My wife surprised me this weekend with a breakfast run to Wawa. I went with her and perused the energy drinks. I decided to give the new Reign brand a try.
Reign is Monster Energy's new brand. According to Reign, this product is aimed at fitness, active lifestyles and is better for you than other energy drinks. They state zero calories, zero sugar and zero artificial flavors and colors, all while still loading each can with 300mg of caffeine. Reign also has a different energy supplement mix than Monster.
What does all this mean? Not a thing to those of us who just enjoy drinking them!
The cans stand out on the shelf, like a phalanx of energy, protecting you from other sub-par brands. It's easy to their sharp design with bold contrasts among other brands. The cans have a raised texture to them as well, and feel like the Monster Ultra cans in your hand.
I had no idea what any of the flavors were, so I just grabbed two that seemed appealing. The first one I am tasting is Melon Mania.
After cracking open the can, I immediately smelled Jolly Rancher - maybe watermelon, maybe sour apple.
I didn't know they were not using any artificial colors, so we were guessing what bright fun color it might be and were disappointed that it was perfectly clear.
Having a clear drink really messes with the flavor if you can see it. Drinking right from the can won't matter as much, as there's no visual aspect aside from the can design to persuade your taste buds.
It was well-carbonated and bubbled nicely when poured.
My first impression was that this was a watermelon Jolly Rancher. It changed a little with each sip as I tried to pinpoint the exact flavors. It shifted more towards watermelon combined with sour apple Jolly Rancher, like a Jolly Rancher cocktail.
The flavor was soft and artificially sweet tasting from the sucralose. There wasn't a crispness to the taste. I definitely prefer energy drinks that are sharp and crisp on the tongue.
I had my wife try a few sips as well. Her initial reactions are always entertaining as she does not like the taste or smell of energy drinks.
After her first swig she said it smelled fake and had a nondescript "what is in this?" bubbly flavor. Then she said, " No, this tastes like the dentist's teeth cleaning polish. You know the pina colada flavored one?"
She followed up a few minutes later with, "It's coating my tongue! BLECH! I'm going back to my coffee!"
About 20 minutes later, I got the wake up effect. I was really tired, having only slept four hours that night, so this was a good test to see what the caffeine jolt would do. I suddenly felt very alert within a few seconds time. My legs started bouncing and I got very chatty and started talking my wife's ear off. My eyelids felt like someone was pulling them wider open.
I wouldn't say this effect was native to this particular drink, but mostly because I just drank 300mg of caffeine in one sitting.
While I plan to try the rest of these flavors over time, I don't know if I would pick Reign over the original Monster. I think that I might pick Reign over the Monster Ultra lineup as it offers more descriptive flavors and is only slightly better for you.
Where to Buy: Nearly Anywhere
Cost: $2ish/can ($2 for $4.25 seems to be the new price of energy drinks as of this writing)
I would only buy this again if I was reaching for a Monster Ultra. I prefer the original Monster flavor over all else, though.