Summit Ampli Blue Razzberry Flavored Energy Drink (Aldi)

A can of Summit Ampli Blue Razzberry Energy Drink, a Special Buy from Aldi stores.
I'd have preferred better flavors, but this is okay for what it is.

I peruse the Aldi ad every single week, and have done so for the better part of the decade; in fact, it’s the only store advert I can claim this about. It’s just a part of my routine at this point, and one made even more valuable by the fact you can check out the following week's ad on Aldi's website...which allows me to get a head start on planning what I want to get before it's even available (although sometimes they do put products out a little early). 

One thing I’ve always complained about is how Aldi rarely carries any additional energy drinks beyond their “Red Thunder” and “Gridlock” lines. So then imagine my surprise when this somehow slipped under my radar, despite my weekly perusal of the ad; I didn’t even know these existed until I stumbled on them with my wife, in-store.

Ampli, which I’m assuming is a shortened version of “Amplify”, offers up two different flavors - cotton candy and blue raspberry - for just a mere 99 cents each. I give Aldi energy drinks a lot of flack, but one thing I do have to give them credit for: they’re pretty consistent about maintaining their price points. Gridlock energy drinks have finally crept up to $1.09 after staying at $.99 for years...not too shabby at a time when prices on everything seem to be skyrocketing.

I have to be honest here: both of these flavors sound disgusting. I do have a very sweet palate, but I do not enjoy drinks that are based off candy flavors, so I don’t have hope for either. At any rate, we’ll start off by taking a look at the blue raspberry, because I have slightly higher hopes for this one. Slightly.

Well, this smells exactly like what you think you’re getting into, with a very strong, very sweet candylike raspberry. I have to admit that the idea of blue raspberry in drink form is not exactly something that has ever excited me - even in the national brand energy beverage - so this isn’t exactly appealing to me either. But I feel it’s my duty to try these things so you don’t have to, and that’s why I’m sitting here wondering whether or not to even try this thing. Oh yeah, the scent is getting even stronger...I have a weak sense of smell and it keeps seeping toward my nostrils even though I’m a fairly good distance away...I don’t know if that’s reassuring or not.

Yeah, tastes about what you’d expect, with a strong blue raspberry flavor that’s very familiar to pretty much anyone who’s ever had blue raspberry candy before. It’s very sweet - almost to a fault - although it is fairly impressive that there’s really no distinguishable “diet” aftertaste that you usually get with sugar-free drinks. That brings me to another plus: it’s sugar free! I used to hate sugar free energy drinks because of the aforementioned aftertaste, but after realizing that sugared drinks were making me feel even worse once the caffeine rush wore off, they are the only ones I buy.

I will say that, although it doesn't quite cross the line into "overly sweet" -  at least initially - the more and more I drank, the harder I had to try forcing it down. That wasn't too much of an issue for me, considering I generally only drink half a can (or sometimes even less) at a time; by the time it started getting too saccharine for my tastes, I was about to put the can away anyway. However, for those looking to maximize their energy, and who need the full 300mg pickup of a full can all at once, it might be a much bigger issue. I know I wouldn't be able to drink it in one sitting.

Let's end with a solid positive: these come standard with a whopping 300mg of caffeine. That puts it on the higher end of the caffeine spectrum...as a matter of fact, I don’t think I’ve seen anything in a supermarket that tops that. That amount equals the same amount in what I would consider to be the "new generation" of energy drinks: Bang, Reign, etc., which all seem to focus on maximizing caffeine content over everything else. 

Overall: 5/10. Now why did I try this flavor of energy drink that I already knew I wasn’t going to like heading into it? Easy: because I’m so goddamned desperate for Aldi to carry different energy drinks that I’ll show my support any way I can. Even if it means reviewing ones that don't appeal to my palate whatsoever. This one will be good for the right person, with a familiar, very sweet, candylike blue raspberry flavor that actually covers up any weird energy drink aftertastes pretty well. It’s also got a whopping 300mg of caffeine per can, and retails for just 99 cents. However, the flavor’s just a little too much for me: it gets more and more off-putting the further down you go. This is actually a common issue that I refer to as the "sweetness snowball", where a drink (or food item) starts off sweet, and then gets more and more cloying the more drinks (or bites) you take. By the end, 

NOTE: For whatever reason, I like trying to trace the origins of many private label products, where possible. At first I thought these were knockoffs of Rockstar’s Xdurance line, which features both cotton candy and blue raspberry flavors, and also come loaded with 300mg of caffeine. It still might be, but another, perhaps more logical option, is that these are knockoffs of Adrenaline Shoc, another line featuring both flavors, as well as the same amount of caffeine. The “A” and “Amplifi” name is strongly reminiscent of that, and it’s possible a smaller, less established company might want to gain some added exposure by producing a private label version of their drink. At any rate, I’m hoping this will at least open the door to different flavors passing through here as Special Buys, if not being added to their permanent inventory any time soon.

Comments

  1. It gives me that morning boost for less then half the price of bang. I'll take it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd (reluctantly) take it too, if they made it a part of their permanent inventory. Given how popular Bang (and similar brands) have grown, you'd think Aldi would want to update their stale energy drink section with something new.

      Hopefully that's where they're headed at some point.

      Delete

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