Mountain Dew has always been on the cutting edge of soda innovation for about as long as I can remember.
The company was one of the first that I remember having an all-out marketing campaign in the 1990’s (Do the Dew!) and their collaboration with Taco Bell to brew up an exclusive flavor in the early 2000’s was unheard of at the time.
The success of the Baja Blast has been kind of a launching pad for Mountain Dew as a brand and it has since found a pretty sweet niche in making limited-edition flavors for consumer consumption.
Currently, you can get LiveWire (an orange citrus Dew), Voltage (a raspberry ginsing Dew), White-Out (a grapefruit Dew) and Code Red (a cherry Dew) alongside the conventional Mountain Dew, diet Dew, and the newly-launched Black Label series brands of Dew. If you go to Arby’s, you also have the opportunity to try Game Fuel, a dark cherry citrus Dew.
But, that isn’t out focus. Today, our focus is the Extremely American amalgamation of unironic captialism in a bottle: Dew-S-A.
I’m lucky enough to live next to a Pepsi distributor here in Alabama, so we tend to get promotional flavors a little bit sooner than the rest of the country. That means I could see this sweet goodness in Walmart a lot sooner than you guys.
In the official announcement, the company promised a Dew that would combine the very best of its three mainstay flavors (Code Red, White-Out and Voltage) in one handy bottle (or can.)
Well, the finished product… is actually pretty close to that.
I tried out this new flavor with my friends Callie and Michael from the local coffeeshop to get a different perspective, but we all agreed on one thing: it was pretty dang sweet.
Callie noted that the taste was definitely derived from the Code Red side of the family and that there was a lot of original Dew influences in the taste. She was disappointed there wasn’t more Voltage in it. Michael said it was surprisingly good and largely agreed with Callie’s assessment. He thought it should have done a little better with mixing the three flavors.
Overall, the finish is extremely smooth and to my surprise, a lot less sugary than expected. One 16-ounce bottle was about 45 grams of sugar, which is lower than a typical bottle of Dew, which usually floats around the 65 gram range.
It has a “gummy” smell to it (Callie’s description) and is the color of melted and slightly burned cotton candy. In terms of taste, it reminded me of drinking a liquified gummy bear. I could definitely detect a bit of Code Red and White-Out, but the Voltage influences weren’t nearly as identifiable. If you’re looking for an even distribution of all three flavors of Dew, you might be a little disappointed, but that doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a bad soda. It takes a little getting used to, is all.
I wasn’t expecting a lot from this soda, as it sounded like an overwhelming attempt at branding, but hey, it actually works in small doses.
At a pricepoint (at least in Alabama) of $1.69 plus tax, it’s certainly not a bad investment, especially if you’re a fan of Mountain Dew products.
Overall: 7.5/10. A surprising drink that could pair well with the right food choice, whether as a standalone or as a mixer in a hard drink. It doesn’t necessarily hit all the notes it intended to, but it’s still tasteful.