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Berry forgettable.

Ntense Berry Punch Low Calorie Energy Drink (Dollar Tree)

I had heard that Dollar Tree’s insistence on raising the price of their items by a quarter would allow them to carry a wider range of items. I scoffed at that idea – after all, what can a quarter do these days? It can barely even buy you a gumball…so I was pretty skeptical about their statements, to say the least.

But lo and behold, quite a few different energy drinks have come out of the woodwork in the last couple months. And I’m not talking about the smaller 12 oz. Rockstars that have been there forever; nor am I talking about the awful Rip-Its. I’m talking full-size, 16 oz. cans from a variety of different companies. I don’t know if it’s just a coincidence, or if it’s due to the price hike, but I have to say that it’s a welcome addition. Especially given Aldi’s apparent refusal to get any new options in.

Granted, I’d never heard about most of these companies before, so it’s not like they’re really “top of the line” energy drinks. But I have been pretty impressed with the couple I’ve tried so far; would that momentum continue through this one?

Right after popping the top, I was met with a rather strong, artificial berry scent. It’s about what I was expecting, with a candylike intensity that was somewhat inviting. Really, all of these have the same kinds of tastes and scents, considering all of them are made up of chemicals. But can this one buck that trend?


This one has an…interesting flavor. It’s a candylike mishmash of berries that, thankfully, isn’t too overwhelmingly sweet. It’s also not all that pleasant, either: There’s a bitter aftertaste at first that stays in the back of the throat. It’s not strong, and it does dissipate after a couple of drinks, but it’s unnecessary regardless. This is kind of surprising, considering the other energy drinks I’ve had from DT didn’t have this. Granted, they were from different companies, but I thought it was a sign that energy drink technology had come far beyond needing such weird textures and flavors. And even though the taste wasn’t cloying, it still did get old after a very short while.

But, as they say, taste isn’t everything. And it’s also not the worst thing about it: It just didn’t work. As some of you may know from previous reviews, I’m highly sensitive to caffeine. I’m talking sometimes as little as a third of a 240mg energy drink gets me moving some days. This comes in at an underwhelming 160mg, which is weaker than I’m used to, but even that’s usually enough to give me an energy burst.

Yet I didn’t feel much, even after downing half the can. And I rarely, if ever, down half a can in one day. I felt maybe a vague twinge of energy, but nothing compared to virtually every other energy drink (or shot) I’ve ever tried; the feeling dissipated just as quick. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I do “nurse” my energy beverages, so the half-can took me about three or four hours to drink. But I use that method with every other full-size can I’ve ever had, and the results have still come, and usually rather instantly. Out of all the potential issues I foresaw, the fact that it wouldn’t work wasn’t one of them. 

There are way too many other options out there to have to settle for this one. If, however, you are somehow forced to: it’s just a drink. Not the end of the world.

Overall: 3/10. It’s not offensive, nor is it awful; it just…is. There’s a bitter finish in the back of the throat after the first couple swigs, then it barely becomes noticeable. The candylike berry scent is strong but not overpowering, and ditto that for the taste, at least once the bitter dissipates. But the most egregious failure, is that it failed to give me any kind of noticeable boost whatsoever. What’s an energy drink without energy? With so many options out there – not to mention the paltry 160mg of caffeine – there aren’t too many reasons to give this a shot. Especially considering most of the competition offer sugar and calorie free alternatives.

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