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 V.14 No.28 | July 14 - 20, 2005 

Taste Test

The Energy Drink Challenge

We're smack-dab in the middle of July, which pretty much guarantees two things in Albuquerque: 98 degree highs and cockroaches the size of baby fists. So when you need a massive jolt of caffeine to make it through your day, what are you going to reach for? A hot cup of coffee? Think again, pit stains! You need something cold. Something in a can. Dare we say, something ... extreme? We dare. We also went to work with an armload of the most ballsy energy drinks we could find and drank them over the course of one day. Each of us kept a "scientific" log of our findings, which we've reproduced parts of right here.

Energía by Clamato

Reviewed by Devin D. O'Leary, Film Editor

Describe the general appearance of the can. What is your immediate reaction to the appearance?

There's a picture of a tomato and a picture of a clamtotal truth in advertising here.

What about its appearance makes this drink "Xtreme," "pimpin'," etc.?

Swirling blue stuff around the picture of tomatoes makes it look like a power-up from a Super Mario Brothers game.

Describe the aroma/taste/mouthfeel of the drink.

It's tomato juice with a little extra ... something. You got Pez in my tomato juiceno, you got tomato juice in my Pez.

Did you experience any unpleasant side effects?

My stomach feels a little funny.

Any pleasant side affects?

My eyes are a little more open.

How many stacks of Alibis can you lift right now? Did your drink bestow you with super human strength? Kryptonic weakness?

Six. no.

Pimpjuice

Reviewed by Jessica Cassyle Carr, Contributing Writer

What about its appearance makes this drink "Xtreme," "pimpin'," etc.?

Classic gold and silver can is the same color as my bling. I feel as though this can has what I need to become a true player.

Describe the appearance/color/consistency of the drink.

Green, like money.

Describe the aroma/taste/mouthfeel of the drink.

Tastes like sweet candy.

On a scale of one to 10, how is "your game?"

I'd say it's a nine, but only because I didn't drink my Pimpjuice from a chalice.

Describe your mood and energy level.

It's off the hook yo, I feel like high roller.

How many stacks of Alibis can you lift right now? Did your drink bestow you with super human strength? Kryptonic weakness?

Only one, but I am a lady.

Lost Energy Drink

Reviewed by Nathan Paolinelli, Graphic Designer

What is the tagline?

There were a few on the can--“lose your mind," "tear down your idols," "dysfunctional," "out of step" ...

Describe the general appearance of the can. What is your immediate reaction to the appearance?

The can is a collage of what looks like bad tattoo flash art: Flaming eyeballs, generic stars, half-naked girls, more flames, fists, skulls, checkered flags and a graffiti logo to boot. Looks like something angry white male teens would drink.

Describe the appearance/color/consistency of the drink.

It tastes just like all the other energy drinks I've had (execpt for Red Bull). It's kind of clear with a yellow tint.

Describe the aroma/taste/mouthfeel of the drink.

Smells like candy or something. Tastes kind of like jolly ranchers.

On a scale of one to 10, how was "your game" before you drank anything?

Game off, I just ate a 1/2 pound greasy burger.

After?

11. I'm feeling like I just ate a handful of white crosses.

Mad-Croc

Reviewed by Steven Robert Allen, Editor, Arts and Literature Editor

Describe the general appearance of the can. What is your immediate reaction to the appearance?

Turquoise and silver rays emanating from a red crocodile baring its teeth. My immediate reaction is that looking at this can makes me want to strangle someone with my bare hands.

Describe the appearance/color/consistency of the drink.

Yellowish, looks more like ginger ale than pee.

Describe the aroma/taste/mouthfeel of the drink.

Putrid chemical aroma. Putrid nasty sweet chemical taste. Mouthfeel is alarmingly chalky.

Did you experience any unpleasant side effects?

I've got the shakes slightly and my stomach is starting to jump around. That chalky feel in my mouth won't go away.

Describe your mood and energy level.

On the upswing, I feel strangely giddy. On the downswing, I feel like a mouse turd stuck to the bottom of someone's boot.

How many stacks of Alibis can you lift right now? Did your drink bestow you with super human strength? Kryptonic weakness?

Five, without injuring my back. I can now see through my own pants. Very disturbing.

Red Bull

Reviewed by Christie Chisholm, Staff Writer

What about its appearance makes this drink "Xtreme," "pimpin'," etc.?

