I used to feel very proud of the fact that I read every stephen King book out there. I enjoyed the good ones and suffered through the bland ones. I feel exactly the same about new Hansen's drinks, as they seem to come out with new versions of their old drinks every quarter. I would not mind all this new innovation is it actually made a difference, but it seems like all they are doing is trying to cover the shelf spaces in convenience stores with a hundred versions of their products.
This is all the more true when you are talking of yet another diet drink. Now, adding to their Monster Blue Sugar Free version, there is Monster Absolutely Zero, Monster Imported Light and now... Monster Zero Ultra. They have moved away from their normal bluish diet color to a completely white version this time - and I was ready for a carbon copy of their drink for a fourth time.
But then something very surprising happened - it looks and tastes unlike any other Monster out there - this is more than just a reissue of a not-yet-out-of-print energy drink but a hole new one. And I like it a whole hell of a lot!
More than just a new facelift, Monster went back tot eh drawing board on this one. Like the new Rockstar drinks, the can itself is mottled and raised, something I have not seen in energy drinks before. Now even more than just looks, this energy drink can has texture - and a cool one too. This feels more expensive and classier than previous Monsters, alluding somewhat to the design they picked, off a Art Deco poster full of filigrees and swirls. They even made their usual asinine Xtreme paragraph that is usually full of info about how they were getting trashed in hotel rooms in Vegas has been replaced by a only-slightly-obnoxious paragraph about how this drink is less sweet and made because their hard riding Monster riders and Monster girls have been dropping hints. It is still trite and ridiculous crap spewed forth by 50 year olds trying to be cool to 15 year olds, but I have seen much worse.
Like every Monster, they refuse to list their caffeine content clearly, which sooner or later is going to bite them in the ass. They say there is their proprietary 1400mg energy blend, but that could mean all sorts of caffeine content. In this day and age, it is ridiculous not to list it. They still double face their cans and make special tabs and have a perfect printing job with easy to read text - although it would be cooler if they would point their lids in the correct direction so the logo would face outward while drinking it, but it is pretty enough to make up for many shortcomings.
I fully expected this to be just another Monster clone of a Monster clone - yet another version of a low-carb sugar-fee diet Monster. What I get instead is a grapefruit juicy drink that is strong on flavor - and none of the classic Monster Citrus Berry flavor. The closest thing I could place this is a fresco, as there is a whole lot of grapefruit in here. But it is not just grapefruit, there is a heavy dose of pear flavor as well to really fill out the taste and makes for a very couple and juicy sweet drink. This is one of the strongest flavors Monster has in its repertoire, and hopefully will be around for a long time.
This is exactly what you would expect from your Monster drink. There is the very usual buzz that you get from downing a mMonster - with my guess of 160-180mg of caffeine. The lack of calories did not inhibit the taste or the buzz, as it gives a good couple hours of solid energy with a big dose of taurine, ginseng,glucuronolactone and inositol. In terms of caffeine this has some lab caffeine as well as natural caffeine from guarana. There is the usual overdose of B Vitamins you would expect from a mainstream energy drink. and the overall mixture works well enough.
If you are down with Monster drinks, this is a good one to try, and probably the best of their low-calorie line.