Stacker2’s “Stacker Pop” energy line is the perfect example of a product that just feels like it’s fifty years too late. For starters, there are any number of full-size energy beverages (8 – 16 oz.) that feature carbonation and are in a much better position to replicate an actual citrus soda, if they felt so inclined. Hell, many such energy drinks have citrus variations, or citrus qualities, so there’s already no shortage of such drinks on the market, ready to quench the thirst of—and give a nice energy kick to—people whose tastes skewer more toward the sweet.
But apparently the fine folks at Stacker took a look at the energy market, and found that it seemed to be missing one thing: a citrus energy shot. Okay, fair enough, I suppose. I’m sure there are a growing number of people that don’t have time, or the want, to down an entire 16 oz. can and would rather just get their stamina boost by quickly downing a 2 oz. shot. Even taking into consideration that shots have absolutely no carbonation whatsoever–so even if they knocked the flavor out of the park, it would still probably just taste like a flat, uninviting soda—there are a number of other odds stacked against this whole idea before we’ve even cracked it open.
And then there are the problems that you face after you crack it open. Like the fact I would rather drink my own piss than ever get this shot again. You think that’s a far-fetched statement, but as it stands in bottle form, it tastes like I’m drinking someone else’s, so it’s not so exaggerated after all. There is a small taste of something citrus to start off, that lasts just long enough to trick you into thinking that it might be okay after all, until a bitterness sets in and everything just goes straight to hell after that. It reminds me of a poison that’s trying to mask its bitter flavor with some terribly fake, and medicine-y, sweet flavor. It’s a rather disgusting flavor that has no business existing in 2017.
Which brings us back to my original statement: This feels like something that would have been offered as a “revolutionary” product in the fifties or sixties. It has the same similar way-off taste that could have tricked people back in the infancy of “natural flavors” but that is just inexcusably way off today. I don’t know who tasted this and approved it for human consumption, but I guarantee it’s some disconnected executive who never actually has to taste this shit.
On the upside, it does actually provide a little burst of energy, as it’s supposed to do, so at least forcing down the flavor isn’t entirely for naught. But come on, we shouldn’t have to pick between flavor AND functionality. Certainly not in the 21st century, anyway.
Overall: 3.5/10. A terrible blend of medicine, citrus, and piss that has no business being on store shelves in 2017. This is the kind of product I would have expected to see in the fifties and sixties, when “natural flavors” were new and consumers were more tolerant of disgusting stuff because it was “new”, but in store aisles filled with delicious-tasting energy shots, what’s the point of intentionally introducing this junk? It’s a failure just in concept: Why would you try to translate a citrus soda flavor into the only kind of energy drink that is never carbonated? It gets points because $1 is a decent deal (though Aldi’s vastly superior shots are $.69) and it did give me a little kick…just not enough of one to justify forcing down its terrible flavor. Gross.