Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Barratt Squirtin Skulls

Time for yet another halloween special review! How much halloween stuff is on the market this year guys? This time it's from the good folks at Barratts and it's from their SPOGZ range. Squirtin skulls which are Jelly Skulls with a raspberry flavour liquid centre.

These are great like fantastically great. Not a massive fan of liquid centre sweets normally but it's the liquid centre on these which make them a success. The raspberry flavour is brilliant and compliments the fruit flavoured jelly skull.

A must for trick or treating. It's a smallish packet so perfect size and they are on offer in a few supermarkets at the minute.


Monday, 24 October 2011

Lucozade Cola

Lucozade have launced a cola. I know this because I spotted it today and have snagged a bottle.

Yeoo. This is what it looks like

 I'm not going to lie this is a very nice looking product. It follows their Blackcurrant launch quite closely I think but it's obvious that Lucozade are re-upping their efforts to become the local energy drink king. I assume this is partially down to an increase in competition from Powerade for the sports drink market.

So it looks good but what about the taste? It's like a weekend visit to your dead beat dad. Great fun whilst you're there, its carefree and lived to the fullest but all too fleeting. It's kind of got that cola tip-top flavour we talked about with Rockstar Energy Cola and the intial hit is great but what makes it so great is possibly what makes it go so quickly and that's the carbonation. Really small bubbles that effervesce fiercly smacking that cola taste into your chops quicker than you can say LUCOZADE COLA but then it seems to go as quick.

Does it make you want to take another swig? Yeah I would say so and in some ways then it's doing it's job but with the bottle only being 380ml you're going to run out a bit quick and I guess it's how you feel at the end of the bottle that matters.

I did enjoy it though despite the fleeting taste. It's definitely on a par with Rockstar energy cola, which I would class as it's closest competitor, but I wouldn't be switching my regular cola hits to this.

Rockstar Recovery

Rockstar Recovery you are a strange beast. Lemonade flavoured energy drink huh that's pretty weird I guess but whats that you're also non-carbonated? Shut your mouth.

That's right peeps Rockstar Recovery is a non-carbonated lemonade inspired energy drink. Run for the hills as the day of reckoning is upon us.

This is great. Seriously.

It tastes fantastic, it's quite understated but there is a genuine lemonade taste (they have added real lemon juice here so thumbs up) the only small problem was I did feel it sticking to the back of my throat a few times.

Heres the big thing though, this is hangover recovery fuel. It's not carbonated so if you're feeling a bit suspect the bubbles don't have to upset you too much. The flavour itself is sweet but not too strong and the energy kick isn't really there as the flavour is smooth and syrupy that the energy kick itself just kind of gets swallowed up.

This gets 5 Alans out of 5. As it's the perfect hangover fare

Sobe Pure Rush AppleBerry Burst

Like 90% of energy drinks this one thinks a little differently and is trying very hard not to me a Mr.Me Too to Red Bull.

SoBe Pure Rush is a natural energy drink. It has pictures of lizards on it and it says naturally sourced caffeine guarana and ginseng. It comes in a dinky little 250ml can and it wants you to believe that hey this isnt really an energy drink it's more a drink that happens to contain some perfectly natural energy. Why wouldn't you want some of that? I mean you feel so tired these days right...

This is the ying to Rockstar Punchs yang (I'm convinced that the Rockstar Punch is more likely to have a wang than a yang but still). It's understated, it's small and it's trying to gently coax a bit more life out of you. It's really fruity I mean you can really smell the apple flavour to it and it does have a nice little energy kick out of it but more than that it's a nice quite subtle apple and berry flavour to it. It tastes nice and the guarana means flavour wise it's like a toned down version of the Rockstar Punch we rated very highly.

All in all, this tastes good and the can looks good but I cant help but feel that it wants to market itself to an older group or possibly women who don't want the 'stigma' of drinking energy drinks. I think the can size is indicative of this.

All in all if a subtle energy drink (and I mean that in terms of packaging not the energy) is something you've been after you may have just found your brand but personally if I need an energy drink for whatever reason I may just stick to those massive massive cans.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Haribo Scary Ghosts

Haribo are also on the Halloween bandwagon with their new spooky ghosts product.

