Shark is another product powered by the standard energy drink flavor that we have all come to know and love (or hate). What sets it apart from the rest is really the strength of the flavor. While Mad Croc is basically Red Bull with more sweetness, you can think of Shark as Red Bull with more flavor and a hint of strawberry. While there is a strange hint of what I can only describe as Flintstones Chewable Vitamins (yeah, you know what I’m talking about. One of those guilty pleasures…we all like them we just don’t admit it) the over all combination is pretty damn good as long as you can handle sweet and syrupy…and let me tell you, this stuff is sweeeeet…very sweet. So sweet Energy Drink that I have to wonder whether it’s the sugar or the other stuff that is waking my ass up. It’s kind of like they took the flavor in syrup form and doubled it. Basically what you get is a BIG flavor blast with every sip. Whatever the case, it works. Shark might not be as strong as some of the other stuff we have tested, but it does hold its own. No nervous jitters, but I am awake. The thing that strikes me as odd about Shark is the fact that the kick you get from it doesn’t seem to last quite as long as what you get from other stuff out there. Now to me that’s not really to big a deal. It would be nice to see stuff out there that really spread the spectrum in how long it kept you going. Some times I need a drink that will get me going like I have a 12volt up my butt for hours on end…other times I just need something to open up my eyes long enough for me to get into work…and then there are the times I just want energy for the hell of it…and that’s pretty much where Shark comes in to play. It’s just a nice little boost of energy when I need it that won’t take me down as it wears off. It’s very reliable, but not over the top…well, the flavor may be a bit, but the energy properties aren’t. I’d see it as a great mixer for bar side conversation….you won’t be wired to the annoying state, but you’ll surely be more talkative. Shark tastes WONDERFUL with Kettle One Vodka on the rocks by the way….makes for a nice sweet drink that is pretty smooth and will knock you on your ass if you aren’t careful. It hides alcohol REALLY well…be warned.
XTZ Root Beer Riot
The good stuff: Kola Nut, Ginseng, Guarana, Ginkgo Biloba, Caffeine, Betel Nut, Kava, Kava, Bitter Orange, Sida Cordifolia, Yohimbine, Gota Kola
Now here’s one I would have never thought of….Energy root beer. Tastes like root beer has the kick of an energy drink (be it a mild energy drink).
XTZ’s Root Beer Riot is actually not a bad root beer at all. It has a typical root beer taste at the beginning and sort of a Barq’s bite at the end of it, but you can definitely sense a bit of herbal flavor as you sip it down. There is something a bit heavy in the taste of the drink…it’s not overwhelming, but it is there and I can’t quite put my finger on it. I do sense a minor bitter after taste every so often, but again it’s nothing offensive or so strong that it would keep me from taking my next sip.
The energy properties of Root Beer Riot are pretty similar to that of XTZ’s other X-Drinx. Not the strongest out there, but not the weakest either…right about in the middle of the pack. Enough to perk you up a tad, but not get you totally moving. One thing that struck me as interesting about this particular drink is the fact that this is a root beer with caffeine. I know a lot of folks out there might be drawn into this because they are thinking that it’s cool to see an energy drink out there that doesn’t take some of it’s power from our hero caffeine….this is not the case though. Yes, Root Beer Riot is in fact CAFFEINATED ROOT BEER…be warned. Personally, I run just the opposite. I like root beer but I won’t drink it in the mornings because I want a power boost that a non caffeinated drink just can dish out. Root Beer Riot solves that little problem quit effectively (though I really wish it was a bit stronger power wise) giving me yet one more choice in my ritualistic morning fueling.
As far as other options for mixing goes, there are actually quite a few…one of my favorite is the Baily Float…..adding Root Beer Riot instead of plain old root beer will give it that nice energy kick…and it’s damn easy to make:
1 oz Bailys Irish Cream
10 oz Root Beer Riot
Mix together and serve in a frosted mug….nice and creamy.