Well we already took a look at Meijer’s berry version of these shots and I made it perfectly clear what I thought of them: namely that they are one of the best energy shots on the market. With that in mind how would the grape version fare?
The taste reminds me of something that I can’t quite put my finger on.. oh wait, now I remember! It tastes a lot like Mogen-David, the concord grape wine that our church offered up during communion. I always loved that taste, although I must confess that after buying a bottle for myself to drink at home, it just didn’t taste the same. Must be the holy spirit that adds that extra flavor.
However, that turns out to be quite a compliment: It’s rare for an energy shot to actually taste like the fruit it’s modeled off of. I mean how do you turn a series of chemicals into a coherent flavor? It would seem virtually impossible judging from all the other shots that fail miserably. (Hell, even some of the better tasting ones don’t even come close to getting things accurate.) Yet here’s a shot that actually reminds me of a concord grape wine…and that’s evidence enough of just how close this is to the real thing.
I have to admit at first I was actually a little disappointed with this one. I mean, how can it compare to their own berry version, which is one of the best energy shots I’ve ever had? However, after dwelling on it a little bit, and swirling it around in my mouth like a seasoned sommelier, I have to say that the taste is much better than I initially thought. It still has that strong hit of sweetness – missing from many energy shots as it is – but on top of that, there isn’t a bitter aftertaste (included in most energy shots), nor is there a medicine aftertaste (included in virtually all of them). It goes in sweet, and goes down smooth; it’s amazing how far ahead of most of the competition these are.
Meanwhile, like the berry version, these pack in 230 mg of caffeine, which is about standard for such shots. Bonus points also must be granted for specifically stating the amount of caffeine directly on the packaging; too many brands (including the national one) give some vague statement about how one shot equals as much caffeine as in a “premium cup of coffee”, which does nothing to accurately convey anything. I mean, I don’t even know how much caffeine is in a premium coffee to begin with, and I would venture to guess others would be in the same boat.
That begs the question: Are these made by the company that makes the national brand? What sets these apart compared to all the rest? I would have thought that one company made all off-brand energy shots, but unless they vastly tweak the recipe for each store, that doesn’t seem to be the case. If I had to guess, this one is, but again, that’s pure speculation.
This is yet another impressive entrant into the world of Meijer energy shots. Who knew their brand would turn out to be the one to beat? Meanwhile, the $5.99 retail price, which comes down to $1 per bottle, is also above-average, although it would be nice if there was a steeper discount for being required to purchase six bottles at once. Also, the $.50 upcharge for the extra strength versus the regular seems to be quite unnecessary, and isn’t something that’s seen in many other brands.
Despite these minor misgivings, I would still recommend these. I don’t think they’re as good as the berry flavor, which has a much “brighter” taste, but if you have to settle for these, or you’re just interested in trying them, they are still well worth the price.
Overall: 9/10. It’s not quite as good as the berry, but what we have here is a grape energy shot that actually tastes like a grape energy shot. Who knew that was possible? It isn’t quite as tasty as Meijer’s berry version, but it’s still sweet, and goes down smooth. The upcharge from regular strength to extra, while not egregious, is still a little tacky ($5.49 vs. $5.99), and it’s a shame these aren’t available in single bottles, requiring consumers to purchase a six-pack. Still, these are in the upper echelon of energy shots and one that still comes highly recommended to those looking for a solid kick.