Monday, May 4, 2020

Stacker 2 Blue Raspberry Xtra Strength Energy Shot (Dollar Tree)

Not too shabby for a dollar.
Well what have we here? Yet another energy shot offering from our fine folks at Dollar Tree? Well how could I say no? I'll admit that Stacker products took a hit in my eyes thanks to their awful “soda” inspired shots, which blended the awful taste of metal with a total lack of carbonation. But after seeing some positive user reviews online, that eased me off the ledge a little bit, and into the cart it went.

The scent definitely smells like a "good" blue raspberry; come to think of it, mystery flavors that don't actually exist in real-life are a perfect match for energy shots, which almost never use real juice or colors and rely almost solely on chemical composition. I mean, think about it, does a berry energy shot actually taste like berry? Does grape taste like grape? We might be able to trick our brains into thinking it does, simply because that's what the image and text on the lable tells us it is, but if you were to put an unbranded, unlabeled shot in front of an energy drink virgin, most would fall well short of being able to positively identify it.

Anyway, short rant aside, the taste also matches the smell...somewhat. It starts off with a strong sweetness, and rather accurate flavor profile for the popular candy flavor, but the finish veers off a bit into slightly bitter territory. I suppose I should have expected that—most energy shots have that same kind of finish—but it takes what was heading toward “excellent” territory, at least for what it was, and drops it down a notch.

The plus with technology today—and the reason that I find reviewing all of these so redundant—is that pretty much any of them nowadays seem to use the same energy blend, or at least a similar enough collection of vitamins and caffeine, that all of them are going to give you a kick. This one was no exception, as it noticeably went to work rather quickly, and gave me a blast that lasted a couple of hours (I don't drink the whole bottle all at once), and sure enough, dissipated without making me feel groggy and lazy, the way sugared energy drinks do. In other words, it does the job that you're expecting it to: no more and no less.

I like to think that extra strength shots do a better job, or last longer, but I don't know that it's really all that noticeable...after all, the difference is only around 30 mg of caffeine between the two. Still, I continue to buy them over the standard strength versions, if for no other reason than they are almost always the exact same price, and it just doesn't make any sense to me to voluntarily get less of something for the same price, even if the extra probably isn't necessary.

Overall: 7/10. An average extra strength energy shot that will do what you want it to do, and with a mostly-palatable flavor that should appeal to those that generally dislike the taste of shots. First off, the smell is highly accurate to a blue raspberry candy, but the taste only half lives up to that, with an initial blue raz sweetness giving way to that pesky chemical bitterness that I should have seen coming because it's in almost all of these style of drinks, yet still disappointed me nonetheless. Still, if you need a burst of energy, this still delivers a solid kick that lasted me a couple of hours (I only take half the bottle, and sometimes even less, at a time) with no noticeable crash afterwards. Really, energy drink "technology" has improved enough to where any of them are going to get you going, it all just comes down to taste preference. This one is good, and only a dollar, if nothing all that special.

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