So I went back and was looking over the original post where I first announced my knowledge of Red Bull’s cola creation. And I had said I would review it when I laid hands upon it. Well, I’ve had a few of these thus far, so let’s knock this out. I’m a Widge of my word, after all. Mostly. Kinda.
True to their word, it appears the thing is all natural, caffeine taken from coffee beans, no artificial flavors, real sugar, natural flavors from vanilla, mustard seed, lime, kola nut, cacao, licorice, cinnamon, lemon, ginger, coca leaf, orange, corn mint, pine, cardamon, mace, clove and something called galangal. I think I had a cousin once whose galangal went malignant and they had to remove it. Oh, and there’s lemon juice concentrate. In the cola, I mean, not in that cousin.
I can see now why most colas use artificial flavors–it’s probably a helluva lot easier. And cheaper. You can pay some guy off the street to go, “Yup, that’s how you get cola–use that cola syrup over there.” You’ve got to pay real money to get somebody good enough to say, “You know what’s missing? Pine!” Jaysus.
Okay, so here’s the good news. The taste isn’t bad. Of course, it’s not anything that will blow you away. It’s a good alternative to Coke, since, for example, they do use real sugar–something Coke isn’t bright enough to do in this country regardless of a great free idea somebody gives them. But it doesn’t distinguish itself from any other natural cola I’ve tasted. In fact, when it comes to “alternate colas,” I actually like the taste of Fentiman’s Curiosity Cola better.
[ad#longpost]And then there’s the price: I think I saw somewhere that the can, which is 8.4oz, is going for $1.50? I don’t recall–this particular can I have was thrown at me for free by one of the Red Bull Ladies (or whatever they’re called). But I poured one can of this into a glass and 8.4oz just isn’t a lot of cola. So it’s got to be really exceptional to make me buy this over a 2 liter of Coke for a similar price.
And then there’s the buzz: granted, this isn’t really touted–except by virtue of being a Red Bull product–as an energy drink, so it’s not good to go in expecting any sort of real buzz from the real caffeine. Which is good, because there isn’t any.
So pretty much the only thing one can say is that: it’s all natural. That’s about it. So while it’s a capable drink and decent tasting, it doesn’t really make me want to seek it out to actually pay for it–which is a bad sign, I suppose.