Sunday, August 14, 2016

Summit Gridlock Lo-Carb Energy Drink (Aldi)


Better than most other canned energy drinks at Aldi, but that's not saying anything.
Original Gridlock pretty much sucks, which I made fairly clear in my review for that product.  But in a desperate need for some energy while inside an Aldi store, I had to think quickly and act fast.  I wanted to grab the white can of Gridlock, apparently modeled after a similar drink from a national brand, but they must have been special buys, because they were completely sold out.  So it was either original Gridlock (blech), Red Thunder (once fantastic, now blech), their “multiple-hour energy” knockoff (which is great, and dirt cheap, but I like savoring a big can), or Gridlock’s Lo-Carb version, which I have never tried before.

Judging from the title of this review, I think you can tell which one I chose.

Opening the can, I was a little nervous because it pretty much smells exactly the same as original Gridlock, down to what I call the “mechanical tartness” (because it tastes like you’re sucking on metal).  But I learned a long time ago that you can never judge a book by its cover; substitute “energy drink” for “book” and “smell” for “cover”, and the same statement holds true here.  So I forced down a quick drink.

I have to say that, while this is nowhere near the top of my list of favorite energy-enhancing beverages, it has somehow claimed a spot near the top for Aldi energy drinks.  The terrible tartness of the original (and now, Red Thunder) is gone, replaced with a much calmer flavor that’s still very much drinkable.  While there’s a slight “diet” aftertaste, it’s not too unpleasant or too heavy to detract from the main taste, which isn't often the case with low- or no-sugar alternatives.

To say I’m “impressed” might be a little far-fetched, but “pleasantly surprised” is a lot closer to the truth.

Overall: 5.5/10. It’s not my favorite energy drink by a long shot, but thanks to the terribleness of original Gridlock, and Red Thunder’s sudden decline, it’s the best non-energy shot offered at the German retailer.  The “mechanical tartness” (so-called because it’s akin to the taste of licking a robot’s arm) of the original, which is disgusting, is thankfully missing here in the low-carb version.  The “diet” aftertaste, while noticeable, isn't as bad as it can be in other diet beverages, while the flavor itself doesn't have that terribly fakey sweetness that accompanies many similar drinks. If you find yourself in an Aldi and need a kick, their energy shots are the way to go; if you're opposed to those (and some people are), then this is probably your best canned bet.

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