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Death by Taurine: Energy Drink Reviews Part IV

Posted in Death By Taurine, humor, reviews, soda with tags , , on April 29, 2008 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

The saga continues…

Death by Taurine has been a surprisingly popular article series for my blog. I wrote the first one as a lark back in 2006 when I became fascinated with the whole energy drink industry. Since then the whole series has consistently appeared at the top of my blog’s traffic reports. So, since everyone seems to still be interested in this crazy topic of energy drinks, I thought I’d continue the series with Part IV. If you missed the first three installments, check out the whole group here. You’ll find reviews of Red Bull, Full Throttle, Jolt and many other popular energy drinks. When you click the above link, Part IV will be first in the list and Part I will last in the list and at the bottom of the page. Scroll down to start from the beginning.

Drinks groupIn the first three installments, I tasted and reviewed several of the traditional and more popular energy drinks. This time, however, I thought I’d try something different. I’m tasting and reviewing the newer alcoholic energy drinks that have flooded the market. In case you haven’t noticed, beer companies are releasing energy drinks with alcohol in them, some as much as 2 beers worth of alcohol. These have piqued my interest so I thought I’d give reviewing them a shot. FYI to everyone, I am of legal drinking age so no laws are getting broken. I’m just a ridiculously handsome guy, over 21, drinking energy drinks filled with taurine, vitamin B and alcohol. Let’s get started.

First, the rules. I’m going to drink the first one, wait an hour, then write the review. Then I’ll move on to the second one, wait an hour, then the review. I want to make sure I’m spacing these out to get the full effect. Okay, everyone ready? Then let’s get this party started.

Bud ExtraBud Extra- The first drink I’ll taste is from Budweiser and it’s called “B to the E”. I’m not kidding, that’s the official title, but it has an alternate name, Bud Extra. So I’ll just pop the top and let ‘er rip. Tastes like a can of Budweiser. There might be a slight Red Bull-ish aftertaste. Interesting. I’ll continue drinking and return in an hour with my final analysis.

[1 hour later] Okay, not bad. I’m feelin’ pretty good. Got a nice buzz on, feelin’ no pain…this is what I’m talkin’ BOUT! Man, I could totally have another one of these. That’s the mark of a good drink, you have one and you immediately are ready for another. Nice. Too bad I only bought one for this review. Crap. Hey, it’s time for Round 2, SWEET! Let’s go…

Sparks- Sparks is made by Miller and it is another of the more popular alcoholic energy drinks. There are like three versions of the Sparks drink and I’m not sure what this. Nor do I care because I’m ready to pop this top and throw down the juice. Hmmmm….like Red Bull, Sparks is filled with Taurine, Ginseng, Vitamin B, but unlike Red Bull…it’s rockin’ some serious al–kee–hol! Haha! Whew, let’s throw some of this bad boy back and see if this can of Sparks is, like myself, ready to Par-tay! Mmmmm…nice flavor. A little more Red Bullish in taste than Bud Extra. I like it. I’ll just continue drinking this and see you in an hour.At Table

[1 hour later] Maaan, whew! These cans are like double the size of normal beer cans. With two of these bad boys down I think I’ve had the equivalent of 4 regular beers, and I’m just getting this little shindig started. I know it says 1 hour later to the left there, but it’s really about 45 minutes later. I got tired of waiting for another energy brewski, so I’m drinking the next one, it’s called Sparks….no wait, I just had Sparks, right? No…yes…whatever.

Tilt- Allright, I don’t really remember who or what makes this one. The can is silver and it has writing on it, so that’s good enough. Time to pop the top and down the hatch…..awesome! This one hits the spot! WOO HOO! I might have found the winner, bitches. Look out energy drink bitches…this silver can of something is gonna ROCK YOUR WORLD!!! WOO HOO!!!

[30 minutes later] WOO HOO!! MAN THAAT WAAS THE LASTY ENRGY BREUW I HAD….WTF?! I DON’THAAVE ANYMOREEE…WWAIT I THINK I HAVEE AN RED BULLL IN THE FRIDGEY-FRIDGERSON…..YEPPERS, THER IT TIS, YALLLLLLL. AND HER’S A BEER,YO.. HAHA I CNA MIX RD BULLLZ AND MY BEERR AND HAVE A NEW ALKEYHOLIC ENRGY DREENK! AWESUME! I MITE HALVE TO SSELL THIS ITS THAAAT GOUUD. MMMMMNMMNMNMNN.

