Thursday, November 19, 2020

Stacker 2 Berry Xtra Extra Strength Energy Shot (Dollar Tree)

Good value done in by poor flavor.

I’ve already written many prefaces about Stacker 2 energy shots and how they’re available in Dollar Trees nationwide, and how Dollar Tree has quite a few to choose from and how they’re hit or miss and a couple of them really suck blah blah blah, so let’s just move ahead, shall we?

This smells almost expired. It’s like the juice of a fruit – that’s not a berry, ironically – was left sitting in a basement for too long and has started to ferment. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it “pungent”, but it’s not really all that inviting; it kind of smells like something that should get you drunk, instead of amped up.

You know what else isn’t all that inviting? The taste, the experience of which is actually pretty close to what the scent insinuated. Unlike most energy shots, this one isn’t very sweet at all. That in and of itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because I’m sure there are many people who find the taste of most shots to be too saccharine for their palate, and who might welcome one that’s less “in your face”. Unfortunately, this one just isn’t it, because it has an incredibly medicinal taste that is just…pretty disgusting.

How anyone at Stacker 2 tried taking a sip of this and thought “Mmmm…yep, I’m definitely getting a berry flavor,” is beyond me. I’m not very good at explaining tastes, but I’d say there’s almost a “raisin” note in there somewhere—maybe not exactly raisin, but something with a similarly dry, lifeless profile. That pairs up with other unidentifiable, non-sweet, non-fruity flavors to combine something that’s truly something to behold—for all the wrong reasons.

I’ve mentioned in a previous review that some Stacker 2 products taste like their formulas have remained unchanged ever since the early 2000s, when they broke out onto the scene. I’m sure back then they were revolutionary—I still remember kids in high school getting excited over their dieting pills, because they contained high amounts of caffeine—but a lot has changed since then: energy drinks, even sugar free ones, can actually taste good. It used to be that people drank them because it amped them up, and they just learned to tolerate the flavor (or ignore it entirely) in order to gain the energy provisions, but now, there are far too many alternatives on the market. They’re like the uncle that was once so cool, but now is just a washed-up drunk, who clings to his stories of the past, and is married to a woman who looks like a drug addict, and who came straight from the trailer park. This is definitely one shining example of that theory.

On the upside, I did notice an increase in energy that’s more or less on par with other shots that I’ve tried; and the lack of sugar once again means that there is no debilitating crash afterwards. So at least it works. But as I mentioned before, there are far too many other options on the market to have to settle for something that tastes like this. I don’t care how inexpensive it is.

Overall: 3.5/10. Dollar Tree’s—and by extension, Stacker 2’s—energy offerings continue to be a hit-or-miss affair. Exhibit D: their Xtra Extra Strength Berry shot, which is a certifiable miss in almost every sense of the word. On the positive side: it works. I did notice a nice increase in energy shortly after taking a swig that matched the intensity (and length) of most other energy drinks I’ve had. So at least there’s that. Unfortunately, it smells like a fermenting fruit of unidentifiable origin, and has an equally off-putting taste to match, that not only doesn’t even come close to resembling any type of fruit—much less a berry—but that has nary a trace of sweetness whatsoever. There are far too many other options out there to have to settle for something that tastes like this.

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