Two "red bulls" (phallic, much?) are about to duke it out in a blast of high-energy machismo. Doesn't get much more "Xtreme" than that.

Describe the appearance/color/consistency of the drink.

Surprisingly enough, it's not red! Sort of a sickly pale green color.

Describe the aroma/taste/mouthfeel of the drink.

It has a sweet, astringent taste. Like pure sucrose ... oh, wait! It is pure sucrose. Kinda like drinking potpourri.

Did you experience any unpleasant side effects?

Just a long, sweet aftertaste. Then again, I couldn't finish it. Any more of this stuff and I might start growing testicles.

Any pleasant side affects?

Wooziness can be fun.

How many stacks of Alibis can you lift right now? Did your drink bestow you with super human strength? Kryptonic weakness?

Screw itI can lift a thousand. But I only want to lift five.

Zero Carb Boo-Koo Energy

Reviewed by Laura Marrich, Food and Music Editor

Describe the general appearance of the can. What is your immediate reaction to the appearance?

This can is frighteningly huge. Still, I am mysteriously drawn to it.

What about its appearance makes this drink "Xtreme," "pimpin'," etc.?

Boo-Koo is a pimpin' name. It's classy and French, yet ghetto-fied. Just like me. And it's written in hot rod-flaming script. If it were extreme, it'd be spelled "Xero Karb Boo-Koo NRG."

Describe the appearance/color/consistency of the drink.

Clear but slightly muddy, with a gyser-like fizziness. Kind of like Fresca on steroids. It squirted our A/R Rep, Elena, in the eye! Must be 'roid raging.

Describe the aroma/taste/mouthfeel of the drink.

Smell's akin to Fresca. The taste is like sourpatch kids that have had most of the fruit flavor leached out of them. Light, acrid and salty, with a stinging aftertaste that clings to my tonsils. I can't stop drinking it, though I cringe with every swig.

Did you experience any unpleasant side effects?

Slightly sour stomach, dizziness, irregular, shallow breath. I feel like my eyes are rolling around uncontrollably. Boo-Koo's zero-carb sweeteners have puffed me up like a zeppelin.

Any pleasant side affects?

I feel giddy, moved easily to laughter. But maybe that's just because I just fed liquid speed candy to several of my coworkers. My typing speed seems to have improved!

Hype, Energy x2

Reviewed by Carl Petersen, General Manager

What is the tagline?

"Carbonated Berry Juiced Energy Drink." Also, "Love Hype. Live Life. Love Life."

Describe the general appearance of the can. What is your immediate reaction to the appearance?

The can is silver with red, white and blue lettering. It kind of reminds me of a fancy ski boot.

What about its appearance makes this drink "Xtreme," "pimpin'," etc.?

Its ski boot-like appearance might make one think about sports and stuff.

Describe the aroma/taste/mouthfeel of the drink.

There's something weird about the flavor that I can't put my finger on. It's a little like prune juice but a little like brown sugar, too. I think the mysterious under-flavor is Crunchberry.

Did you experience any unpleasant side effects?

I have those all the time. Hype didn't seem to make any of those symptoms worse, though.

Any pleasant side affects?

I don't have a hint of sleepiness and the phone hasn't rung for half an hour.

Caballo Negro Black Horse

Reviewed by Simon McCormack, Editorial Intern

Describe the general appearance of the can. What is your immediate reaction to the appearance?

This energy drink seems to be designed for your bilingual energy drink consumer. Spanish is the predominant language featured and English-only speakers have to do a bit of sleuthing before they figure out that this thing is an energy drink and not a horse tranquilizer/imported beer. The appearance makes me a little excited but mostly just nervous.

What about its appearance makes this drink "Xtreme," "pimpin'," etc.?

The horse is incased in what appears to be barbed wire that looks very sharp and dangerous. That's fairly “Xtreme.”

Describe the appearance/color/consistency of the drink.

Its texture and color is that of a slightly diluted cough syrup.

Describe the aroma/taste/mouthfeel of the drink.

It tastes like a delicious fruit drink that has been tainted with poison. Maybe that's the ginseng.

Did you experience any unpleasant side effects?

I now know that energy drinks don't give you wings; they sort of make you feel like you're having a heart attack.

Describe your mood and energy level.

I'm back to feeling okay, but perhaps some smooth liquid refreshment can perk me ... God help me! Where's that disgusting Black Horse?

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