Thursday, October 31, 2019

Dollar Tree Unbranded Energy Shot x2: Blue Raspberry (Dollar Tree)

An absolutely pointless new flavor that tastes just as crappy as the other ones.
I previously covered what used to be the only two available flavors of this energy shot: berry, and grape. But on a recent trip to the ol' checkout line I saw they have added a new flavor to the mix: blue raspberry! I'm not really a fan of blue raz at all, but considering taste is probably the biggest knock I have against these shots, I thought I'd give it a “shot” anyway; after all, it couldn't taste any worse than the others...right?

In a word, no. But in another few words, it certainly doesn't taste any better. I should have gotten a couple different flavors to compare them a little more in-depth, but it has the exact same “watered-down” base taste as featured in the grape and berry selections, only with a moderately sweet added flavor that tastes very similar to the other two: maybe in a side-by-side test, the blue raspberry would be a little more pronounced, but I still don't think I'd be able to tell what it was if it weren't printed on the packaging.

So what was I expecting? Even though I'm a big fan of drinks that land on the “sweet” scale, artificial candy flavors like blue raspberry and watermelon usually end up being too much even for me. However, in this case, I would have welcomed it as a change from the norm, hoping that the added sweetness would at least cover some of the “watered-down” base notes of the other two varieties. I guess I was kind of hoping for something like X-Mode energy shots, which are so ridiculously sweet that it's almost comical, yet they go down pretty smooth. Instead, this one, like the other flavors in the line, merely goes in the opposite direction, keeping the gross, medicine-y diluted foundational flavor and adding in a slight sprinkle of something that vaguely resembles blue raspberry. And the effect is rather disappointing, and more than a tad bit unnecessary.

As ultimately pointless as this new “flavor” is, I still have to give it points in the same areas as I gave the other two options: it's sugar-free—always a good thing to prevent the ensuing sugar crash of heavily-sugared energy beverages—and in terms of energy, it works. Maybe it's psychological, in part due to the diluted flavor, but I still feel like I have to take a little bit more to fully kick in, compared to “stronger” energy drinks. Which brings me to another point: value. Even if you're a seasoned caffeine hog that requires a whole bottle to feel anything (which is a full 4 oz.), it's still only a dollar, which is a great price for an energy shot.

If you're more sensitive to caffeine, and can get a rush on half the bottle or even less, that obviously drops the per-serving price even more—it can be as low as a quarter if you can get by on just 1 oz. at a time. That's just an insane deal as far as energy shots go, which seem to be consistently going up in price while the formulations stay the same (like Aldi's Red Thunder shots, which stayed at $.69 per 2 oz. bottle for a long time before gradually rising to $.99 over the span of about three months).

Still, though, I can't really “recommend” this one over the others, because it still has the exact same notes as the grape and berry, in all its medicine-y glory, albeit with a flavor name that insinuates something much sweeter and saccharine. In other words, it's too similar to the grape and berry to even exist, and something that I'm honestly baffled was even released.

Overall: 5/10. This is kind of a tough one to assign a point value to, because it's technically no worse or better than the other flavors (grape and berry) currently available. It also has the same amount of caffeine, and works just as well. However, as a new, added flavor, especially one that's known for candy-coated sugar rushes, I expected something different, and ended up with the same gross base taste that I've come to expect from these double shots, with a very similar slightly sweet finish found in the others, as well. If you really pay attention, you might pick up on the blue raspberry flavor, but there's just not enough of it to even justify its existence.

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