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.
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.
As Sherpa Tenzing neared the summit of Mount Everest in 1953, I wonder if he thought to himself “you know, I could really do with an energy drink brand being named after me.”. Well, that potential thought has come true. According to the can’s blurb, this drink is inspired by the evergising brew of the Himilayan Sherpas, and brew is the definitive word here. This drink tastes like a really weak non-alcoholic beer. It’s really bitter, to the point where it’s almost undrinkable. I think it has something to do with the natural ingredients list of lemon juice, green tea/coffee and Himilayan rock salt. To counteract all of those bitter flavours you need a lot of sugar and this drink doesn’t have much of that. It does contain beet sugar, which is just a normal sugar (as opposed to cane sugar or corn syrup), but in order to keep the calorie content down they don’t seem to have used very much. That’s a shame really because at 58 calories/can it’s neither low calorie or full fat – they should have just ramped the sugar up to improve the taste.
Pretty much like its full fat brother, Colossus is Lidl’s attempt to mimic Monster’s branding witha giant ripped-style letter X on the front of the can. I mean, it’s even using the same colours as Monster with green for the original version and blue for this low calorie version.
Surprisingly this didn’t actually taste anything like the full fat version, it’s almost like a totally different formula. I found it a bit sickly and maybe with a hint of aniseed too, it’s not often I prefer the non-diet version of a particular brand but in this case normal Kong is better.
I purchased this from Lidl at the same time as I purchased Kong Strong, and given that the old Lidl energy drink brand was called Mixxed Up I expected them both to taste more or less the same as that and therefore each other. They were quite different though – compared to Kong Strong, this drink is more tart and sour, and quite difficult to drink in such a large quantity. I struggled through it with my teeth and tongue feeling fuzzy and coated afterwards… if you have the choice, don’t choose this one.