Ed Hardy. The tattoo artist who became a brand name. Yes, his name is synonymous with tats and fashion that is way too colorful for me to get behind. But did you know that he has his name on a line of energy snacks? I didn’t. And yet, here they are. Some caffeinated goodies.
First up, we have the “crazy delicious” caffeinated Rocks. These come in two persuasions, coffee and chocolate. We’ve talked before about the problems with wrangling the taste of caffeine (most explicitly here) so when it comes to the caffeine content, these are admittedly rather mild. Each individual “rock” (i.e. bit of chocolate candy) sports 20mg of caffeine. Eat five–and even I can follow their math from the packaging–you’ve hit 100mg, roughly equivalent to a cup of coffee. People who don’t have the caffeine tolerance that I do (caffeine intoxication? what’s that?) will probably be fine with gnawing on a handful and calling it a day, albeit a day with extra percolation. However 20mg for me is a drop in a bucket, so the taste better come through.
[ad#longpost]The good news? It does. The Coffee Rocks sport 60% cocoa chocolate and no artificial sweeteners. As a result, the coffee taste is there but more like a coffee and cream. It’s not the obsidian taste of I’m-here-to-break-your-ankles coffee that I’m used to, but for normal people it’ll actually do quite nicely. The Chocolate Rocks, however, are my favorite of the two. Nice dark chocolate flavor and no crazy caffeine aftertaste. Odd thing is they both have 60% cocoa, and the only ingredient difference I could find were “natural and artificial flavors” on the coffee side of the house. But if you are used to chocolate-covered espresso beans or the like, you will dig either one of these.
Next we come to Energy Sticks. These are basically Pixy Stix with an edge. Each box comes with three sticks, each with .086oz. of “sweet caffeine” and each stick sporting 80mg of caffeine. We received both flavors they offer: orange and pomegranate. Helpfully, the packaging says “Pour on tongue.” I’m sure they received letters from people trying it other ways to little if not painful effect. I was a little wary of these, admittedly, because they both contain the Lex Luthor of sweeteners: sucralose. Maybe this is because the notion of just giving people straight sugar to ingest is against some law somewhere. But regardless, the good news is this: they’re not bad.
The problem normally with sucralose is that if it doesn’t get you on the first pass, the aftertaste will come and ruin your evening. With this, though, they’ve managed to get a balance for the taste and keep it under control. This is hard to do (evidenced by the fact that so few products with sucralose actually taste good) and they should be applauded. The orange tastes mildly of orange but the pomegranate is like crack cocaine. Perhaps it’s just the fact that I’m nowhere near my cheat day on my diet as I write this and the promise of straight-up sugary goodness is amping me up, but man, the pomegranate is both tasty and powerful.
All in all, an excellent showing from Ed Hardy in the energy snack arena. I would reach for the Chocolate Rocks any day of the week and the pomegranate Energy Sticks as a close second. All are recommended. You can find them online here.