I don’t generally talk about caffeine here, but I love it just as much as ice cream, and consume way more of it. I drink black coffee every single day, and throw in a sugar free energy drink 3-5 times a week, too. I swore these types of drinks off for most of my adult life after becoming nearly addicted to Monster in the mid 2000s, but a couple of years ago they caught my eye again and I’ve found quite a few that I really love. I’ve never really been the type of dude to review beverages (except that one time I wrote about Diet Coke), but as someone that drinks a helluva lot of them I couldn’t help but write about this new collaboration from GHOST energy and two very notable candy brands. GHOST is a supplement company that makes a ton of solid health-related products including some killer protein powder (my favorite is Blueberry Toaster Pastry). For their first line of read to drink (RTD) energy drinks they’ve come in swinging with four flavors, including a partnership with Sour Patch Kids and WarHeads.
First things first let’s cover the similarities. All four flavors are clear-ish (more of a light tinted brown), with nice tight bubbles that accentuate the flavors (and sourness) in a way that compliments and excites my palate without being overly bubbly. They all come in at 5 calories each with no sugar, one carb, and a shit ton of vitamins. 100% of your daily Vitamin C, Thamin, B6 and B12, as well as 200 mg of natural caffeine from coffee beans to get you amped, and 1000 mg of taurine for enhanced focus. The primary sweetener used is sucralose, which is my favorite and has no disgustingly bitter aftertaste like Stevia or monk fruit.
Sour Patch Redberry:
This is the flavor I was most excited about and it’s nearly perfect. Sour and sweet, this one carries that distinct Redberry flavor that’s so accurate I can sense the squish digging into my molars. Not quite cherry, not quite strawberry, but all the way red berry. The carbonation is perfect and it’s nearly impossible to stop drinking. Every sip I take I think “is this real? Let me drink some more to check.” Yep, it’s real, and it rules. The only thing holding this one back from a perfect score is a bit of a vitamin smell that pops out from the can when you first drink it. Those first couple of sips can be interrupted by the vitamin presence and kinda takes you out of the candy-sipping experience, but doesn’t really effect the taste as much as it does the aroma. Luckily it’s only temporary, and the journey is largely rewarding. Amazing.
Update: the people at GHOST heard the noise and changed the formula and there is no longer ANY vitamin taste or smell. Original rating was a 9.5/10 and it has been upgraded to perfection.
Sour Patch Blue Raspberry:
The first Ghost Energy follow up flavor came in swinging with another Sour Patch fan favorite, and much like its Redberry forefather, absolutely crushed it. It has the same beautiful sweet and sour balance that gets accented by the drink’s tight effervescence that shines with true blue razz razzle dazzle. There isn’t a ton to say here, if you’ve had and like Sour Patch Kids you will love this drink, and thanks to the V2 formula there are no funky aromas or aftertastes at all. This is going to come down strictly to flavor preference and since the blue Sour Patch Kid was never top tier for me, I still prefer the Red Berry, although this is no doubt one of the best sour blue raspberry’s on the market.
A flavor called “Citrus” could go so many ways but this one is easy to describe – Lemon Lime Gatorade. This stuff tastes so much like the classic yellow thirst quencher that if this had a little lightning bolt on it it could be another slam dunk brand tie-in. As far as I know Gatorade doesn’t have a bubbly energy drink on the market but if they ever wanted to give it a go, collaborating with GHOST would be the way to do it. I love yellow Gatorade so I really enjoyed this flavor, even though it doesn’t have the wow-factor of a Sour Patch experience.
This is the most underwhelming of all the launch flavors and the only one I probably won’t revisit. The flavor profile is true to its name with a somewhat mellow mango flavor accented by pineapple and a little orange. It’s a totally fine flavor but not nearly as exciting and juicy as Reign’s Mang-O-Matic and at the price point and limited accessibility of the GHOST drinks I don’t see myself craving it.
WarHeads Sour Watermelon:
Did someone say sour? Yeah, they ain’t lyin! This drink knocks it out of the PARK! Perfectly sour and watermelon-sweet, just like the candy used to do to me when I wanted to torture my tongue in middle school. If you like watermelon candy this drink will make your head explode, so long as you’re okay with the back of your jaw tingling in activated tartness. This isn’t the type of drink I would have every day, but I’ve already had two and have three more in the fridge. It’s devious and perfectly executed to the degree that I am AMPED for what GHOST follows up with in this line next year.
All flavors were bought at GNC for $2.99 per pack and can be found online in cases of 12 through their website for $29.99 or Campus Protein for $31.99.