Alright, so first thing’s first, there has already been a recent change to the product. At the time of purchase, today’s review was going to be about “Mamba Energy Focus,” but apparently it’s now known as “Maw.” I’m sure there was some wholly uninteresting reason behind this change, so for this review just forgive the outdated pictures as the product and main idea seem unchanged (NOTE: pictures updated). It’s a real buyer’s market for energy supplements right now, so I’m trying out a few different companies to see if they can compete with the well-established brands that dominate the store shelves. In the case of Maw, their product is available in powder form, and recommended for use with a shaker. Most of the “game fuel” style energy drinks come in this form, in what I can only assume is a cheaper alternative to actual beverage production. This is uncharted territory for me, but will this work over the tried and true aluminum can? There’s only one way to find out…
Wow, this stuff is really….blue. The dye or whatever that’s used here won’t be kind to fabrics, and it looks like it would stain anything in its path, so scoop and shake with caution. According to the instructions you can select your level of energy based on your boost need, “alive, Intense, or EXTREME” <eye roll>. I already felt alive this morning so I added an extra scoop to make things more intense. Mixing it up was nice and easy, but HOLY shit this stuff is sweet. I’m a big fan of generic blue flavoring sugar substitute number #12 so it wasn’t a deal breaker, but my god this needed some more dilution. Shaking with ice was the winning idea here, and if I’m in the mood for a sweet morning boost instead of coffee, there’s far worse options out there. The energy was decent without the caffeine jitter shakes, so I figured this was case closed. As it turns out, my review needed to continue to the…uhh, bathroom as well. I’m not one for scatological observations or humor, but I can’t let this go. When you use the restroom, things are going to be….BLUE (da ba dee da ba daa). I’ve heard from the company that they’ve eased off on the dye in more recent batches, and it’s little wonder as to why. I wasn’t expecting this the first go ’round but damn, that was quite the eye opener.
Verdict: Maw Energy is a perfectly reasonable energy supplement with low environmental impact and the ability to adjust flavor levels to your liking. With a pleasing taste and fairly “clean” energy, the powder will work for gaming fuel, pre-workout, or just as a coffee replacement. For this particular powder, the blue dye was way way way too intense, as from start to finish (I do fucking mean FINISH) there’s going to be the possibility of staining. This wasn’t the walk on the wild side I was promised by this product, but in these uncertain times it’s always nice to feel alive.
UPDATE July 2020: I bought some of the new flavor known only as RIP Harambe. For perhaps having the least informative flavor name in history, there was still plenty of reason to pick this one up. They’ve fixed the dye issue, so nothing in my life is subject to horrid staining. As for the taste, Maw is hitting it out of the park this time. The Orangish-Tangerineish mixture makes for a great drink, and I found myself sipping this stuff down much faster than I did with the other flavors or drinks in this part of the energy market. There’s never been a better way to remember the memory of the world’s greatest living creature. RIP Harambe, indeed.
UPDATE September 2020: The supposed flavor of Green Growl speaks a lot to me. When someone says “Cherry Limeade” I’m drawn to think of my favorite flavor combination in history….and how many times it’s been fucked up over the years. My local Sonic drive-in was thrice infested with roaches that then caught fire and burned the shithole to the ground, but damn that Cherry Limeade was tasty. Anyway, for me this flavor came with a Maw shaker and it was a fine time to show it off as the green of the Green Growl looks amazing in the translucent container.
As for the flavor, well we’re dealing with zero sugar and we’re supposed to be more focused on the FOCUS FUEL, but overall this one is a pretty good mix. It’s not the sort of flavor that’ll go great with that double cheeseburger from the drive in, but it’s a lovely morning energy taste that gives just enough lime and just enough cherry without trying to take things too far. This is another MAW flavor that gets the full recommendation for anyone looking to break into this rather pricey drink universe.