There's 3 ghosts inside

White :- Similar in flavour and texture to the milk bottle shapes in Super Mix
Orange :- Orange flavoured fruit jelly ghost
Black :- Nondescript fruit flavoured jelly ghost

They're nice and all but it's a bit muh. I'm sure it'll keep the kids happy but I'll probably not give them a second thought if I'm honest


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

50 Cent Energy Drink

Get yourself to facebook and like 50 Cents new energy drink

Why? We'll let the FIDDY explain that bit for you but basically it will be your good deed for the day. ( have announced that for every like he gets he will feed 1 child in Africa.

Whether you like his music or not this is a hell of a gracious offer from the big man.

Skittles Crazy-Cores

Not content by releasing a Facebook themed blue skittle into the wild the good folks at Skittles have tried their hand at another new product. Crazy Cores

At the heart of these is what sets them apart. A flavoured crispy sugar shell and a different but complimentary flavour in the core.

So what flavour combinations do we have and how do they fare?

Blue Raspberry Lemon :- Nice really nice. I enjoyed the blue raspberry flavour in general so 7/10
Cherry Lemonade :- 8 this is very good. Comparrisons could be made to the blue skittle but I think this isn't as 'out there' and might be more universally accepted 8/10
Mango Peach :- This is nice peach is again a very under used flavouring in the UK for some reason so it's nice to have that coming through 7/10
Melon Berry :- Maybe the flattest of the lot but still good. I think the problem is it's going to pale in comparrison to the next one
Strawberry Watermelon :- Sweet Jesus. Lord you heard my prayers. This is like Supernova in sweet form. Yeah ok it's maybe not at Mtn Dew Supernova levels of Caffeine but it tastes great. This sweet alone makes this a great product 10/10

Overall I'm going to give it a 8/10 I think I would reach for these ahead of traditional Skittles given the choice now

All in all I can say these are an excellent addition to the skittles range and seem popular with almost everyone I know who has tried them. Watermelon was hitting hard and seemed to be everyones favourites.

If you fancy getting your hand on a free packet head over to their Facebook page and enter the comp
I did and I just won a bloody packet. Yeah I'm that cool.

Video Review Fentimans Ginger Beer

Welcome to our first ever video review performed by one half of the fizzness team.

And yes he really does walk that way...

Monday, 10 October 2011

Walkers Sensation Goats Cheese and Monterry Chilli

After I posted my review of the Chipotle Sensations flavour (found here I was given a recommendation of the walkers twitter account. No nothing abusive but instead that I should check out the other new flavour, never one to be knowingly rude I decided I was going to get me some "Smoked Monterret Chilli with Goats Cheese"

Where to start? Well first and foremost I think they deserver a massive pat on the back for going out there again. Goats Cheese is a very distinctive and very strong flavour that often polarizes people so there's a real quandry to doing this. Doing it in the 1st place may rule out quite a few people but doing it wrong is going to leave you in no mans land.

I personally quite like Goats Cheese (you probably guessed that seeing as I bought a packet of crisps flavoured like it) so was keen to try them. Walkers have nailed this. The flavour is strong, really strong but it's authentic there's no watered down lets pander to people flavour this is a full hit of goats cheese.

How strong a goats cheese taste is it you ask? Let me fill your head with imagery

You are a troll. A troll whose dreams and aspirations have lead to nothing, You live under a bridge and it's not good and then one day a billy goat is crossing your bridge so you get all up in his business, too much up in his business and somehow his junk ends up brushing your face. Even that wouldn't be as goat cheesey as these crisps. Word.

The chilli addition is great as well it lends a really nice background heat to the creamy goats cheese glavour.

All round Winner.

If you like Goats Cheese you will more than likely love these crisps. Go get them

The Natural Confectionary Company Spooky Treats

Maybe I've gone mad but there's a lot of Halloween limited edition swag out there at the minute. We'll be getting to more of it in time I'm sure but I was in shopping and decided I needed a bit of a Halloween Pick me up.

Now we already had GPs review of Screme Eggs so I decided to steer clear of Cadburys Chocolate for a bit until I got over the rage that was induced by that product so I decided to go with a solid bet, a sure fire thing, a golden ticket :- That is the new Natural Confectionary Company product. (Which, and this may suprise a few people, is a Cadburys brand itself)

So this isn't a massive departure from their other products but just in a Halloween shape but it has enough good humour about it and nice shapes to make it work. The flavours are similar to that of the worms etc but in cute Halloween shapes

These should take pride of place in your trick and treat bowl at the end of the month.

