Taste Test: V ‘Not Orange’ Energy Drink

The original V is more than a soft drink — it is the nectar of the gods. The Kiwi-produced beverage has single-handedly rendered Australia the inferior antipodean nation. We will never produce anything this perfect. Not since the mullygrubber incident from the 1981 Benson & Hedges World Series has our collective shame been this palpable. Now, a new flavour has emerged from across the pond in a bid to taunt us further.

As you’ve probably gleaned from the above intro, I’m a big fan of V energy drink. Or possibly dangerously addicted. I once accidentally smashed a bottle after leaving a store and immediately ran in to buy another — the total expenditure was close to $10. For a non-alcoholic energy drink. (Yes, I need help.)

I was therefore visibly excited when I saw the new flavour being advertised on Facebook. Within the hour, I had a can in my hands. For me, it was equivalent to the launch of a new Harry Potter book.

The other flavours in the V range are famous for causing taste bud deja vu — the green version is faintly reminiscent of grape juice, while not actually tasting like grape juice at all. The black version is vaguely chinotto inspired. And the blue version is sort-of-but-not-really like passion fruit.

For its latest release, the manufactures of V have played up the imperceptibility of its flavours by slapping it right on the can: it’s called Not Orange, with the word ‘Orange’ crossed out for extra emphasis. So how does it taste?

The initial sugar rush is way more pronounced than the other V flavours — it tastes like liquefied jelly beans. This onslaught of sweetness then gives way to a faintly orangey aftertaste that is actually quite pleasant.

In terms of how it compares to the other flavours, I’d rank it below blue and above black — which makes it the third best flavour. Not Orange is a limited edition flavour: I’ll probably try it a few more times before it disappears. But my Aussie pride hasn’t been dented too badly.

Score: 8/10

What’s your energy drink of choice? Share your suggestions in the comments section below — the more caffeine they contain the better!

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