UPDATE October 2020: Jungle Berry is one of those cop out flavor titles, even by MAW’s uniquely monikered standards. You could honestly throw any “fruit” combination together and call it a berry mix, so there’s really nothing to expect when giving this one a try. No matter the taste, MAW is still killing it when it comes to presentation, as it’s another wonderful treat for the eyes.
The taste however falls a bit flat compared to its fellows on my crowded energy drink shelf. There may be a bit of berry in there somewhere, but it’s not very distinct and the drink feels diluted even when being conservative on the water or ice in the mixture. Like a Juicy-Juice that’s been out in the sun, or kept partially open for six months at the back of the refrigerator, the Jungle Berry flavor is a wholly uninteresting attempt to keep the flavor compendium balanced among the more bold options available from the company. To be true, I’m much more excited when this company tries to fuck me up with wack ass flavor attempts rather than try to give me fruit juice with a morning buzz.
UPDATE December 2020: Mythic Melon was released as a pre-order with a naming contest that sadly fell kind of flat. I remember voting on something with a “Hungry Hungry Hippo” inflection that would have been perfect, but I guess it’s become suddenly important to describe the flavor in the name despite the presence of RIP Harambe on Maw’s product shelf. Anyway, Mythic Melon takes another risky voyage into a flavor that is really difficult to get right when not making your product with sweet sweet sugar. Watermelon has been screwed up an uncountable number of times by candy and drinks companies, but after Maw’s Green Growl Cherry Limeade success, they’ve certainly earned the chance to give this a shot.
The taste is absolutely amazing. It’s a little on the sweet side…but much akin to the way a watermelon Jolly Rancher might taste. None of that cheap <redacted> lip balm watermelon taste here folks, this is the gold standard. The real winner here however is the smell. Very few of the Maw beverages have a smell that would be anything close to “pleasant,” but the ol’ melon hippo smells just as good as it tastes. They really got the balance right on this one, but something keeps nagging at me. The powder scoop for Mythic Melon seems a bit small. Throughout 2020 I’ve been collecting each of these flavors and I’ve come to notice some of the flavors have very unique scoop spoons.
I’ve checked and rechecked the labels, checked the instructions, there’s been no indication that there’s a specific amount of powder that needs to be considered for each flavor. If each of the servings are the same, why is the Green Growl scoop double the size of the flagship Blue Buzz? Normally I’d made some wild ass conspiracy joke here but 2020 has seen enough of that, I just want to get a straight answer from the company on this issue for a change. Is this clever science or just an exercise in shrewd spoon buymanship? Save me from myself.
UPDATE April 2021: I was posting a different review on Twitter, and Maw Energy themselves gave me a very specific reply that had nothing to do with what I was posting about at the time. Nevertheless, the scoop question at long last has been answered! A fine place to bury a bookmark, and we’ll check back with with any new flavors. xoxo.
UPDATE May 2021: After new flavors, throwback packaging, and special deals in the last year, MAW brought a new idea to the table in spring 2021. Maw Energy Sour Powder is billed as a mix-in to add a sour taste with any flavor of your choosing. Served up in a pouch instead of a jar, the concept remains exactly the same: scoop it in to your heart’s content and brace for a pucker.
I love sour candy and an energy drink like Maw where you control your own flavor profile makes a lot of sense. I started with a basic 1:1 scoop of my favorite flavor (RIP Harambe) and the new sour powder. The bag claims that one scoop is “tart” and I guess I can’t argue with that thinking. It changes the flavor a bit but it’s hardly noticeable. I’ve been increasing the amount of sour powder to the point where I’m just dumping the powder from the bag and to hell with the scoop. I’m reaching the sour level that I would consider noticeable, but it took probably 3-4 scoops to meet that requirement. The powder is much cheaper than the primary drink mix so while it’s not a ball busting expense to make it properly sour, you’re not playing with high octane stuff here. Still, if this is your daily drinker, it pays to have this pouch around to mix things up. Giddy up and get you some.
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