, which opens in July, 2013. I found a review on Lifehacker which claims the drink has a similar flavour to Mother, which I'm afraid has tainted my opinion of the drink before I've even tried it. I'm pleased to report, though, that I don't agree with this assessment.

The Lifehacker comments address an obvious question: Why "Graphite" and not "Adamantium" if this is a tie-in with The Wolverine? Logical answers are provided: Graphite was an existing flavour in New Zealand, newly introduced to Australia. Also, 5 gum has already staked claim to an adamantium flavour.

The can art is cool, but nothing outrageous. Wolverine appears in black and white. The "V" logo floats over a red patch. I guess they would have had to tread carefully, and would not have been able to include the usual torn slashes from Wolverine's claws, as they'd look a lot like to logo for Monster Energy.

The bizarre ingredient in this drink is and extract from the maca root (lepidium meyenii), which you can read about in tedious detail on Wikipedia. Among its more outrageous claims to fame, maca has been known to create and/or worsen goiters (don't click on that if you're eating), and to act as male aphrodisiac. I've seen female aphrodisiacs in energy drinks (Naughty Girl), and a generic aphrodisiac in Red Eye Passion (not yet reviewed, but it tastes like champagne).

The drink is brown. It's not as dark as cola, and it's a warmer brown than you'd expect. It's kind of like tea. It's well carbonated.

It tastes like chocolate. At least, it tastes like chocolate in the sense that the Lynx/Axe Dark Temptation body spray smells like chocolate. It's a totally artificial-tasting flavour. It's fifty percent really cheap chocolate (the powdery white kind), and fifty percent as though someone was given the job of simulating the flavour of chocolate from a barrage of completely unrelated chemicals. All told, though, it's quite palatable. Unlike V Black, which is supposed to be coffee-based but tastes largely like arse, V Graphite seems to be a fairly pleasant drink.

Oh, and it's had no effect on my libido thus far. Sorry.

Energy drink: Mother "Green Storm"

It's green and stuff.
It's green and stuff.

Mother "Green Storm" is a bit like recycled photocopier paper. You can't tell recycled paper is any different to regular photocopier paper unless you read the package first. Similarly, you can't tell that Mother "Green Storm" is made with natural caffeine unless you read the can. And even then, it makes no difference. Apparently natural caffeine is better for you than the synthetic stuff. Both will make you alert, but the absorption rate and side effects tend to differ. Supposedly, according to some sources that I don't care to link to, natural caffeine tends to have a gentler spike-and-crash rate. Who knows --

It tastes like regular Mother. If you're a fan of that, then you'll probably like this. If -- like me -- you're not a fan of the acrid taste of standard Mother, then you'll probably think it tastes like piss and vinegar with most of the vinegar removed.

The can also claims "high caffeine content", which is peculiar, as it actually has 0.4 milligrams less per 100ml than pretty much any other energy drink that's available. While it's not unusual for these drinks to claim a higher energy content than their competitors, which can be justified by higher sugar levels, claiming high caffeine content when it's...not, is just peculiar.

Exotic beverage review: Battery Energy Drink

It looks like a battery, albeit with no negative terminal.
It looks like a battery, albeit with no negative terminal.

I don't know about you, but I've always wanted to be able to pop open a D-cell battery and drink the energetic goodness inside. I have my doubts, however, that it would be a particularly tasty experience. Particularly after third-degree chemical burns have taken your tastebuds out of the equation. Nevertheless, the solution presents itself: Battery Energy Drink.

It looks like beer. Without a head. Not surprising, as it's imported by Fosters.

Much to my chagrin, it doesn't smell like battery acid at all. Instead, it smells like a generic energy drink. My hopes are dashed!

It's quite pleasant, indeed. It has a fuller flavour that other "generic" energy drinks (read: Red Bull clones), and it seems a bit sweeter. It's definitely much nicer than sucking on a Duracell.

When warm, it suffers a bit. It becomes rather floury and generally unpleasant. I don't know why I include this review criteria when all of the drinks usually have "serve chilled" written on them. I just like the pain. Mm, tasty pain.

I've had a lot worse. It comes in a larger, 330ml can than most energy drinks, which is a bonus, and it did seem to perk me up as I wrote this review and played a bit of Tetris. So that's something.

Exotic beverage review: Superman

Be careful near phone booths with this drink.
Be careful near phone booths with this drink.

It's not often I get to try a drink that has a theme tune. DUH DADA DA DA, DAAA DAAA DAAAAAAA! Yay, Superman. This is an exclusive of Woolworths supermarkets in Australia, and according to the can:

"SUPERMAN Energy Drink is a deliciously refreshing energy drink that contains Taurine and Caffeine. It helps to charge physical & mental performance throughout the day by providing extra energy power to your body."

