When we first met Raze, I was captivated by the “culture” that this company tries to evoke. A culture that consists of joining a rebellion, pumping iron, and being needlessly hot. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of this clearly natural and organic customer base? I keep getting bot-generated emails from them asking for “my favorite flavor” and my responses linking my previous article must have fallen on deaf ears. The tight, accurate descriptions of the taste of its company’s sleep aid surely would set me up for a gravy train of social media influence. What could I possibly be doing wrong? For part two, I still have 5 cans from my sample set, and it’s all the ones that have neat-o flavor names where it’s not exactly clear what might be inside. I’m sure I could look them up, but I’m a busy man and this blind approach sounds like more fun. For five days I did a standard taste test, and sought to breakdown the philosophy printed on each and every can. What does it mean to Re(FRESH)?
The F, is for (F)ocus. The first unfounded promise is that a “powerful nootropic blend featuring Alpha GPC delivers crystalline focus & mental clarity without the crash, find your flow.” That sounds more like the promise of a sex cult than an energy drink, and the promise of anything Alpha makes me want to upchuck. The Voodoo can says “Limited Edition” and given the spiders, bats, and skulls dotted around the can label I can only assume this was a Halloween promotion. The smell is pure orange drink, and I don’t mean that in the bad way. Think of it as orange drink if it was made small batch in Vermont on a co-op. Anyway, the taste builds off this orange base as you might expect. The tartness of the zero sugar actually works with this flavor profile the best. For the big “F,” I’ll agree that my mind isn’t hazy like it could be with a can of Monster, but I still don’t quite know what a “crystalline focus” should feel like. Ah well. It’s no Crest toothpaste/candy-corn mashup like Mtn Dew’s Voodoo, but I’ll get down with this spooky shit the whole year ‘round.
The R, is for (R)ecovery. For me, it would actually take some exertion for me to need recovery. That being said, I’m sure the branched-chain amino acids work just fine after an ab shredding iron session or whatever. Maybe reviewing a drink sold at GNC stores should have told me what I was getting into, but I can’t help making fun of a soft drink philosophy. But for all of it’s jive, the taste still hasn’t missed. Galaxy Burst doesn’t give much clue to the flavor, but it’s a light summertime taste that’s got a lot of fruit energy. I’m going to say it’s a pineapple base, and it makes for some excellent drinkability when ice cold. The taste is all that matters, so I don’t want my bro-hate overshadowing the fact that people could really enjoy this stuff. Energy drinks that have passed the wife-test are batting 5 for 5 so far, and there’s something to be said for that.
The E, is for (E)nergy. This is the portion of RE(FRESH) that actually makes the most sense. The can makes claims to be “time released” caffeine. Anecdotally, I’m not feeling the need to drink any other perky products during the days that I’ve been on this Raze voyage. As a 2 cup of black coffee a day drinker, I’ll chalk this up as a win and convert fully to this cult of caffeine. The white label and clear fluid of the Phantom Freeze give the impression of when lemon-lime sodas try to market themselves with that frozen energy, like the kind of drink you pound when shredding powder up in Aspen. The soda comparisons carry over to the taste as well. I’m thinking this one is for soda drinkers exclusively. The syrupy taste on the front of the sip wasn’t present with the other flavors, and it made my non-soda drinking wife recoil in face pucker. Editor Ben is slowly decaying to an irritable sugar-deprived mess of insanity thanks to his new diet…this one might just save the day for him.
Sour Gummy Worms
The S, is for (S)tamina. I can already imagine Frank Thomas holding a press conference making double entendre references to girls “liking the results” as he speaks to the performance benefits of Raze. But while I didn’t feel any hornier (God help us if it did), I can say that I didn’t feel as much of a need for an afternoon nap, so I’ll take that as what they meant by “unleashing your 3rd and 4th wind.” The Sour Gummy Worms appear to be the company’s flagship flavor, and for good reason. It has that clear sour Trolli™ taste, but also knows where the line is to keep the mix drinkable. After my experience with the namesake flavor of Hyper Sleep, I was scared to death of the potential taste of this, but I’m genuinely enjoying this one. It makes perfect sense that they put a lot of energy into marketing this flavor, it works for all types of their market share. I’m excited for the big finale, in all its spangled glory.
The H, is for (H)ydration. With most energy drinks there’s very little need to talk about hydration properties, as they either don’t care or your tongue will feel so dry that you’ll be pounding water merely for self-preservation. Raze promises to be the “most refreshing energy drink on the planet” and to be honest, I see no need to dispute it. Electrolyte miracles aside, being the most refreshing energy drink is like being the best Sushi Chef at Fuddruckers…it’s not playing the same game, but you should still give credit where it’s due and all that. The final flavor, Apollo, is red-white-n-blue blazed with Lady Liberty in a friendly appearance that makes you love America in the most ironic way possible. The taste screams blue as well as there is a blueberry front on the sip that’s trying to remind you of something. Hmm…star spangled cans…delicious yet mysterious blue liquid inside? Holy Shit! Apollo is the Liberty Brew of energy drinks, and I mean that in the best way possible. Clearly this is the best Raze has to offer, and it’s a great finishing point to provide a Mtn Dew style experience without the foreboding sugar shakes that come with repeated soda consumption.
There’s truly no end to the Raze Rebellion, as new flavors are set to release with taste and can design (at least promising) involving consumer interaction. Based on taste (and taste alone) I’m down for sticking with this crazy little company, and we may hear from them again in the Soda Blog’s near future. Hell, they even sent a couple “pre-workout” powder backs along with the samples. Until that time comes however, if you see me sporting the big yellow R on a t-shirt out in public, don’t bother asking for any exercise tips…I’m eternally pre-workout.
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