Onli Hibiscus Pomegranate Strawberry

Sigh… I’m worried about this review.  The last two sodas from Onli that I tasted did not agree at all with my buds.  To make matters worse today’s flavor includes hibiscus, something I’ve never really enjoyed.  The name it’s parents call it when it’s in trouble is Onli Hibiscus Pomegranate Strawberry.  It’s unsweetened and a beautiful rose color.  I know it’s unsweetened because it says so in bold print at least three times on the bottle.  So… here we go with the lowest expectations possible.

He's trying to see what the iguana is looking at.

The aroma is a nice, light strawberry scent that tries to seduce my mind.  It’s not going to work though.  Even though this smells of something I should sip on a hot summer day I know better… or at least I think I do.  

Onli makes the world's most confusing beverages.  I’m 100% ok with this.  It’s not delicious and amazing, but I understand what their doing and approve.  The two sodas I had prior to this one didn’t compute in my mind or mouth.  In my opinion, and that of the people around me while reviewing, they were awful.  

Onli Hibiscus Pomegranate Strawberry starts off with a bitter burst, but it transitions easily into a pomegranate/strawberry mineral water.  It’s definitely a sipping beverage and not a chugging one.  The fragile flavors fight with the bitters of the hibiscus and carbonation, but ultimately the sides call truce and live in harmony.

A powerful array of bubbles is ever present and adds some texture to the mouthfeel of the soda.  There is not a strong aftertaste and your mouth gets no syrupy buildup sip after sip.  I feel alright drinking this, no guilt at all.  Then again there are maybe 3 beverages I’d have any guilt about consuming.  

So that’s it then.  Onli makes sodas that flit and flicker all across my taste spectrum.  Thankfully my most recent memory of them will be positive.  Want an unsweetened soda that you might actually enjoy, give this one a try.

Verdict - Buy a Bottle

~A

This soda was purchased at an HEB Grocer

Xyience Xenergy Honey Ginseng

I don’t normally review non-carbonated beverages, but when the company who creates that beverage reaches out to me then who am I to say no.  Today’s drink up on deck is Xyience Xenergy Honey Ginseng.  Those of you who are fans of the UFC should recognize Xyience Xenergy as the official energy drink of the UFC.  If you didn’t know that, then perhaps they should rework their ad campaign.

Xyience Xenergy is sugar free, zero calorie, and vitamin fortified.  The Honey Ginseng flavor I’ve chosen includes Green Tea in the ingredients list along with several other words that you may have seen alongside some B vitamins and several other words that are much harder to say.

In case you weren’t aware Xyience means extreme science, and Xenergy is a blend of Zen and Energy.  With all nomenclature explained we should be ok to move on.

The faintest of faint aromas sits at the mouth of my newly opened can.  It smells slightly of honey and green tea...which is good because that’s what they’re going for.  Hopefully the taste is as inoffensive as the scent.

Four word review.  “Yay. Huh? Eh. Alright.”  Now let’s break it down.

Yay.  A cool refreshing burst of honey and green tea washes across my mouth.  It cools everything it comes in contact with, satisfying a thirst I wasn’t even aware I had.

Twist is a Mad Xyientist.

Huh?  The gears change direction and now the ginseng and chemicals take over.  It’s not a complete 180 from what I first experienced, but I much preferred the initial taste to what I have now.

Eh.  So I guess I’m stuck with this new taste, but my mouth has quickly accepted this fate.  It’s not so bad and it’s still tastier than most energy drinks.  I really wished that first flavor would have lasted longer.

Alright.  So my wish is sorta coming true.  During the aftertaste the ginseng gives way once again to the honey and greet tea I initially enjoyed.  The only difference is that ginseng is still chilling there in the corner sulking because I didn’t like him as much.  The sweetness from the honey leaves a lasting impression and makes it very easy to return the can to my mouth.

Xyience Xenergy Honey Ginseng is a fantastic energy drink and a pretty solid regular drink to boot.  I could honestly see myself drinking this just because I enjoyed the flavor.  Yeah, there is a bit of weakness shown in the middle of each sip, but XXHG doesn’t tap out.  See what I did there?  I worked in an MMA reference to make part of the review quirky.  I should probably stop while I’m ahead.

Verdict - Buy a Pack

~A

This soda supplied to us by Xyience

 

Brain Wash

Picture a skull and crossbones staring at you from the label of your potential beverage.  Now picture the top of the skull cracked open exposing the oddly fresh brain inside of it.  That my friend is what is currently staring into my soul on this label of Brain Wash.  Brain Wash is made from the same fine folks that brought us Black Lemonade, one of the harshest beverages my throat ever dealt with.  Just like Black Lemonade, Brain Wash has amusing blurbs on its label like “This may be your only way out!” and “May cause special effects”.  Navy blue isn’t a color you usually associate with soda, but they’ve put enough Blue Dye #1 in this bad boy to reach that level.  It has a lot of the same ingredients that Black Lemonade has with a few exceptions.  Brain Wash sadly uses HFCS instead of Cane Sugar, but on the plus side also uses Sage and Jalapeno Oil.  I’m not sure how the sage will play a role in this performance, but I’m hoping the jalapeno oil is at least noticeable.  Since Brain Wash isn’t exactly a flavor I’m a little curious as to what this will most taste like in the realm of real tastes.  My initial guess is going to be a fruity ginger beverage that’s about to scald the back of my throat through the act of chemical warfare.  Let’s find out, shall we?