Intriguing. A drink that claims to last all day!

It's red. It's very, very red. Upon initial pouring, it actually produces a small amount of red foam, which is possibly the coolest thing ever. Did I mention it's red?

It smells like kryptonite. Or what I'd imagine kryptonite would smell like. If kryptonite was made of Red Bull, anyway.

It doesn't taste as red as it looks. It's quite similar to Red Bull, my perennial benchmark, but it's not as sweet. As a result, the base flavours of vitamin-B and caffeine show through a lot more. This doesn't actually make the drink unpleasant, though, it's oddly refreshing to drink an energy drink that doesn't have the horrid oily sweet flavour trying valiantly, but in vain, to hide the flavours that are "good for you".

It doesn't hold up to the warm drink test. All sweetness disappears entirely, leaving only bitterness and defeat. It's like drinking Lex Luthor's urine. If Lex Luthor's urine tasted like turpentine and vitamins.

The aftertaste of B-vitamins is stronger than usual, presumably because the masking flavours are thinner than usual. It's not exactly pleasant, but I've definitely had worse.

It gets points for being so freakin' RED. It gets points for having fairly awesome can art (although I personally think it's got too much silver and not enough super). It gets points for being called Superman.

I have no complaints about this drink. It's pleasant. I think Superman would approve.

Exotic beverage review: Bullit Energy Drink

Bullit. Or BulLit. Or bulLIT. I'm not sure.
Bullit. Or BulLit. Or bulLIT. I'm not sure.

I've had this one sitting on my shelf for some time. A few months ago, I was kindly sent a package of three energy drinks from the Netherlands. (Actually, I was sent four, but one of them sadly exploded in the mail, leaving only the remaining three. Which were quite sticky.)

I've already sampled two of them, and found them to be average and disturbingly sugar-free.

I've been told, however, that the subject of this review, Bullit, is a particularly awesome example of an energy drink. At the risk of jumping to conclusions, I can't help but think:

a) it's got to be different to Red Bull. If this has been quantified as being better than other drinks, then I'm assuming it's not a Red Bull clone, which is a relief. I've sampled eleventy squillion drinks that are just Red Bull in a re-painted can, and I'm sick of it, already.

b) it may not taste as great as I'm expecting. I returned the favour by sending a package of three energy drinks from Australia back to the Netherlands. The package contained Hype, V and Mother. You can read my opinions of those drinks on the reviews I've linked to, there. In short, I don't mind Hype and V, and I think Mother is the piss of Satan's ugliest aunt. Mark, who was kind enough to send me the four Dutch drinks, disliked both Hype and V. So you'll understand my hesitation in sampling Bullit.

c) it's got the motherfucking Vetruvian Man on the can, which means it's awesome even if it tastes like brake fluid. This one gets bonus points all over for can art.

It's standard Energy Drink Yellow(tm). So far, so good.

It smells basically like (wait for it), Red Bull.

Okay, so it's not Red Bull. It's floral, it's slightly bile-flavoured, it's really well carbonated. It's kinda generic, but not at all unpleasant. (Or maybe I'm becoming seasoned.)

Exotic beverage review: Buzz Monkey Energy Drink

If you actually hear buzzing coming from the can, please don't drink it.
If you actually hear buzzing coming from the can, please don't drink it.

Wild plum extract is the keystone on this one. The can explains: "Wild plum leaf & fruit has been used for centuries by the Australian natives to sustain energy and enhance endurance during tribal walkabouts". I have to commend Buzz Monkey for not turning this beverage into some horrific racist parody of the Aboriginal culture, as a lesser drink company may have thought to do.

Finally, an energy drink that isn't just a Red Bull clone. This one features extract of the Australian wild plum.

This drink also, unfortunately, is the advertising bitch of a former late-night television program, Quizmania. Quizmania is essentially an unwinnable game targeted towards those who have difficulty determining which shoe goes on which foot. Typical quizzes on Quizmania feature questions in the calibre of "What is two plus two?", and all callers who're capable of stringing together the crude vowel and consonant string required to pronounce the word "four" are instantly screened out by the Quizmania switchboard. This leaves the daft host to ad-lib for hours waiting for the next dullard to dial the on-screen number.

It's less yellow than most energy drinks. I believe this may be a redeeming factor.

It smells phenomenally sweet, and I believe it's actually possible to smell the wild plum extract. Thankfully, there's no aroma of monkey.

I'd say this is probably 30% Red Bull/bile/flowers flavour, 40% pleasant fruitiness and a further 30% a really strong acrid flavour that is actually not at all unpleasant. This is one of the few energy drinks I've sampled that has a strong flavour that isn't solely there to mask the unpleasantries of b-vitamins and caffeine. There's a slight sensation that you might be drinking mouthwash, but it passes quickly.

