Stacker2 Xtra Peach Mango Extra Strength Energy Shot (Dollar Tree)

Opened bottle of Stacker2 Xtra Peach Mango Extra Strength Energy Shot
A good metaphor for my life: started out promising, then gets bitter.

It seems that every trip I take to Dollar Tree to get energy shots, I’m met with the exact same options every single time. I still get them, because they’re cheaper than most other energy shots, but considering very few are actually good, it feels more like I’m picking between the lesser of two evils, rather than getting something that I’m actually interested in getting.

But lo and behold when on my last trip, I found some brand new flavors of Stacker2’s extra strength energy shots, released under the clever “Xtra” name; peach mango was chief among them as the one I was immediately interested in the most.

Taking off the lid, I’m met with an absolute blast of a completely artificial, exaggerated concoction of peach and mango’s clearly fake, smelling like the peach in those peach rings candies, but I have to admit it’s also more than a little enticing: I like the taste of most fake peach products (like those peach rings candies), and considering the poor state of Dollar Tree’s shot options, I’d be more than happy with an overly sweet drink, as long as it goes down smoother than most of their others.

Enough with the formalities...let’s dig in. Okay, the initial taste is...overwhelming. It’s very strong, but it’s doable, but then...oh God’s losing me...oh no. Yep, it’s gone: the promise, the hope...everything is dashed. I was truly hoping this would be a savior for Dollar Tree shots and become my new go-to whenever I was in a bind and needed a quick fix of energy, but this doesn’t appear to be that.

I think I’ve mentioned in previous Stacker2 reviews that there’s always some unseemly aftertaste in all of their products that take the flavors down a notch or two. I thought maybe the sweetness here would be enough to offset that, but if anything it seems to call more attention to it, as the sugary introduction - which hints at a nice artificial peach flavor, which I would be fine with - takes a turn for the bitter once it hits the throat, leading to a weird, metallic/medicine-y aftertaste that doesn’t go down as easy as the initial notes would lead you to believe.

It’s not a very convincing combination of the titular flavors, which I honestly knew would be the case going in, so that’s not much of a problem. What is more of a problem, is that it’s not a very convincing flavor, period, thanks to the bitter finish that shouldn’t exist, unless the “mango” in the title is referring to the rind.

Also, one last question: why do they even try to combine all these flavors to begin with? They should just take the mango out of the equation and try making a peach shot that doesn’t suck first, before trying to add things on top of an already inferior product. Despite this tirade, it’s not a terrible product, but it’s one that could - and probably should - be so much better, especially coming from a company who’s been at this for a long time.

Overall: 4.5/10. Sadly, it’s still one of Dollar Tree’s more palatable energy shot options, if only by default, but this promising combination from Stacker2 proves that they are a company stuck in the past. It’s 2021; there’s no requirement for energy shots to have such off-putting aftertastes, or to taste like the addition of flavor is included merely to cover up the unseemly medicine flavor that slowly starts to seep in around the time it hits the back of the throat. It’s still a good deal at a dollar, and they work, but most won’t enjoy the process of having to force it down in order to gain the results, especially when there are many better-tasting options out there.