Entry # 4 – Lychee Flavour Aerated Water (by Elisha)

Today on the Stephen O Show, I will be reviewing another ‘very much not at all like Fall or Christmas what are you doing is this even topical’ item. Also, shhh. I will be hitting the store soon and getting tons of stuff to review that IS topical. It will be a pale comparison to my buddy Matt’s reviews during the Halloween Countdown on Dinosaur Dracula (yay plug!) (warning: adult language), but I will do it all the same.

However, today we are going to talk about ‘Lychee Flavour Aerated water’, a delightful beverage from China. The first thing you need to know about this stuff is that it tastes amazing. It absolutely does. That being said I am getting ahead of myself. I have had this beverage before, more than once in fact, but I have never reviewed it until today.

lychee

There it is, in all its glory. And yes, that is a plastic ‘can/bottle’ with an aluminum top. Hey, it works, but it does not stay in the 6-pack rings at all. It fell apart when I was checking out, and we all laughed together (I am sure they were not laughing at me, haaaaahhhh…). I got this at the Cordova International Farmers Market, a place that will source many of my reviews. Go check it out!

How to describe the flavor? Well, it tastes pretty much like those wet lychee jelly candies that you can get in chinese food stores in those sealed little packets. That is not an insult, those little jellies are amazing! Mostly hailing from Japan, they will get their own review. Like I was saying, this stuff tastes just like those candies, which is to say top notch delicious.

Taste Review

I can’t describe the taste of these accurately, because I have no idea how to describe this drink without comparing it to the fruit. It tastes like Lychee! That is a huge compliment as far as I am concerned. How does Lychee taste? Fresh, bright, an explosion of sweet (but not overpoweringly so) fruit flavor on the tongue. There, my best effort.

I also did a little digging and this Chinese manufacturer is super proud of its flavors, because they get them from a Swiss flavor company called Givaudan. Who knew, but apparently these guys provide flavors for a ton of companies and this is a regular thing that everyone does. Call a guy and order some flavor. Nice.

The aftertaste is also pleasant, and for my money when ice cold this stuff is one of my favorites. Unfortunately, they are not super cheap due to being an imported product. So, I don’t keep them around all the time. Also, it being fall and all, I am going to switch my gears to more ‘cider-ey’ beverages. As much as possible.

Conclusion and Rating

Delicious! Yes, I know that is a meaningless word. I don’t know what else to say. Amazing!  No negative comments. Go get some and bless your life. Find them at . You can buy them individually or in a six pack.

Rating: 4.5 Out of 5 Soda Bottles 

I deducted half a point because of the price.

Go buy these!

Entry #2 – Fentiman’s Dandelion and Burdock Soda

Welcome to the cross-blog Stephen O  Follow both if you like reading my words, or something.

Today on the Stephen O Show I am reviewing Fentiman’s Dandelion and Burdock Soda. Now, you may be asking yourself, what the heck is that? That is an excellent question, and one that I really still don’t know the answer to. I mean, I know that, to quote Wikipedia:

Dandelion and burdock is a beverage consumed in the British Isles since the Middle Ages. It was originally a type of light mead, but over the years has evolved into the non-alcoholic soft drink commercially available today.[1] Traditionally it was made from fermented dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) and burdock (Arctium lappa) roots.

source

I saw it while hunting for Guarana Antarctica at the farmers market on a tip from my buddy Jared. I did find that, and I rejoiced mightily, but I figured while there might as well get a couple of other drinks to review for the Stephen O Show.

Packaging

The stuff looks great. Font choices are excellent, it really does look like an old timey soda, although I must admit the phrase ‘Fermented Botanical Dandelion’ is not particularly appetizing (to me, anyway).

Aroma

This stuff smells a little like flowers, and a little like cough syrup. However, not like the super nasty cough syrup. Just the regular nasty cough syrup, but slightly more pleasant than that.

First Taste

Austin and I had the same initial reaction when tasting this soda. My taste buds just did not know what to do with it! I tasted dandelion and something else I have never tasted before (must be the burdock), but I also had a hint of… licorice! No!

I just cannot stand black licorice, and it is definitely one of the tasting notes in this beverage. Thankfully, it is a minor tasting note and I was able to get past it.

Taste Review

As I continued to drink this thing, every time I would go for a sip I would have to psych myself up. Not that it was horrible, but that it really tastes… alien to me. I have honestly never experienced any flavor like this in my life. The more I drank it, the flavor did improve but I would not go so far as to say that I actually am excited about picking up another one of these from the fridge and popping the cap.

You know what it was like? Overall, it was like drinking lightly sweetened dandelion flavored cough syrup with a touch of licorice. The dandelion flavor was prominent, and this drink was barely sweet at all. I think that what really got me was the aftertaste. It was medicinal and faintly unpleasant (to me). If you are big into botanical, I think you might actually like it.

Conclusion and Rating

Let me be fair here: these are dang interesting. They are weird but they are interesting! The flavor is bizarre but if you need a break from the norm or if you like cough syrup, licorice, and eating flowers, then this drink may be for you!

You can find this beverage at the . There are more Fentiman’s flavors. Oh goodie for me…

Rating: 2 out of 5 soda bottles

I just can’t get past that aftertaste like I just chewed up some licorice tinged dandelions and then hit that ‘tussin.

See you later today on  for the second part of my Mega Season 2014 intro post!