Cherry Up You Miserable Bastard- Sunkist Cherry Limeade

Cherry Up You Miserable Bastard- Sunkist Cherry Limeade

Life is full of disappointment, and the sooner you learn this the better. Spongebob The Movie… disappointing, series 3 of Arrested development…disappointing, Yeezy’s 4th album…you get the idea. There is no point sugar coating it, the fact is at nearly every opportunity life will let you down.

One of the major disappointments that occurred in my life is related to fruit. Now as a junk food maniac you could argue that anytime I am faced with fresh fruit or vegetables is a disappointing one, but on this occasion it was even worse.

Of all the artificial fruit flavours in soda and candy my favourite has got to be Cherry; Cherry Coke, Cherry Drops, Cherry Wham Bars, all are amazing. So feeling adventurous a few years ago (also maybe trying to avoid impending Scurvy) I decided to take a rare jaunt into the produce aisle of my supermarket. Faced with an unfamiliar and intimidating mountain of green and yellow things I didn’t recognise I decided the best bet was to try something I knew I’d like…cherries.

Big mistake.

So disgusted was I with these rotten little lumps of crap I was tempted to ring 999 and tell the police that I was the victim of a global scam to make people think that Cherries taste like their soda/candy counterparts. I decided not to as there was a pretty big fuss made the last time I did something similar (they will always be Opal Fruits to me damn it). Instead I just wallowed in the disappointment that artificial cherry is much better than natural cherry.

Fast forward a few years and I’m strictly an artificial Cherry guy these days so was excited this week when I picked up an imported can of Sunkist Cherry Limeade from Centra.

Just as a side note I’d like to note that Centra is fast becoming my favourite place to shop for soft drinks these days. They have a large selection of rare and imported drinks and seem to bring in new lines quite often.

Cherry may be one of my favourite flavours but I have to admit I was slightly worried about this one. Cherry Limeade, normally when I see a few flavours listed on a drink I worry about its pureness, that it’s going to be a cheap tasting flavoured lemonade, something not fully formed, especially when it is a variation of another drink.

I needn’t have worried. This is one fully formed, original drink that stands out in its own right. The cherry flavour is incredible they have really captured the artificial cherry candy flavour and it stands head and shoulders about other similar drinks even (and it is a big thing for me to admit this) Cherry Coke. And they haven’t just pilled a whole load of flavouring in to fool your taste buds, there is a delicate balance going on in this drink. The cherry is sweet and at first you think its going to be too sweet but then there is an undercurrent of lime that holds it back from being over powering. A real triumph.

And the best thing about this drink? It says somewhere on the can there is some natural flavouring (right beside all the artificial ones but ssssh) So life has decided to prove me wrong and that maybe all things natural aren’t disappointing after-all. It also means I can drink loads of it and get my 5 a day…right? Better go here my gums are bleeding again.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

RockStar Punched

Apologies for the sporadic reviews last week, I have been in the throws of a release process for the company I work for so this has lead to a few late nights recently which has in turn allowed me to sample a couple of Energy Drinks.

First up is Rockstar Punched

From the can you can tell this isn't subtle. It's an energy drink though it shouldn't be. It's got kind of a forest fruit flavour going on for me (yeah I know Guava isn't normally included in that but thats what it tastes like to me) and it's got a hell of a kick. I would say the after taste and kick off it is a lot stronger than the energy cola produced and from a personal point of view I preferred the way the energy cola kind of rode out on the flavour.

You know forest fruit five alive? Imagine somehow that it has been cast as Jason Statham in Crank 2. Rockstar Punched would be the result. If it helps I imagine the purple colour to be something akin to one of those velour tracksuits Chev Chelios wore in the film.

It's a powerful energy drink with a strong taste but an interesting taste. Not quite as good as the energy cola but a decent effort plus it's made me think about Crank II which is never a bad thing

Cadburys Mascots

So Cadbury have launched a new range of confectionary for next years Olympics in 2012 and first up on our slab for reviewing is the Chocolate Mascots named "WebLock" and "Mandeville"

So that's what the look like guys two odd looking things. I guess first things first I find olympic themed chocolate to be both perverse and also kinda cute. I love limited edition themed things, I'm a massive sucker for them and I think it's funny to have limited edition chocolate to commemorate a sporting event.

