23 March 2006

It takes a connoisseur...

...to fully appreciate the nuances of fine beverages. Today, however, I'm not speaking about wine, or scotch, or even beer. No, today I had the fine opportunity, brought to me by four quarters and a mis-pushed button, to sample CocaCola's new(er?), low-calorie energy drink, VaultZero. Spurred on by a sense of adventure (and the fact that I was too lazy to walk upstairs, get another dollar, and go down for a real soda) I decided to try this new concoction.

If you've never heard of Vault, here's a reference from Wikipedia:

Vault is a carbonated beverage that was released by The Coca-Cola Company in June 2005. Coca-Cola is marketing Vault as a hybrid with the slogan "Drinks like a Soda, Kicks like an Energy Drink," as well as "The Taste. The Quench. The Kick." and "Get to It." It is a citrus flavored beverage that contains many of the same ingredients as the Coca-Cola beverage SURGE, which was discontinued in 2002. Due to Vault's similarity to SURGE, representatives of Coca-Cola have given some credit for the release of Vault to SaveSURGE.org, a website community dedicated to bringing SURGE back to store shelves.

Before I continue, take a moment to appreciate the fact that there is a whole segment of the population devoted to returning a soft drink to supermarkets. Puts things like third world hunger, AIDs pandemics, and melting ice caps into perspective now, doesn't it? ...

Not having a glass to pour the VaultZero (vintage 2006) into, I was forced to evaluate it in the bottle itself. This particular vintage was clear, and as condensation on the outside suggested, quite cold. Twisting the cap off resulted in a satisfying hiss of released carbonation, and some bubbles appeared to compliment it's promise of thirst-quenching yumminess. Unfortunately when I held it up to the light, the drink appeared a familiar shade of day-glo green -- I can't tell how much of the drink actually gives it that effect, but clearly my rule of never consuming beverages that glow was about to be violated.

I allowed the VaultZero to breathe for a moment or two, then swirled it around and took in the nose. Some citrus smell, but over all not very aromatic at all. Then, the moment of truth: the taste test.

At first, it didn't taste like much, just cold and carbonation. A second later the citrus kicked in, followed closely by the taste of cough medicine. VaultZero rounds off with a sickeningly sweet aspartame finish. While I understand that soda isn't exactly good for you, I actually had to try and keep from cringing as I imagined the chemicals I'd just consumed. To say the least, I decided at this point not to move on to the food pairing stage of the tasting (carrots and ranch, cheetos, and a chocolate chip muffin).

Cola Spectator Score: -283.5



mrshife said...

Wow, that sounds yummy. I know soda is bad for you but I just like it too much. I am addicted to the Dew. I gave up all the sodas with aspartame about a year ago because a food scientist I know told me that this stuff scares him.

Hannah said...

Bleurgh. Thank heavens it's not made its way across the pond yet. I shall, like all good English gals, be sticking to tea.

Dirk the Feeble said...

The food pairing thing is genius.

Ceridwen Devi said...

Think I'll stick to tequila. Still nice to meet another fan of Hannah's.