Drink Review #2: Ubermonster

Drink Review #2
Ubermonster
Type: Energy Drink

“bio-activated”

I talked to some friends from church who had tried this beast of a beverage, so I just had to give it a try myself. The bottle is pretty neat looking, and quite frankly intimidating. It sets the bar high for the energy that you expect to get out of it. Getting the lid off will require the services of a bottle opener, and I still had to work at it from two sides. This thing is serious about staying sealed. Leaning in for the aroma, I have to say that it smells a little funky. It has that energy drink smell that I am not crazy about.

First sip impression is good! It’s tasty. I am actually a big fan of how this drink tastes. It reminds me of a standard energy drink, but lacks the harsh acidic bite that a lot of them have. It is more smooth and mellow, and very sweet. Rolling it around on the palate I have to say this is one of the tastiest energy drinks I have ever had. It just keeps getting better. That is very good news, because this thing was $5. I am not kidding. The things I do for my fans.

*some time later, drink finally almost finished*

Ubermonster is no joke. It easily has twice the energy of other energy drinks I have consumed. I still have about 1/4 of it left about 2.5 hours later. So basically it tastes great, it’s smooth without an acidic bite, and I am feeling tons of energy. The price is horrible but that’s really the only negative I can give you.

Lets talk ingredients. This is a standard energy drink but it only has 200 calories for the whole 16.9 ounce glass bottle. That is a lot less than I have seen before. It’s still high, but if you are taking the plunge and doing a full power energy drink it is not bad. There are vitamins and an energy blend to consider as well. For those interested in such information, there are 50g of sugar in the entire bottle and 320 mg of sodium.

Vitamins: 100% of Vitamin B2, B3, B6, and B12.

Active Ingredients: Taurine 2000mg, Panax Ginseng 400mg, Energy Blend 5000mg (Glucose, L-Carnitine, Caffeine, Inositol, Glucuronalactone, Guarana, Reservatrol, Quercetin, Maltodextrin)

I always like it when an energy drink puts guarana AND caffeine in a drink. Even though guarana is just another source of caffeine, I like it! Makes me laugh. “We heard you like caffeine so we put some caffeine in your caffeine so you can zig while you zag!”

Conclusions & Ratings

This thing is delicious, and really delivered on the energy promise. I had very low twitch on it, and it kept me at 100%+ for hours. If you really feel like spending $5 on a rock-solid energy drink, this is definitely the way to go.

Energy Level: 5/5 I haven’t ever had an energy drink amp me up more.
Twitch Factor: 2/5 This is a score you WANT to be low. I had a little nervous energy, but most of it was “clean”.
Flavor: 4/5 This thing was absolutely delicious.
Value: 3/5 Very expensive. I mean, it’s not a huge drink and you are probably going to drink the whole thing in one sitting. Five dollars is a lot to spend on a tasty beverage, but its such a good energy drink that it’s just about worth it.
Overall: 4.5/5 I am giving it 4.5 because I just can’t imagine a better energy drink. I sure haven’t had one. If you like energy drinks, and you want to do a full power one, and you have extra money, give it a shot. Leave comments if you have tried this thing, let me know what you thought.

Drink Review #1: Neuro Bliss

Drink Review #1
Neuro Bliss
Type: Purposeful Brew
Purpose: de-stress

Neuro Bliss

“happiness in every bottle” “de-stress the healthy way”

I saw a friend posting about this stuff on instagram, so I had to give it a shot. First impressions, it looks like milky water. The aroma is faintly citrus-ey. It smells like citrus zest. After a few minutes of contemplation, I have come to the conclusion that it smells like grapefruit zest. As for taste, it pretty much tastes like grapefruit zest as well. It doesn’t have the “bite” of grapefruit juice, or the sweetness of pink grapefruit. It just tastes like grapefruit zest smells.

Is this a good thing? Not really so much for me. I don’t hate the taste, let me be clear, but I won’t be lining up to pay $3 for another bottle of this any time soon. I will be reviewing the other “Neuro” flavors, though, and if you like grapefruit you may absolutely love this stuff.

Since this is a “Purposeful Brew”, lets take a look at the ingredients. This stuff is sweetened with “crystalline fructose”, so it doesn’t have the chemical artificial sweetener taste that I associate with many low-calorie drinks. That is a plus. As for its “Active ingredients”, you do have some vitamin content and some “proprietary blend” content. We will address these separately.

Vitamins: Vitamin D 50%, Thiamin 30%, Niacin 25%, Vitamin B6 200%, Vitamin B12 100%. That is actually pretty good. The more I drink this thing the more I like it. I mean, still I don’t intend to buy it again but if someone offered me one I would drink it with no hesitation.

Proprietary Blend: 335mg of L-theanine (boosts immune system, improves mood, stress relief), Phosphatidylserine (mood enhance, de-stress, improve cognitive function), Choline Alphoscerate (another cognitive improvement supplement), and Chamomile (anti-anxiety). After looking all of this stuff up (some I already knew, but I like to be thorough), I am not displeased with the “blend”. Sometimes these drinks throw together some really sketchy stuff but this is pretty legit. I haven’t noticed much of an effect from the drink, but I wasn’t particularly stressed when I drank it.

Conclusions & Ratings

If you like grapefruit, and you want a “de stress” drink, give Neuro Bliss a try. If you don’t like grapefruit, give it a pass.

Effect: ?/5 I don’t know whether its working. I don’t feel anything.
Flavor: 2/5 I don’t like grapefruit, but it is crisp and sort of refreshing.
Value: 2/5 It was $3, which seems a bit high for that size bottle.
Overall: 2/5 I wouldn’t buy it again, but I would drink it for free if it was around.