Due to popular demand and the fact that we love trying weird foods and candies, The A.V. Club will now regularly feature "Taste Tests." Feel free to suggest disgusting and/or delicious new edibles for future installments: E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Simpsons Energy Drinks: Duff "Beer" and Flaming Moe
There's a baseline problem with the Simpsons-branded energy drinks: Both are modeled after alcohol products from the show, but neither of them actually contains any booze. Way to disappoint your core audience from the get-go, Simpsons merchandise guys. Instead, they're both "energy drinks," i.e. highly sugary, chemically concoctions that in no way ease the pain of life, though they might make you hyper enough to ignore it briefly. (No word yet on when Fudd Energy Drink might become available in rougher, poorer neighborhoods.)
Taste: The general consensus was that it tastes a lot like Red Bull. It's sickly sweet and faded pink, with the sharp, tart, sugary taste of sour candy. The carbonation is pretty mild. (That aside, A.V. Club taste-testers were irritated to note that the can has a label on the side that said "Fire made it better." What kind of confused misquoting is that? Worst attempt at a product tie-in ever.)
• "It smells like the fluoride they give you at the dentist."
• "It tastes like Sweet Tart. Crushed-up Sweet Tart."
• "I actually kind of like it."
• "It's so THICK."
• "It smells like Red Bull."
• "It tastes like Red Bull with Alka-Seltzer at the bottom."
• "So it gives you heartburn, then clears it up afterward."
• "It doesn't have a taste so much as a sweet aftertaste."
• "Did that drink warm anybody like a hug?"
• "It kind of gave me the shivers, but I think that's just all the caffeine and sugar."
Bonus level: Yes, of course we tried to light the Flaming Moe on fire, to see whether fire would make it good. Because we're huge Simpsons dorks. And of course no efforts – lighters, matches, a piece of burning paper – would make it ignite. And even after we dropped a burning match into it, it didn't taste any different. Clearly the implied pre-canning fire that made it "better" also made it as good as it was going to get.
Duff Energy Drink
Taste: Distinctly odd. Sort of sweet-and-sour, with a citrus-y tang and (according to those who regularly drink energy drinks) a taurine aftertaste. It's very bright orange, like Sunkist, but doesn't taste particularly orangey; it's more like an artificial cough-drop version of grapefruit, with a bunch of sugar thrown in. The carbonation on Duff was much stronger and harsher.
• "It looks like orange cough syrup."
• "More like orange pop."
• "Yeah, it just tastes like an orange soda."
• "Is this the liquid equivalent of candy cigarettes? Letting kids pretend to have adult vices, then feeding them a lot of cheap sugar?"
• "Look at the giant bubbles!"
• "That's where all the energy comes from."
• "It smells like melons, but without the taste of melons."
• "It isn't very good."
• "Awww! That is horrible!"
• "I think I just had a seizure from drinking this. But in a good way."
Where to get them: We got ours at the Fox production lot in L.A. But they're widely and randomly available from online retailers.