Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Review for Red Bull


80 mg/8.4 oz. can
114 mg/12 oz. can
154 mg/16 oz. can
190 mg/20 oz. can


Red Bull is freaking everywhere; what’s more is that places that carry it tend to carry entire refrigerators full of the stuff.  So confident I am in its ease of acquisition that it wouldn’t surprise me to see it watching one of those postapocalyptic films, such as Mad Max or Escape from New York.


For being so simple, the Red Bull motif still says quite a lot—the contrasting silver and blue, and the two red bulls charging each other with yellow sphere (sun?) in the background work to create an quiet confidence appropriate for the drink that virtually everyone tries to duplicate nowadays.


As I’ve evaluated the different sizes of Red Bull, I’ve warred with myself over how I feel about the taste.  On one hand, the drink has a very pronounced bitter, medicinal aftertaste that always seemed to turn me off.  On the other hand, notwithstanding how many drinks derive or duplicate the flavor, nothing quite matches the Red Bull flavor in terms of the subtle balance between the flavors—I had the 20 oz. version on ice, which I hadn’t done with the other colors, and that made a world of difference in making the bitterness more manageable and the flavor more pronounced—it’s honestly something I’d do a second time, or third or fourth—it was really that good.  In the end, though, I have decided to settle with my original evaluation of 7 out of 10.  If you have it on ice, it is actually quite enjoyable, but if not…you sacrifice a bit in terms of the flavor experience.  As for myself, I like a little more flexibility in a drink—I would rather not have to be able to enjoy it a certain way to really enjoy it.

8.4 OZ. CAN


Notwithstanding its miniscule size, the 8.4 oz. can of Red Bull is a little livelier than one would anticipate.  While most drinks in this size do little more than clear out the cobwebs, this one actually made me feel reasonably alert.


I wasn’t anticipating anything particularly spectacular in terms of longevity, but I did get a couple of hours of decent energy out of this can—nothing too shabby.


In terms of intensity, I can’t really complain about the 8.4 oz. Red Bull’s performance—as I said, most drinks in this size (and some in greater sizes) do not manage so much as this one did.  If you just need something to give you that extra boost to get going, this product is definitely a legitimate option.

12 OZ. CAN


I found the kick dealt by the 12 oz. can to be of average intensity—it’s enough to wake you up, maybe even make you feel a bit jittery, but other than that, short of astonishing.


You’ll probably get a half hour, 45 more minutes of energy out of the 12 oz. can above the 8.4 oz. can, so you’re looking at just shy of 3 hours of energy before you’re back to being tired.


The 12 oz. Red Bull represents an average energy experience in a slightly less-than-average can size (calling 16 ounces the average), so again, if you’re looking to get a slight boost without too much caffeine, you can be assured that Red Bull has a size for you.  Or maybe two sizes.

16 OZ. CAN


I give the 16 oz. Red Bull 7.5 pints out of 10, but that’s not strictly true—I’ve just found it’s a pain to deal with half-points, and I don’t want to start doing quarter-points.  The fact of the matter is the 16 oz. version is only a hair more intense than the 12 oz. version.  You’ll feel marginally awake and more jittery, but that’s about it.


As is the case with intensity, the 16 oz. can only outperforms the 12 oz. version to a small degree, delivering perhaps a half hour more of energy.


Red Bull in 16 oz. doesn’t really venture into any new territory.  The boost in energy is negligible, so the only real difference that you’d be getting out of it is more to drink.  But, if you like it that much, why not go all the way and buy the 20 oz. can, and get a real boost?

20 OZ. CAN


Only the 20 oz. Red Bull delivered a kick that was worth making note of.  I took it down, and got pretty jittery pretty quick.  If you need a real wake-up and you want Red Bull to do the job, better go with the big can.


The 20 oz. Red Bull is long-lived to be good for just about any situation—at least 4 hours of decent energy can be anticipated before the drinker grows tired again.


Out of the four sizes, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the 20 oz. can delivers the best results.  In all honesty, it’s the only size I’d think of coming back to, in part for the admirable kick and in part for the experience of having it on ice.


There is one thing that I haven’t touched on in this review thus far, and that’s the price Red Bull goes for.  Normally I don’t bring it up in a review of any product, but I think it deserves attention.  If you know anything about energy drinks, you will know that Red Bull’s expensive—from about $2.00 for an 8.4 oz. can to a whopping $4.98 for a 20 oz. can, depending on where you look.  This is, in my opinion, excessive—far too much to be a regular thing, and especially since there are other drinks out there that deliver much more in terms of kick and for much less.  Something to keep in mind when making one’s selection.

WEBSITE: redbullusa.com

KEYWORDS: Red Bull Energy Drink review, traditional energy drink flavor, Red Bull 8.4 oz. review, Red Bull 12 oz. review, Red Bull 16 oz. review, Red Bull 20 oz. review, 8.4 ounces, 12 ounces, 16 ounces, 20 ounces


  1. Has anyone tried the Redbull Shots? I know they discontinued the item, but I like the energy shot forms for convenience. I know drink one called Eternal Energy, I'm pretty sure you can get it at most Walmart stores. Would like to see your take on it.

    1. Kyle--

      I'll be sure to review those Eternal Energy shots as soon as they show up at the local Wal-Mart. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. Just found your blog. Awesome job! Just curious whats your favorite so far

    1. 1) Thanks, and 2) good question. Almost invariably, I reach for a Rockstar Zero Carb or a Rockstar Recovery--Energy/Tea/Lemonade when I need a boost. Either gives me a pretty good blast of energy that lasts about five hours (unless I get a 24 oz. can of the Zero Carb, in which case I'll be wired the entire day).

  3. Have you tried the Red Bull from Asia? It comes in a teeny gold can... just wondering if it tastes different as compared to the "original" Red Bull.

    1. I haven't, but will be sure to review it the second I can find a can.


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