[30 minutes later] thaaaT caAn UF hommadie bruew wentu quielckly. im st1ll naut feelinG anYthieng. WYF?1 THEIZSE drEEnks r SPosed 2 haVVE alCAHAUl!11!!!1 AHAAHA!1!111 I cEE SUM BAKARTI 151 HiddoN n mie kabinet. BARTNDR, ROUEOND OF SHUOTS ON ME!!!!!11111

[10 minutes later] a;dlkf ;a;;oobviqa;n qehjnleroucuya[oif neepoifpodlajhd papdofiaF!!! !PAEDIUQ;P PADOIFH APAO APAODIFA PAODF PA0DA-VOP KIDFNQ;’ER,KE PEKQTRQPFIOAJDAP[ADOIUPADOF P IF F ~~~~

Man Down

[5 minutes later] I”MADFAFHJffffffffffffffffffffffffffff FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF ffFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF____>>>>~~~~~

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Death by Taurine: Energy Drink Reviews Part III

Posted in Coca Cola, Death By Taurine, humor, reviews, soda with tags , , , , on April 16, 2007 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

Checking the traffic stats of my blog I noticed that the energy drink reviews I wrote last year have become moderately popular (by moderately, I mean two or three people OTHER than my mother have read them). Since I wrote those articles, a few new energy drinks have popped up in stores so I thought I would take a crack at reviewing this new group of drinks.

If you missed the first two groups of reviews:
Click here for Death by Taurine Part I
Click here for Death by Taurine Part II

Now that those formalities are over with, let’s take a look at 5 new energy drinks and see if they are the real deal, or if they should be tossed into the landfill along with that giant pile of Atari E.T. game cartridges. Let’s find out.

Vault Red BlitzVault Red Blitz – I reviewed Vault and Sugar-Free Vault (now called Vault Zero) in Part II of Death By Taurine. In short, it’s a very sweet tasting Citrus soda with no energy kick. I was pretty harsh to Vault originally, but I’ve grown to enjoy Vault Zero a little more lately. Despite the confusing marketing as a “hybrid energy soda”, I stand by the opinion that Vault is rockin’ no energy boost whatsoever. Despite this, Vault must be selling fairly well because Coke just released the “berry-infused” Red Blitz. “Berry Infused”?! Could we be a little less specific? What kind of berry? Raspberry? Cherry? Boysenberry? Snosberry? WHAT?! Well, I think it’s cherry, but it’s hard to tell because the berry flavor is actually just as generic as the moniker. The generic berry flavor is good mixed with Vault’s base citrus flavor, but once again, Vault didn’t get the memo that energy sodas are supposed to give you a boost. I’m also sad that there is no Vault Zero Red Blitz, but I hope they release one soon because I would drink it. Energy Fiend says it would take 195 cans of Vault to kill me.

Enviga – Like many things Coke related (see Vault), this drink has had a huge marketing campaign. A lot of it extolling the virtues of it’s calorie burning properties. Yes, according to Coke, the green tea extract and other herbal ingredients cause you to burn more calories digesting the drink than the drink contains, thereby creating a negative calorie situation. This is, of course, absurd, so Coke is in a little controversy right now about false advertising. All that aside, the drink is only okay. The AMC theaters my wife and I go to give these out for free if you are a MovieWatcher member and buy a combo. So I’ve tried the Green Tea and Berry flavors for free. I actually bought the Peach version but had to give myself a V-8 slap in the forehead after tasting it because it was sweeter and not as good as the other too. All three, though, are almost too sweet and sugary for my taste, but if Jack Bauer had me tied to a chair and was threatening to kill my wife and shoot me in the kneecap if I didn’t pick one, then I’d say Berry is better. Give them a try, if you don’t like them throw back a Coolah instead (see review below). Energy Fiend says it would take 136.5 cans of Enviga to kill me.

Full Throttle Blue Demon – I reviewed Full Throttle in Death by Taurine Part II. I said it is my favorite tasting energy drink, but there is no energy kick whatsoever. Well, Coke released a Blue Agave flavored Full Throttle aimed at the Hispanic market recently so I decided to try it. This flavor is apparently named after a famous Mexican wrestler called Blue Demon, and the blue agave flavor is very popular south of the border. It definitely tastes different than original Full Throttle. The taste is closer to the SoBe energy drink I reviewed in Death by Taurine Part I. It’s a more fruity and less Mt Dew taste. I honestly didn’t really like it. Reminded me too much of the SoBe debacle, although I was able to finish this can whereas I was not able to finish the SoBe can. Again, like it’s Full Throttle brethren, Blue Demon forgot to stand in line when they were passing out energy boosts in Soda Heaven so it comes to the table without one. It’s like Coke is “waving its private parts” in the general direction of the energy drink market. Release versions of their regular soda with a little more caffeine and call it a day. Well I say “Nuts to you, Coke!” Energy Fiend says it would take 96.81 cans of Full Throttle to kill me.

