Friday, July 8, 2011

Hi-Ball Energy: Wild Berry

I have been a fan of Hi-Ball energy for a while now, but I have never felt that it was imperative that I give my thoughts on the beverage, as it is fairly straightforward. While Hi-Ball is an energy drink, most of the flavors taste a lot like many other flavored and carbonated water beverages on the market. This is a good thing, of course, as Hi-Ball has managed to include the typical energy drink supplements (taurine, guarana, etc.) without including the horrible energy drink aftertaste. 

Being the only flavor of Hi-Ball that I have come across that has a distinct color (the rest of the flavors are completely clear), the wild berry variety definitely sticks out on the shelf when placed next to its more uniform family members. This obvious contrast inspired me to give the wild berry a try, and I am glad that I did, as it was the tipping point that sent Hi-Ball into review territory.

I want to start off this review by saying that I likely enjoyed the wild berry flavor so much because it brought back some vivid childhood memories of mine. While this clearly does not immediately make a beverage good, I do think that there is something to be said for a drink that induces a feeling of nostalgia in the consumer as he or she drinks it. Hi-Ball wild berry tastes, to me, like homemade popsicles. I don't know if any of you share in the memory, but I have very fond memories of me and my family freezing our own homemade, summer popsicles out of whatever juice was available in the refrigerator. This typically ended up being some sort of fruit cocktail, and I can still remember the anticipation that I used to feel as a child waiting for the liquid to solidify in the freezer.

Now, I am going to have to get specific here, as the flavoring of Hi-Ball wild berry reminds me of a very particular part of these popsicles. For those who have never made popsicles out of frozen juice, there is a phenomenon that occurs in which the "juice" portion of the juice tends to separate out a bit from the "ice" portion as the liquid freezes. The resulting popsicle is typically not as homogeneous as a commercial popsicle, and the juice flavoring can usually be sucked partially out of the ice, leaving behind pieces of ice that contain a watery, remnant version of the original flavor.

This, those chunks of soft, flaky ice flavored by the ghost of the original beverage, is what Hi-Ball wild berry tastes like. The berry flavoring is very light, almost as though it is diluted from its original intensity, but not in a manner that implies cheapness or corner-cutting. It is as though the drink is flavored perfectly with the essence of the source material, and the result is a crisp, delicious flavor with an enticing aftertaste that leaves you simultaneously satisfied and craving a little bit more. The flavor is mostly grape-like, with hints of other berry flavors in the background, but it is hard to accurately compare the taste to other beverages, as the subtle, "icy" effect described above hits the olfactory in a peculiar manner and occurs mostly in the back of the throat. The level of carbonation and the serving size are also just right, making Hi-Ball wild berry a great choice, overall.

I really enjoyed the wild berry variety of this long standing favorite of mine, even if the primary reason was the nostalgic reflection that it instilled in my mind. It is definitely an interesting and unique taste, and even though I know that not everybody will have the exact same experience with it as I did, it is definitely an easy beverage to recommend. Check this one out for sure, and please feel free to leave a comment below if this drink brings back similar memories for you if and when you are able to give it a try.

Verdict: Recommended

Purchased: Whole Foods Market [Greenville, SC]
Size: 10 fl. oz. [296 mL]
Price: $1.79 [Discounted]

1 comment:

  1. I really like how you "get specific" in this review. It makes me want to go buy this drink!