DEWcision 2008   1 comment

I’d be willing to bet that I’m not the first to use this title to make a blog post about Mountain Dew.  But you know what?  I’m too lazy to search.  My hat’s off to whoever came up with the “DEWcision 2008” title in response to Mountain Dew’s “DEWMocracy” campaign.  Regardless, I felt it was important to go over what may be a pivotal moment in the history of carbonated beverages.  Especially for me.

You see, in general I don’t like Mountain Dew.  At all.  It just doesn’t taste right to me.  I also never cared for many of Mountain Dew’s secondary flavors, such as Code Red or Livewire.  There are two that I do like, however.  The first is Baja Blast, a tropical tasting variant that one can purchase exclusively at Taco Bells.  The second is (or rather was) Game Fuel, a delicious soda that might have been the pinnacle of all refreshing beverages (for me anyway) had not it only been meant to be a limited release to help promote Halo 3.  Alas, the strawberry/orange flavor and its gummy-bear aftertaste seems to have faded into oblivion.

As you can see from the above examples, I seem to only like Mountain Dew if its release is limited in some fashion.  Well, the geniuses in charge of this kind of thing have done it yet again: they’ve crafted three new flavors of Mountain Dew, each one a liquid blessing.  And they released them along with the promise to eliminate two of the flavors depending on the popular vote of Dew drinkers.  It seems that once again I’ve been doomed to lose something that might actually make me a regular Mountain Dew fan.

As this is a review blog instead of a journal blog, I’ll stop boring you with my fruitless quest to find soft drink satisfaction and give you the facts about the drinks.

A Quick Rundown

Just to make sure we’re on the same page (if you’re like me, you’re relatively vague on all things Dew), here are the basic facts.  To begin with, each new Dew (named Supernova, Voltage and Revolution respectively) has flavorful leanings towards the fruity (a big plus for me) with some ginseng added.  Ginseng’s the current trend in hip herbs to be put in drinks, and the taste isn’t an unpleasant one (I’ve heard it might be good for you as well, but not enough to make up for the fact that you’re drinking soda instead of water.)  The three flavors are also visually interesting, but to be honest I doubt that most people care what color a soda is (I really think Supernova’s purple and Voltage’s dark blue are neat to look at, though.  For completeness sake, I’ll mention that Revolution is also blue, but a lighter shade.)

Supernova

Supernova comes to you with a “Blast of Strawberry Melon Flavor and Ginseng.”  While the English Major and Botanist in me quietly look the other way to pretend that they didn’t hear the phrase “Strawberry Melon” I have to say that this is the most unique taste of the three.  The strawberry flavoring is very strong, pretty much overpowering the melon entirely (though admittedly, the strawberry tastes off, in a good way, so perhaps the melon is there, just not detectable as such.)  The aftertaste really lets the flavor sink in, so it’s a good thing that I enjoyed it otherwise I’d have to rinse my mouth out after every sip (though if I didn’t like it I don’t know why a second sip would be necessary.)  As a final note, I think this one has the coolest name of the three.

Voltage

Voltage, a drink that the bottle says is “Charged with Raspberry Citrus Flavor and Ginseng,” might be my favorite of the bunch based purely on nostalgia.  You see, of all the drinks this is the one that reminds me most of Game Fuel, and I do so long to see that drink back on the shelves some day.  It doesn’t leave a strong aftertaste like Supernova, though it’s not without one (that’s the time when you most notice the Ginseng, so if you don’t like Ginseng this might not be the flavor for you.)

Revolution

The third contender has been “Infused with Wild Berry Fruit Flavor and Ginseng” according to the bottle, and that’s probably it’s selling point.  The berries stand alone (no help from melons or citrus fruits this time around) and it’s hard to determine if that makes it more or less noticeable.  Unlike the other drinks, there’s nothing I can point to and say “a person might not like this,” but at the same time I couldn’t say, “a person would certainly like that.”  It’s name doesn’t even strike me as that interesting, to be honest.  Ironically, this all might make it stand out for some (the berry taste really is very good, much better than most companies that try wild-berry flavored sodas.)  More of an aftertaste than Voltage, but less of one than Supernova.

The Verdict?

Honestly, it’s a tough call for me.  My opinion has been changing a lot about them as I try them, and like I said they’re each very good in my opinion.  Supernova, despite how much it stands out, seems stuck in second place in my mind while Revolution and Voltage keep moving between first and third.  At the moment Revolution is my favorite (despite it’s name) but I might switch back to Voltage before I cast my vote.

Ultimately, we’re going to be losing two good flavors, and that’s the biggest problem with the whole scenario.  If Mountain Dew knew what it was doing, it would have brought back some old flavors like Pitch Black and Game Fuel to let us vote for them as well, though I wouldn’t expect them to do that (and honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Game Fuel had some bizarre contractual deal with Microsoft that forbids it from coming back to the market for a certain amount of time or something.)

Anyway, the choice is in our hands now.  Whether you like Mountain Dew or not, I recommend that you give each of these drinks a try, and cast a vote if one of them sticks out for you.  After all, it’s rare for a company to give such big decisions to the public, and I for one would like to see it happen more often, even if it is just a cheesey marketing ploy.

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