It has been almost five years since I discovered the original Bulldog energy drink (see this review). Now I assume that Bulldog Power is a rebranding of that product because it shares the same web site printed on the can – the taste is different to how I remember it. It’s sweet with a strong caramel flavour to it, still a clone, but with a difference. It’s nice but even the sugar-free version I’m reviewing here became quite sickly after drinking the whole can.
A really nice mellow orange flavoured energy drink. It’s not too strong or sweet making it really quite refreshing. Emerge are definitely up there amongst my favourites in term of flavour and price and this variety just helps to prop up that opinion.
I’m never a big fan of apple flavoured drinks but I tried this one anyway. If you like apple drinks then consider this one a sweet and subtle variety. It’s certainly not as strong as drinking apple squash, but it’s definitely got a decent amount of flavour in it. It’s also boosted in terms of caffeine by 20% over a regular energy drink if that helps at all?
From the outside of the can it’s not possible, so far as I can tell, to work out what flavour it’s going to be. Well, the blurb is mostly in Greek so that doesn’t help me, but it still doesn’t seem obvious. Well, it turns out it’s tropical flavoured! It’s a subtle and sweet flavour, not too sharp. It also declares that it is 20% more caffeinated than normal drinks which is backed up by the 38.4mg/100ml caffeine content. That’s about 20% more than a regular 32mg/100ml drink. In reality, that’s not enough for me to have noticed any difference (not like some of the crazy strong drinks I tried in the US last year). Overall it’s a nice drink though, and it picked me up as expected!
In my opinion, this is preferable to the non-sugar-free version. It has less of an aftertaste and is a lot lighter is flavour. Other than that it’s pretty similar – the design of the can is different too with a confetti styled graphics instead of the diagonal stripes. It’s still a clone, but not a bad one.
The main selling point of this drink I’d say is its branding. MTV is an iconic brand, especially for those of us who remember the 1980s! It’s definitely a clone, but it’s not a bad one. and it didn’t cost much from a local discount store either. Taking a look at the drink’s web site, it seems it was quite poopular in Eastern Europe a couple of years ago, sponsoring various events around the summer. The taste: very sweet with a syrupy after-tang, but not bitter at all. Not too fizzy, but quite smooth.
As with pretty much all Monster drinks, your only clues as to the flavour of the drink are the colour of the can and the cryptic blurb on the side. This purple can (violet?? that’s purple…) describes the flavour as “crisp and refreshing, with a sweet and tart pixie dust flavour powered with our Monster Energy Blend”. I can confirm (to the best of my taste-bud ability) that this is grape flavour. Well at least it appears to evoke the flavour of grape soda in my mind anyway. In the UK, grape soda is available but it’s certainly not a common soft drink therefore the flavour is much more of a novelty to me than US readers of this blog may appreciate. BEcause of that, I found it quite different and interesting, even enjoyable!
Well, I suppose it’s ok – but nothing special. It’s like they’ve taken the idea from an own-brand (like Asda/Tesco) and then watered it down somewhat. It tastes to me like a weak mixed berry squash. Just like the Orange and Clementine version, it has a natural source of caffeine and contains fruit juice. It’s still my personal opinion that you shouldn’t start the day with an energy drink – your normal healthy diet should come first, therefore I can’t condone the branding choice here. But… if you had to choose a First Start drink, I’d go for the Orange over this Berries one.
I’m trying to figure out what makes First Start different to other Rock Star energy drinks. It says that it derives its caffeine from natural sources (so that’ll be the guarana then, not so unusual), and that it contains 5% fruit juice. I guess it’s that last point that makes it ‘first start’, like it’s supposed to be your morning fruit juice drink possibly? Bad idea if you’re doing that in any case! Anyway, the drink has a nice sweet orange flavour to it, quite sugary tasting yet low in calories. If we ignore the odd/confusing branding choices, it’s a good old stonking sized can of energy drink.