The initial odor I’m getting is that of green NyQuil which isn’t what you want to smell when you first open anything… except NyQuil of course.  I will say that the bubbles forming in the neck of the bottle look rather nice when contrasted against the dark blue soda.  Will they keep this from tasting like carbonated NyQuil?  No, but hopefully something else does.

A barrage of pain shoots through my sinuses as the spice/carbonation combination reaches my nose with ease.  With my mouth a bit more acclimated the second sip is much more tame allowing me to properly review this beverage known as Brain Wash.  Right off the bat I can tell you that the jalapeno oil is indeed noticeable as the back of my throat now has a (nice?) continuous burn going.  The flavor of the drink itself is rather vague, honestly it tastes like a generic blueberry soda you might find anywhere.  My brain may have just associated this vague taste with blueberry due to the hue, but it’s all I’ve got to go on right now.  Even though the base flavor itself is vague and unspectacular the experience of drinking Brain Wash is so far one I’ll remember for a long time.  Each sip assaults my mouth in every way possible.  The ginger/jalapeno/capsicum combination proves volatile at first, but calms down a bit once you’re throat learns how to cope.  The strongest of these, as mentioned before, is what I assume to be the jalapeno oil as my throat feels like it would after enjoying a spicy plate of nachos.  While this is very similar to the mouth feel of Black Lemonade I find that Black Lemonade at least had a purpose.  It was a harsh lemonade unlike anything you’d had before.  Brain Wash is a harsh… fruity… blue… drink that in my opinion the gimmick of destroying your mouth becomes nothing more than just that… a gimmick.  It’s not original because Black Lemonade exists.  It’s almost like they said “hey, Black Lemonade is doing ok… how else might we ruin someone’s vocal chords (which of course it does not do)” so they invented Brain Wash because they could.  I need more of a reason than the one I just made up for them to promote this beverage.  If you want a throat conquering soda then purchase Black Lemonade, as for Brain Wash...

Verdict – Buyer Beware

~A

Brain Wash580.jpg

Twist mocks you're extreme label with his own extreme...ness?

Mountain Dew Voltage

At the time I bought this bottle of Mtn Dew Voltage I was running out of drinks… I still am but that’s beside the point.  I’ve never really been into the whole crazy Mtn Dew flavors thing, but I respect what they’re doing.  What caught my attention to this bottle of Mtn Dew Voltage (which this point on will be called simply “Voltage”) was the fact that it contains Ginseng.  Voltage immediately starts to slide down the grading scale with the words “Charged with Raspberry Citrus Flavor…” on the side.  First off this drink is blue and a primary flavor is Raspberry.  I dislike the idea of blue raspberry anything.  Secondly what is a “Raspberry Citrus” flavor?  To find that out I guess I actually have to consume it.  Alright then.  Here we go!

Voltage smells as if you crushed up a bunch of blue raspberry SweeTarts and mixed it with the appropriate ratio of water.  Needless to say I’m not impressed.  I will say that the lightning bolt on the side of the bottle keeps catching my eye though.  So much power.  So much responsibility.  Let’s see if this will live up to its responsibility like Spiderman or fail miserably like Spiderman 3.

Rushed Venom, Emo-Peter Parker, and Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane… that’s what ran through my head as I finished taking that sip.  So much disappointment.  Voltage hit’s your mouth with a small shock of carbonation leading up to a taste that can only be described as chemical.  I’m sure there are other descriptive terms I could have used but I had to say there wasn’t for dramatic effect.  The blue raspberry fights with the ginseng on who will be the most prominent flavor while Citrus sits in the corner shouting.  Ultimately my mouth declares them all losers and tries to drink its problems away only finding that the nearest drink is more Voltage.  Such a vicious cycle.  This is the first Mtn Dew beverage that tastes like a mediocre to bad energy drink.  I like original Mtn Dew (although Sun Drop is better), I like Code Red, and I like Pitch Black, but this is not worth finishing.  The only reason I’m not going to rate this Do Not Buy is because I could actually finish it if I wanted to.  WHY DID I JUST TAKE ANOTHER SIP?!  WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!

Verdict – Buyer Beware

~A

Mountain Dew Voltage580.jpg

Oddly enough if Twist puts his tongue to it, the bottle will be shocked.