Onto the chocolate itself, it's described as bubbly and it's kind of like a cross dressing wispa bar masquerading as a pair of freddos.

Yeah I think I've just done a review in one line there. That's not going to be improved upon. If you like wispa and freddos you're onto a winner here.

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Dr.Pepper Vanilla

Dr Pepper, the only drink with the qualifications to practice medicine, is without a doubt the most divisive soft drink on the planet. You either love it or hate it, and when I say love I mean crazy want to marry it and have little carbonated bastard offspring love, and when I say I hate I mean kill it with fire hate.

There is no middle ground when it comes to people’s opinion of Dr Pepper and this has lead to many problems for fans of the drink. Countless friendships have been destroyed arguing about its merits, relationships have fallen apart and recent research shows that 33% of all divorces are due to Pepper related conflict (this is a lie). There has even been Pepper problems on a global scale; Iraq? That’s because of Dr Pepper, Israel? Yep Pepper, Northern Ireland? They only sorted that out with strict Pepper legislation.

What is it about the nature of Dr P that causes such a division of opinion? It could be the flavour, it has a unique taste that’s hard to define and if you ask a fan what it tastes like they can only really describe it in relation to other drinks. The packaging is no help either, people like clearly labelled drinks so they know what they are in for, with Pepper the only clue you get on the back is ‘fruit flavoured carbonated drink’. Then there’s the ambiguous name, I mean what does ‘Dr Pepper’ tell you about the drink? Does it taste like pepper? I used to think this as a kid and have to admit it put me off.

All of these factors could be off putting to an over cautious or unadventurous soda drinker. ( Although this doesn’t explain the absolute hate that some people have for the drink, which remains a mystery.

At this point before I start the review I feel it’s only appropriate that I clarify my position on the Pepper conflict as there is no way this is going to be an unbiased article. I adore Doctor Pepper, everyone here at Fizzness does, we are Pep people and that is that.

My relationship with Dr Pepper goes back a long time, I still remember trying it for the first time when I was about 15 (I’d like to say I had long before got over the fear of it tasting like actual pepper but I wasn’t that bright) I remember getting a soda rush so intense that it triggered an emotional response I had never felt for a drink before, and that emotion was love. I then embarked on what was essentially a ten year long Dr Pepper rampage were no other soft drink ever really got a look in, sure I dabbled but I always came back, I’d found my baby and I would never cheat.

What had started as an occasional treat would gradually over time become part of my daily routine. I would drink Pepper everyday and many great memories I have of this period of my life have Pepper involved at some point.

A few years ago something happened that changed the relationship, I’d started to get itchy feet, the new love feeling had begun to wear off and I began seeing other soft drinks. I couldn’t quite work out where things had broken down, maybe we had grown apart maybe we didn’t make enough time for each other but the relationship was on the rocks.

In reality the problem was that drinking Pepper every day meant that I had become hooked on its glorious flavour. But like a dirty junkie needing to shoot up everyday to function I was getting used to the Pepper feeling and was getting the buzz less and less. Every time I had a drink I was only really stopping the cravings and getting my levels up to a base point and I feared I would never feel that buzz again, forever chasing that feeling that got me hooked in the first place.

My first solution was to drastically cut back the amount I drank, I went cold turkey for months at a time counting down the days until I could have another bottle. This actually worked and the buzz I would get after drinking a bottle after a long period of abstinence was wonderful but even then my body soon got used to the less frequent intakes.

This is where I stand now, my relationship with Pep is at a crossroads. No soft drink since has ever reached those dizzy heights for me and I would dearly love to be able to feel that first taste kick I used to get, but I fear those days are long gone.

Until now.

Imported from the good old US of A (home of spacemen, gun crime and hobos) comes Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper. If ever you wanted some extra flavours stuck on top of your Pep then its cherry and vanilla and believe me they go together oh so well (In fact in a blind taste test I’m willing to bet that a lot of people would think Pepper already has cherry and vanilla in it). Every sip is like a drop of nectar, tasting like something new and glorious but at the same time instantly recognisable as Dr Pepper. It’s so familiar yet so different and reminds me of the glory days of our relationship, long summer nights supping from a bottle avoiding homework eating Haribo and Refreshers and getting Colonel Cambell to scream ‘SNAAAAAAAKE’.

This drink is sublime, my old girl has tarted herself up in some new sexy gear and is ready to make this relationship work, and I’m all for it.