Mountain Dew AMP – You may see the Mountain Dew logo on the can and ask yourself, “what is the difference between Amp and MDX?” Yourself probably won’t have an answer. But my answer is, “one is an energy drink and one is an energy soda.” WTF does that mean?! I don’t know, Coke started this whole “energy soda” business with Vault. It’s just Coke and Pepsi trying to create new crap out of old crap for us to buy like the good little consumers we are. So…..I bought it. Regardless of the shoddy marketing, Amp tastes very similar to Full Throttle and has the same missing energy boost. The name says it all, it’s an amped up Mountain Dew (caffeine-wise). Also, Amp recently, like Vault, got a flavor extention called Amp Overdrive. It’s a cherry flavored version, much like Red Blitz. I think I like Amp Overdrive better than the original Amp, but not as much as Vault Red Blitz. I did get a noticeable energy kick from drinking the Amp Overdrive, but it may be because I drank the “Big Rig” can which holds double the normal amount of drink. Does the world really need a “Big Rig” of Amp Overdrive? I mean, really? They should change the name from Big Rig to “The Urine-ator”. It gave me the longest pee ever. Seriously, it was like the perfect storm. Unbelievable. But I digress. I had the Amp Overdrive at 8am and I was still buzzing by bedtime. That’s some serious energy kickage. There is no sugar free Amp, so you are drinking over 200 calories with each can. A good choice if you don’t mind the extra calories. Energy Fiend says it would take 182 cans of Mt Dew Amp to kill me.

Coolah – Coolah is an Australian energy drink (CRIKEY!!) based on another drink called Solo. Hey Australia, why hasn’t there been a Crocodile Dundee energy drink, or a Crocodile Hunter energy drink? WHY?! The world is begging for them!! NOW!! Anywho, Coolah has a surprisingly mild, lemony taste. In fact, it’s taste is extremely similar to Sprite, with a little extra lemon flavor. It’s very good. Unfortunately it comes in the newer 16oz cans with which I have a little trouble finishing (much like the “Big Rig” above). Who really needs this much energy drink? You could wake the dead with cans of this size. It’s crazy. With regular soda you only get 12oz in a can, but with energy drinks that have twice the caffeine, sugar and taurine (and, sometimes, calories), you get an extra 4oz. Why? It’s ludicrous…and I don’t mean the rapper. The energy kick is pretty bitchin’ too. Wow, it’s like I’m sitting in a wind tunnel, but I’m actually just at my desk. This is one of the nicest buzzes I’ve had in a while (legally, of course, haha). That energy high lasted until bedtime, too, with very little energy crash. This may take the crown as my new favorite energy drink. So grab a can of this magic elixir and enjoy the ride, bro. Energy Fiend says it would take 91 cans of Coolah to kill me.

Updated!! Death By Taurine Part IV now online!

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Death by Taurine: Energy Drink Reviews Part II

Posted in coffee, Death By Taurine, humor, pop culture, reviews, soda with tags , , , on August 2, 2006 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

Welcome to part 2 of my energy drink reviews. If you missed part 1, just click here for reviews of Red Bull, RockStar, MDX, SoBe No Fear and TaB Energy. If you read those, then move along to part 2 below where I discuss 6 more energy drinks.


Full Throttle – This is Coca-Cola’s first entry into the energy drink market. So far, on taste alone, this is one of my favorite drinks. It’s like a stronger Mountain Dew or Mello Yello. Very good and the Sugar Free version (0 cals, 0 sugar) tastes exactly the same as the full Full Throttle. As far as its energy boost, there is none. No energy boost in an energy drink is like taking the bus to cross the street. What’s the point? On taste alone, this is one of the best, but there is, inexplicably, no energy boost.

Full Throttle also makes a version called Full Throttle: Fury. There isn’t a lot of difference between Fury and the regular FT. The taste isn’t as potent, and the kick is still non-existent. That’s the difference. Just acknowledge that it’s there and move on.


