Friday, March 3, 2017

Chasing Rabbits Tropical Citrus Natural Energy Beverage (Big Lots)

Pretty worthless.
Aaaah, Big Lots, that graveyard of closeout products. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised when I come across something gross, because that’s why a good chunk of the products are there—because they didn’t sell at retail and so the company liquidates them just to get some money flowing. Of course, there are a myriad of other reasons why items end up on Big Lots shelves, but my rule seems to apply the most in the drink aisle, where it seems almost the entire inventory is constantly rotating. As I’ve mentioned before, looking for energy drinks can be a rather frustrating affair, because sometimes they’ll have three or four different kinds, and other times they will have none. This time, they were pretty well stocked.

And amongst all the similarly-colored drab bottles and cans, one stood out and caught my eye: A bright green 12 oz. aluminum can, featuring little white rabbits jumping around. What in the hell was this? Certainly not an energy drink, because those only come in 8(.4) and 16 oz. cans…right? Much to my astonishment, it was an energy drink, one called “Chasing Rabbits”. I would have grabbed it up right there and then, but I saw “Natural Energy Beverage”, which gave me pause for thought. That can mean a myriad of things, but it seems to generally mean a load of B vitamins and not much else. I was at least hoping for some caffeine, so once I verified that there was some in here (in the form of “natural caffeine”, and a pretty decent 120 mg per can), and once I checked the price (a paltry $.50) I tossed it in my basket.

Most of the sweetness comes from a natural sweetener called Isomaltilose, which I’m not very familiar with—I’m sure there’s some evidence somewhere that it causes cancer. There’s also more sweetness provided by stevia, so despite this, there are only 15g of sugar per can. That’s not a lot in the world of energy drinks, where they can be as high as 50g (or even higher) per 16 oz. can ( prorating this at four fewer ounces puts us well under half of the average).

A quick sniff—a test I utilize to see what I’m getting into—hinted at a slightly citrusy, chemically-sweetened product, which is exactly what you’re getting. I mean, literally, it just smells artificial. The taste almost comes off as a fruity beer, which might be a turn-on for some, but coming from someone who can't stand the taste of the stuff, I was not all that impressed: it tastes kind of malty with a bitter finish. In between those two points, though, there is that sweetness that the “tropical citrus” description hints at, but it tastes like a jumbled mess of sweeteners and flavors, like someone in an early taste test thought it tasted awful and tried masking the taste by dumping in a bunch of citrus tastes.

I might have gotten a slight energy burst from the combination, but not one that justifies slogging through the uninspiring flavor, and if I did, it was gone within the hour. If a drink that purports to give you energy doesn't do that, then really, what good is it?

Overall: 2/10. The bright can and “tropical citrus” flavor descriptor hints that something that's going to be sweet and tasty, but despite a myriad of sweeteners, Chasing Rabbits falls flat on its face. The drink tastes malty with a bitter finish that reminded me of beer, while the “tropical citrus” shows up in the form of a random combination of flavors that taste just like they were thrown, moonshine-style, into the vat just to sweeten the horrid base up. Even worse: If I did get an energy burst, it wasn't much of one, and it was gone within the hour. You can generally do much better for $.50 at Big Lots stores, so there's no way I can recommend this junk.

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