EVERYTHING
NOT
BEER
Even we beer people are sometimes
forced to drink something other than
beer. As a public service to beer lovers
everywhere BeerNexus presents the only
monthly column of reviews you'll ever see
on a beer website about
everything not beer!
Blink’s Brisk Blueberry Pomegranate is sucralose sweetened “energy
water.” Functionally, the product contains caffeine (150mg per bottle --
the approximate equivalent of a 16oz energy drink), B vitamins, amino
acids and taurine. Conceptually, this seems like a decent approach, with
an effort to reach those consumers who are seeking non-carbonated
energy offerings. However, we have a really tough time with the flavor,
which has very little fruit taste (it’s certainly not “brisk”) and a pretty
harsh sweetener finish.  On the outside, the clear label, clear liquid
approach has been tried again and again by countless companies but it
never seems to work.  Blink’s shelf presence could definitely stand to
pop more than it does.We find the product’s large callout for “0 color,
bubbles, guilt” to be something that will likely cause confusion over how
many calories are actually in the product (10). Overall, the concept and
execution of this drink have an urgent need for improved flavor and
packaging that is more pleasing to the eyes.
Reviews for June, 2012
La Colombe Pure Black Coffee is a product of the high-end coffee shop
chain of the same name. Historically, ready to drink coffee has all skewed
towards the milky, sugary latte drinks but this is something different. As
the name suggests, it's coffee with no added sweetener or flavorings.
They’ve done a really nice job in crafting the coffee inside the bottle (it’s
steeped for 16 hours in wine tanks and pressed and filtered twice), with a
bold brew that is very smooth from start to finish. If you are a coffee lover,
this product will be perfect for you. The packaging is a 12 oz. amber
glass bottle, the kind typically used for sugary sodas. La Colombe has
given it a black and white label that emulates the simple nature and
bolsters the integrity of what’s inside the bottle. Overall, La Colombe’s
Pure Black is an exceptionally executed coffee drink that delivers in both
flavor and design. Definitely one of the best coffee drinks we’ve ever had.
edited by Jim Attacap
The concept for Hi Balls Sparkling Energy Water is pretty simple take
carbonated water and add flavor and energy. The result is something
that drinks like flavored seltzer water but has 160mg of caffeine (as well
as ginseng and B vitamins) to give you a kick of energy. From a flavor
perspective, this product goes down very easily, with the best
comparison again being flavored seltzer. In this case, the product has a
refreshing unsweetened lemon lime flavor that goes nicely with the
crispness of the product's high level of carbonation. It comes in a 16 oz.
cold activated functional, and nicely designed can. Overall, a very solid
and enjoyable product that offers a very unique approach to zero calorie
energy.
As far as craft sodas go, Ginger Buzz has a unique and well executed
formulation that is made with only five ingredients: carbonated water,
honey, fresh ginger, coriander, and citric acid. In terms of flavor, honey is
indeed the primary flavor, with the ginger giving it a hint of spice and the
citric acid giving it an almost lemon-like finish. The coriander doesn’t really
stand out, but there is a very subtle spice in the backdrop. Ginger Buzz is
light and crisp, with bold flavor that doesn’t rely too heavily on sweetness.
Visually, the product feels like something that was crafted in small batches,
with a stock amber bottle and a simple paper label. The branding and label
design could be simplified and more appealing and exciting than it currently
stands. As it stands right now, the look of the product isn’t up to the same
quality as what’s inside the bottle. Overall, a very solid tasting soda.
More Reviews
Everything Not Beer #1