Von Dutch – You’ve seen the Von Dutch label on celebrities’ clothes, jeans and trucker caps, now taste the energy drink. Overall, it’s really good. It has the second best energy kick next to Diet Rockstar, and its taste is actually better, not so black licorice-y. What the hell is in the drinks that make them all taste like black licorice? I hate black licorice. Sugar Free has the same kick as regular with an even better taste. I would almost say this is my favorite because the taste is pretty good and the energy kick isn’t so potent that I feel like I just freebased cocaine and chased it with heroin.


Vault – This has had a pretty big marketing campaign based on the slogan “Drinks like a Soda, Kicks like an Energy Drink”. That tagline should read, “Drinks like watered down soda, Kicks like a One-Legged Man”. It tastes like an even blander version of MDX, if that’s possible. The Sugar Free Vault even manages to step down the taste ANOTHER notch. It’s like drinking water with a splash of Diet Mountain Dew…and no energy kick. Very disappointing. Move along.


Monster Energy – This energy drink has the tagline ‘Unleash the Beast’. Somewhat silly for a drink that tastes like jolly ranchers. This is a fairly good tasting energy drink with a mild kick. If Diet Rockstar has the highest kick, and Von Dutch is second, this would be third. Von Dutch still tastes better as this drink is too sweet. Even the Lo-Carb version tastes sugary. Calorie levels are similar to all the other drinks; regular has 200 calories and Lo-Carb has 20 calories. A not bad, if somewhat pedestrian, choice for your energy drink.

Like RockStar, there are like 4 versions of Monster Energy. I only tried regular and lo-carb. I didn’t even bother with the other two.


Arizona Green Tea with Ginseng – This is not officially labeled as an energy drink, but it definitely gives the buzz of an energy drink. Back in 1999, before the energy drink boom and during the time when dot-coms were considered good investments, I was consulting at a client in Tampa, FL. A fellow consultant liked this tea and he got me liking it too. We weren’t really using it for the energy boost, at first, but it gave us such a great buzz that we began to use it for that very reason. He would drink them like crazy. He drank like 5 one day and was bouncing off the walls. Back then the tea came in a really cool bright blue/violet bottle with finger grooves in the side. Now it is sold in a regular bottle with a picture of a tree on it. It’s also sold in giant cans that look like the regular bottle. Still gives a good kick and it tastes pretty good too. Check it out, there’s also a Diet version with only 20 calories.


Jolt Cola – I used to drink this in college when I was cramming for an exam. The last time I used it was in 1997 while studying late for my COBOL final exam. It gives a great buzz but the sugar crash is heinous. You actually feel hungover after drinking a bunch of this stuff. I thought it had been discontinued, but it’s still sold in certain parts of the country. Jolt Cola today has a new package that looks like a battery (get it? Energy=Battery…clever) and it comes in several varieties (Cherry, Ultra, Blue, Cola and Red). I’ve tried the Cherry and Ultra. Very tasty and still has the sugar/caffeine kick I remember. The sugar crash has been toned down with some other ingredients like Vitamin B and Ginseng. If you can find it, I still recommend it.

UPDATED!! Click here for Death by Taurine Part III – 5 NEW energy drink reviews.

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Death by Taurine: Energy Drink Reviews Part I

Posted in coffee, Death By Taurine, humor, pop culture, reviews, soda with tags , , , , on July 31, 2006 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

Energy drinks have become extremely popular in the last few years. I remember in college, the only energy boost options we had were coffee (which I hate) and Jolt Cola (which tasted like crap but gave you a nice buzz). That’s assuming you didn’t want to delve into the recreational use of pills like No-Doz and Dexatrim. In the last few years, though, energy boosting drinks have become all the rage. Red Bull was the first of the energy drinks to become hip and popular, but now you can find energy drinks branded with Las Vegas (a city), Hulk Hogan (a wrestler), Von Dutch (a clothing company), Orange County Choppers (a custom chopper shop) and many, many more. You can still find Jolt Cola in certain smaller markets in the US. TaB, the ever elusive diet soda, also has its own energy drink, and so does Ice T. That’s right, ICE-FRIGGIN-T has his own energy drink! Take that home, play with it, see if it rolls over. Anywho, I originally resisted the urge to try these things, but I’ve become curious to their energy-giving abilities whenever I wake up in the morning for work feeling like I was hit by a truck. I figured I’d either try these energy drinks and I would feel better, or they would make me feel like a crack addict; all twitchy and shifty-eyed, waiting for my next fix. With this review, I’ll let you in on some of my favorite energy drinks and I’ll give mini-reviews of each. I’ll let you know if it tastes good and if it does actually give you a boost in energy. Let’s take a look.