The weird acrid flavouring remains for quite some time, resilient in the strange oily slick with which these drinks tend to coat your mouth.

In short, it's not bad. In fact, it's quite pleasant. It's definitely one of the stronger tasting energy drinks I've consumed, and it's also one of the few where I'm capable of drinking an entire can without wishing I'd never been born. Bravo, Buzz Monkey!

Exotic beverage review: Guaraná Antarctica


The can is green. And it doesn't say a whole bunch about what's inside. The inclusion of guarana in the title is my only basis for this being categorised as an energy drink, and I'm vaguely terrified of trying it.

The drink itself is beige. It also fizzed like a fizzing thing.

I'm tempted to say it smells like floral paint stripper, but that's probably a bit harsh. The small is actually quite faint, and you almost need to inhale the drink to smell it. It smells quite sweet, and at this point, I don't believe it's going to taste particularly bad. Only time will tell, though.

Time's about to tell.

Holy crap.

It's really nice.

I mean, it's totally benign. There's nothing unpleasant at all about the flavour. In fact, it's incredibly subtle. There's a slight, slight hint of vanilla, which is probably the source of the weird floral scent. I believe this drink works because it doesn't have the abhorrent b-vitamin groupings that almost all energy drinks suffer horrendously from. It also tastes slightly brewed, but not in any way unpleasant.

There's no noticable aftertaste. It tastes like you've just sipped some creaming soda. The brown kind, not the red kind.

Outstanding. Good things come, apparently, in poorly labelled packages.

Exotic beverage review: Rodeo Power Drink

Rodeo. It's sugar free.
Rodeo. It's sugar free.

This drink was kindly sent to me from The Netherlands by Kees Engels. This makes me feel bad for giving it a fairly harsh review.

The label is printed in French, Dutch, German, Czech and Polish, so this could be interesting. I believe it's manufactured by Menken Drinks in Bodegraven, The Netherlands.

It has the usual "not recommended for children, pregnant or lactating women or individuals sensitive to caffeine" warning that most energy drinks display, albeit in half a dozen languages, none of which I understand. It also has a warning that it contains phenylalanine. Joy.

This is the first sugar free energy drink I've sampled, so I anticipate it to be quite a harsh review. I'm not a fan of phenylalanine (or aspartame, or nutra-sweet, or it's billion other names), it simply tastes like vaguely sweet soap, and does not improve the flavour of a drink. Although, when an energy drink's life depends on being able to mask the unpleasant flavours of its main ingredients, I wonder how the addition of another unpleasant flavour will help it.

The can opened with a minimum of ceremony, there was no evidence of carbonation at all, but it eventually began to bubble. It appears to be the usual shade of energy drink yellow, with a slightly golden tinge to it.

Okay, so far it smells like a generic energy drink. This is a good thing. If it can pass all tests as being an average energy drink, then it's several steps ahead of what I expect from a sugar free energy drink. Hell, I may even try sugar free Red Bull if this works out. There's only one way to find out..

Well, it's not as bad as I'd expected. The flavour itself is mostly pleasant. It tastes very much like Red Bull, it has the usual flavours of tartness, slightly sickly-sweet and a bit like vomit, and clearly pasteurised. It has the slight flavour of dairy and antibiotics that most pasteurised energy drinks exhibit. However..

Over time, and given warmth, he flavour mellows greatly, becoming an unpleasantly spicy fluid. The artificial sweetener flavour thickens and becomes quite noticable when you're drinking it warm. Don't drink it warm.

The aftertaste is horrible. Artificial sweeteners suck. I've always found with drinks like Diet Coke that they taste quite decent while you're drinking them, but then you're stuck with the unfortunate reality that once you stop drinking, your mouth starts to taste like you've just sprayed it with WD-40 and sucked on a bar of soap. Well, a sugar-free energy drink is worse. The flavours of an energy drink are a procarious balance of horrible tasting things and strong, mostly pleasant tasting things. Ingredients like caffiene and vitamin-B give the drinks incredibly bitter and lasting flavours, and the added sugars and berries and whatnot basically just mask this flavour while you drink it. Almost all energy drinks have a horrid aftertaste of vitamin-B. Add phenylalanine to the mix, and it becomes entirely disgusting. The artificial sweetener grabs the unpleasant flavours of the drink, wrestles them into a malleable goo, and sticks them with great force to the roof of your mouth, allowing them to ooze slowly out over the next period of several minutes, along with the unpleasant flavour of soap and engine degreaser. Mmm. Tasty.

It's not as bad as I'd thought. I had predicted the artificial sweetener would kill it, and it kind of has. On the other hand, it's certainly not a total let down. I'll stick to non-sugar-free, myself, but if it's your fancy, then by all means, go for it.