When it comes to beverages, I am an absolute sucker for marketing. I picked this one up yesterday whilst grocery shopping simply because of the shocking red of the can's label. I was actually hurriedly on my way out of the beverage aisle when I noticed it out of the corner of my eye and immediately retreated the short distance to add one to my already bursting armful of items. I tried it this afternoon and the result was, to put it simply, unique. The beverage is definitely very interesting and has a very specific dark cherry taste that I have not yet encountered in a beverage. I am not positive that I have had bing cherries in their natural form before, but the taste presented in the beverage was fairly new to me. It is not highly different from a typical black cherry flavoring, but it is subtely distinct in its tartness. The coloring and flavoring of the beverage are claimed to be all natural, but while the cherry does not taste artificial, it does not taste completely natural, either. The ingredients reveal that the flavor is from concentrate, which is apparent in the taste, but I believe that the primary culprit in my questioning of the flavor is the remainder of the ingredients list.
I have found, after drinking my share of mainstream commercial energy drinks, that it is difficult to taste anything properly when a beverage contains egregious amounts of taurine. Bing is listed as containing 1000 milligrams per can, which I find, frankly, to be ridiculous. Bing also contains 100 mg of ginko biloba extract and 100 mg of ginseng root extract (just to name a few), both of which I highly enjoy. I wish that I had the opportunity to enjoy them highly in this beverage, but it saddens me to say that it is impossible to taste them over such a large dose of bitter taurine.
Another thing that I found odd about the beverage is that it is sweetened with both cane sugar and sucralose. If the beverage is going to contain actual sugar, why ruin it with the taste of sucralose? Artificial sweeteners should only be used in the abscence of more natural alternatives, and artificials only tend to overpower the other when the two are combined, particularly in larger doses. I feel that this drink would have been much better off using the same amount of natural sweetener by itself and just being less sweet. The artificial sweetener is especially noticeable when combined with the taurine, and the two act together to produce a terribly dry and stale aftertaste.
Overall, it's not a terrible drink. The cherry taste is really unique and enticing, but I feel that the excessive amounts of taurine really kind of ruin the flavor. I don't think that I would generally recommend this to others, but I feel that it is at least worth experiencing, particularly if the taurine doesn't bother you.
Verdict: Worth one try
Purchased: Publix [Columbia, SC]
Size: 12 fl. oz. [355mL]