Hey look, it’s another energy drink featuring in Snack Showcase… But this isn’t your regular edition of Snack Showcase. It’s a special Vegas Edition! What makes it a special Vegas Edition you’re asking? Well let me tell you bucko. It’s because it’s coming direct to you from fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada!

They say every good wine is paired with the perfect fish, or vice versa. I don’t know wine. Or fish. Either way, I figured every energy drink can be paired with the perfect candy. Tonight I went on a hunt through CVS, a pharmacy/convenience store melded together and came out with the two following items. Monster Ultra Black and Swedish Fish.

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First let’s take a look at the drink. What drew me to it was the can’s textured black, silver and red look. Also the flavour was described as being black. I like black. Without knowing what I was getting into I cracked the can. It gave a satisfying pop, a little different to the cans back home. I was excited. I took in the aroma, not quite knowing what it was. Hmm, black. Could it be licorice? No that would be weird. Surely it can’t be licorice I mused to myself.

It wasn’t. I was a touch offended at the actual taste. Being that I’m here in the good ol’ U-S-of-A, and had sampled this flavour in a variety of drink already in the short time I’ve been here, I knew instantly it was cherry. Also, the drink isn’t even black. It’s more purple. Lies. ALL LIES!

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Maybe it was because the can had warmed a little on the trip back to my hotel that it didn’t taste too great. I took the ice bucket down to the ice room and filled it up. It’s a long trek from my end of the hotel to the other end where the ice room is. The sick irony of it all being that I was working up quite the thirst during this walk, but had to wait for my drink to chill before I could truly enjoy it. The world has a sick sense of humor.

As my drink was cooling, I decided to have a go at the Swedish Fish. The instant I tore open the box and ripped into the plastic the smell was quite strong and familiar. Very much akin to Allen’s Ripe Raspberries. I bit off the fish’s head. The only way to eat a candy animal mind you. Thankfully it did not taste like a real Swedish Fish. I don’t do fish. This however, does taste quite like a raspberry lolly, yet still is unique to itself, unlike another candy I’ve had. Maybe it’s because they are red my brain associates it to what I am familiar with, ie. raspberry. I’ve said raspberry too many times in this paragraph.

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Next came the stretch test. Any candy can be good, but to be great, it needs to have a decent stretch to it. Sadly, the Swedish fish do not rank highly on the stretch-o-meter. As I began to pull, the outside of the fish began to crack instantly and it wasn’t too long after, the tail ripper right off. On the two point scale (get it? Scale…) of good to great, Swedish Fish rank in the good pile (of fish). Needless to say I don’t feel the need to have them again.

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After my foray into the fish, my drink was ready. Chilled is certainly better, but still not great. I decided it was time to stop treating this drink like a wine and more like a fine whiskey. Over ice! On the rocks! With frozen irregular chunks of frozen water in it!

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Oh yes, this is the way to have it. It gives the drink a satisfying chill and changes the taste ever so slightly, in a good way. Overall however, the taste isn’t spectacular and I put that down to one thing. I didn’t notice at the time, but the drink is sugar free. To me, all of the sugar free energy drinks have the same back-taste of artificial sweetener to them. It’s hard for me to get past. Just like the fish, I feel like there is a large enough market out there to never need to have it again. Oh, speaking of sugar free, I noticed the Swedish fish contain both sugar AND invert sugar. Logically they must cancel each other out right?

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There was one more test I felt I needed to do to wrap up this Snack Showcase. I got to thinking. Fish live in water! These babies needed to swim. I must say, the plop noise they made as they fell in are reminiscent of a deceased goldfish falling into it’s toilety, watery grave. I had nothing to lose, except maybe my health, but hey, I was gonna eat and drink them both anyway, so why not together?

The combination turned out to be a true Einstein-Frankensten concoction. Both a hideous monster and a smart move at the same time. The drink gained a welcome fruity flavor from the fish, and the fish became slightly softer and more malleable. Frankly, in my book, it’s the only way to enjoy them both.

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