Versus series: Monster battle!

This week I’m doing something a bit different, probably because I’m playing Death Stranding and all the Monster Energy Drink branding is getting to me. (And definitely not because I’ve failed to finish Death Stranding on time for a review this week.) I’m ranking every sugar free Monster flavor I could get my hands on to tell you who is the bomb, and who is the barf. (Literally!)

But before I begin, I should mention two things. First, because I drank uncarbonated taurine drinks as a morning beverage of choice for a few years, I actually like the taste of plain old Red Bull. Lots of folks can’t stand it, and I can understand it is either something you love or hate. Personally, I love it, so that’s my baseline flavor profile for all other brands.

Second, I’m not sure why, but at a certain point, energy drinks lost a lot of their power over my sleep habits. I’ve been known to drink one before bed and still get a good night’s sleep. I think part of this is my choice of drinking the sugar free versions, as I’ve sometimes randomly gone for the regular editions and ended up pulling an unintentional all-nighter. What I’m saying is, I can only review these based on taste, and not on how much “kick” are in them.

Also, know that I sampled all of these over the course of weeks. If I drank all these ultra flavors in one sitting, I’d probably unlock my own ultra-instinct.

Right, so going from worst to best, here we go…

Ultra Pipeline Punch
No lie, I threw this one up. I think that alone should say a lot. It’s way too sweet, and I can’t even tell what I’m supposed to be tasting. Once I got it down, my stomach decided it didn’t like this stuff either, and it came right back up without changing the flavor in any way.

Somehow this manages to be sweeter than the full sugar version, and that confuses me. The added sweetness drowns out the taurine taste, which I suppose might be the point, but I’m not a fan.

Super Dry
I don’t know who named this, but they have clearly not had many dry drinks like wine or tonic (or any kind of Martini) Much like Ultra PP, I can’t tell what it is I’m supposed to be tasting, and all I get is this nauseating sense of sweetness, followed instantly by sweetener aftertaste. Hard pass, thanks.

Ultra Fiesta Mango
Probably named by the same guy who came up with Super Dry, this bears little resemblance to Mango or a Fiesta. This one, however, is just on the right side of appealing that if I got a can for free, I wouldn’t say no to it. I’m just not up for spending money on it, is all I’m saying.

Ultra Golden Pineapple
A slight step up from fake mango is fake pineapple. I can almost pretend that I can taste the pineapple candy flavor this was aiming for, but then it gets lost in the sweetener aftertaste. Another can to go into the category of “I wouldn’t turn down a free one.”

Lewis Hamilton Edition
Oooh, okay, now we’re talking about a flavor I would seek out and pay for.  It’s a combination of peach and nectarine, two of my favorite summer fruits. As an added bonus, there’s less aftertaste. During testing, I’ve bought and inhaled several cans of this, so I’d say it’s a personal favorite.

I admit I was wary of this one, coming in a white can with no other hints about what flavor it was. So I was pleasantly surprised by the combination of lemon and grapefruit notes that I got out of it. Another version that I’d had multiple cans of during the test.

Ultra Watermelon
This is the top tier of the sugar free drinks for me, which is funny because it doesn’t quite nail down real watermelon flavor. Instead, it’s like a mild sour watermelon candy, and for some reason I can’t explain, I ended up loving this and going back to it until I got an upset stomach from drinking a second can too fast.

There you have it, my listing of all the Monster Energy drinks available locally. Or rather, all the sugar free versions. On that note, we only recently got the lemon-flavored version of Rehab, Monster’s tea beverage. There’s no sugar free version, but I figured I’d just try one to see how it is, and then I later bought another, just to see if I got the same impression. I did, and it’s weird how my opinion changes from the first few sips to the last. At first, I’m thinking, Oh no, this is too sweet. But by the end of the can, I’ve come around and decided it’s actually pretty good. Maybe the sugar bombardment is so powerful that half my taste buds are numb by the time I finish it?

Anywho, thanks for checking out this week’s post, and hopefully next week I can put up a proper review of Norman Reedus Simulator: Monster Energy Edition.