EASE IN ACQUISITION—6
These snuck up on me out of nowhere—the third time over the course of a month or so that this is happen. Am I just out of the loop, or is Rockstar being really candid about its last three new releases, and I just happen to stumble across them as I’m at the store after something else? In any event, I think they’ll become more common soon, though it might be a while, since Rockstar’s not being so aggressive about these beverages, in contrast to the strategy employed with their Super Sours line.
In a word—these look sharp. I don’t know if I like it quite as much as Silver Ice; the black with the cracked white ice background was nothing short of awesome, whereas the red just doesn’t seem to fit as well. On top of all that, the look has a way of making me really uncertain about what to expect here. First of all, this is the Pure Zero line, with Silver Ice being Rockstar’s answer to Monster Energy—Zero Ultra. These are some pretty mellow-tasting zero calorie drinks, so I expect something similar out of this one. But second of all, the red and the “Punched” reminds me of their crap fruit punch flavored beverage—which has proved vastly more popular with consumers than with me, and is a very strong, sugary beverage—kind of an anti Pure Zero, if you will. So what the heck is this going to be—an amalgamation of the two? Is this going to be a really mild crap fruit punch beverage, is this going to be a zero calorie, lower-caffeine version of the original Punched, a combination of the two? I can’t stand the suspense—I have to find out. On to the flavor section!
What a strange, strange beverage this is. Rockstar really did attempt to meld elements of both types of drinks together here. On one hand, there is a mildness and smoothness in this beverage that I’ve never experienced outside of Zero Ultra and Silver Ice, but on the other hand, you have the fruit punch flavor profile that is generally restricted to intensely sweet, sugary beverages—crap fruit punch, in other words. I like that Rockstar was able to mellow that flavor out, and present it in a way that people like myself who are not fond of the flavor can enjoy. On the other hand, it does feel a little uneven, like the metamorphosis of the flavor is incomplete—it still has a ways to go before the stereotypically immature flavor attains the credibility of its silver ice counterpart, but the improvement is still significant.
This is pretty consistent with Rockstar’s other zero calorie blends with the standard 160 mg of caffeine—not a whole lot of jitteriness, but significantly heightened focus and alertness ideal for the more mundane tasks of the day—whether it’s studying, driving, or (in my case) doing a crap ton of laundry, then going on a nice, long walk.
Three and a half hours, sans crash.
THE DRINK OVERALL—8
To me the development of this beverage is still incomplete; still, it represents a major step in the right direction. This is how fruit punch ought to be handled—mellow out that flavor, nix the excess sweetness, and make it smooth enough to go down nice and easy. And, of course, the decent caffeine boost doesn’t hurt. Try it out, and let me know what you think.
KEYWORDS: Rockstar Pure Zero Punched energy drink review, zero carbs, zero calories, zero sugar, diet