Red Bull – I’ll begin with the daddy of the modern energy drink boom. It’s become hip to drink these on the bar scene and quite a sizeable mixed drink menu has sprung up using this as an ingredient (i.e. Jager Bombs). It’s not bad. It has a very black liquorice taste which goes away when you are about half way through the can. I prefer the Sugar Free version as it has 100 fewer calories and the sugary, liquorice-y taste is somewhat muted. As you try more and more of these energy drinks you will see they have a similar taste: black liquorice. Just keep that in mind. As for Red Bull’s energy boost, I never got a slight buzz or energy lift from it. But that’s just me, you may find different results as people metabolize food and drink differently. For me, though, this is best used as a drink mixer. According to Energy Fiend, 170.63 cans of Red Bull would kill me.


RockStar – This is pretty popular too. Steph tells me that other teachers at her school (Club-A) drink the Diet version to give them a boost. The product has a great name, and their slogan rocks too; “Party Like A RockStar”. I bought it for my friend Dave who said it didn’t do much for him (he likes Red Bull), but I decided to try it on my own. As far as energy boosting, this gives me the biggest buzz. One can of this or the Diet Rockstar and I feel like a ferret on a double espresso. A few weeks ago, I had one at 7am and I STILL had trouble getting to sleep that night. The Diet Rockstar does have that “Diet” taste compared to the regular RockStar, but it has 0 sugar and 20 calories (220 calories in regular) and, like Red Bull, Rockstar has a very black liquorice-y taste. The taste does fade as you progress into the can, but the first few sips, for me, kick like a pissed off mule. If you need the energy boost, pick up a can of Rockstar and prepare for the onslaught of mind-buzzing energy shakes. If you want taste, you’ve bought the wrong can. According to Energy Fiend, 91.00 cans of RockStar would kill me.


TaB Energy – One of the first diet sodas on the market, TaB, gets its own energy drink. The drink itself is pretty tasty…and pink. Not only is the can the trademark TaB pink, but the actual drink itself is pink. Like neon pink. Almost EMBARRASSINGLY pink. TaB was originally developed by Coca-Cola in 1963. Originally thought, by me, to be discontinued, TaB is still available in limited markets because it still sells just enough to be profitable. So, in reaction to the growing energy drink market, Coke decided to release TaB Energy. The drink, I just found out, is marketed mostly for women, so I looked like the idiot when I was checking out at the Winn-Dixie. TaB Energy tastes nothing like the original TaB because it’s not a cola drink, they just share the same brand name. The drink is sweet, almost candy-like in its taste, but the energy kick is low, almost non-existent, consistent with Coke’s other energy drink, Full Throttle. Pretty good on taste, but an energy drink that doesn’t give you energy is like kissing your sister. Sure she’s hot and it tastes good, but why bother? It’s illegal. According to Energy Fiend, 143.68 cans of TaB Energy would kill me.


MDX – This is the Mountain Dew energy drink. It’s very similar to Coke’s other energy drink, Full Throttle, but does not taste as good. It’s almost bland, like Diet Mountain Dew, and there was NO energy boost. Period. If you are going to take the taste away, at least hit me with some nervous energy to make me forget that I drank bland sugar water. Both Sugar Free and regular taste the same. So if you like the taste of Diet Mountain Dew but think it should cost twice as much, this is your drink. According to Energy Fiend, 165.96 cans of MDX would kill me.


SoBe No Fear – SoBe is known for their juice drinks which aren’t bad. Unfortunately, their energy drink blows donkey. I applaud their attempt to make it taste like their juice drinks. The first few sips of this drink have a distinct apricot taste that is not un-welcome after so many black licorice flavors. Why must all energy drinks taste like spoiled black liquorice? Let’s mix things up a bit, people!! After several more sips of SoBe, though, the taste goes from apricot, to crap-ricot. I couldn’t finish the can it was so bad. I’m pretty sure I didn’t drink enough to get the energy buzz, but I don’t care. Worst tasting energy drink EVER. According to Energy Fiend, 172.78 cans of SoBe No Fear would kill me.

Okay, that’s it for today, class. Look for part 2 coming later this week.

Click here for Part II

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