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Apparently, when Tweaker misses the mark, they miss the mark gloriously.

Tweaker Watermelon Energy Shots (Circle K)

On a semi-vacation to Tennessee, we went to a gas station to grab some caffeine. I honestly don’t even remember which one it was. The convenience store looked nice on the outside, but the inside told a different story: It was sparse, with large amounts of unused space and a rank aroma that permeated throughout the entire store. The culprit? The premade EGG ROLLS (and other weird foods) they were selling that were just chilling under heat lamps. These didn’t look like typical roller grill stuff, either…I think the owners themselves made them. Empty beverage machines lined the walls, while 7-11 branded napkins and other accoutrements sat ignored on a nearly empty counter. (Yet there was no indication this was a 7-11 at all.)

It was a disappointing experience overall: None of their beverage machines even worked, forcing me to go without the Icee I had gone in for. But it wasn’t completely irredeemable, because I did surprisingly find two flavors of Tweaker that I didn’t even know existed.

Okay, maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, because I shop for Tweaker products semi-frequently on Amazon. I’m sure I knew they existed, but I had never seen them before in the flesh. Even within the confines of such a depressing place that reeked of sadness (on top of the egg rolls), I wasn’t going to walk away without trying them. 

I must confess that this is the first Tweaker shot that made me hesitate before diving in. Whereas all of them have a scent that’s comfortably on the “sweet” side, this one did not. I honestly can’t describe it. I’ve said that before, but this one is literally impossible to capture in words. It’s nothing at all like watermelon. It doesn’t smell like watermelon candy, nor does it smell like the real thing. It actually smells closer to a berry energy drink than anything else. I have to say I was worried.

My worries were founded: Drinking it is also an experience I can’t describe. There are no hints of watermelon anywhere. The trademark sweetness is also gone, replaced with that medicinal, slightly bitter aftertaste shared by most other shots on the market. There are some sour notes once the initial bitterness wears off, but they are neither pleasant, nor necessary. The taste is somewhat reminiscent of a bad berry energy shot (Stacker, anyone?), but might even be worse than that. Where did things go wrong? Watermelon is such a cliched candy flavor that I thought Tweaker would knock it out of the park. Instead, this is the equivalent of them striking out swinging as their pants fall around their ankles. It’s just an embarrassment.

Overall: 1.5/10. What putrid junk is this? Tweaker delivers their first strikeout with this one. I thought watermelon would be the perfect showcase for Tweaker’s trademark blend of sour and sweet; how wrong I was. Curiously, there’s barely any sweetness to show for it, but there is a bitter, medicinal aftertaste that hits the tastebuds early and that won’t let go. It’s easily the worst Tweaker shot I’ve ever had, and also a sobering reminder that even successful companies can release a turd every now and again. The only redeeming factor: These were offered at a promo price of $.99, half off their normal (and still reasonable) $1.99 retail cost. And the energy kick did work. Still, this is better suited for the trash can than store shelves. Or, even worse, human ingestion. 

RANDOM TRIVIA: Did you know that Tweaker released a calcium-infused energy shot that was discontinued back in 2015? Apparently the calcium sediment would collect at the bottom if not properly shaken, which led to many complaints. Supposedly, they were working on a new formula to replace it – one without chunks or shards of anything – but it has never come to fruition. Also, on an unrelated note, “Bad Berry” would make a great flavor name for an energy drink.

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