Dragon Tail Energy Cola
One of my favorite stops to make when going into downtown is Rocket Fizz, a nostalgia soda and candy store in a very tourist section of Denver. There are a bunch of these scattered throughout the country – and the idea of vintage soda shops are getting more and more popular. I love that it is a shrine to sugary drinks – and can never manage to walk out withut spending a cool twenty on silly odds and ends and a couple specialty sodas.
There is a problem though – not nearly enough energy drinks. It is not like I am expecting them to be the Energy Drink Outlet – a mecca of energy drinks located in South Lake Tahoe, California. One of these days I am going to make it out there like a pilgrimage, but for now I will have to settle for the 10 minute scoot to Larimer Square. One of the few extra-caffeinated drinks I found at Rocket Fizz is Dragon Tail energy cola – one of the cooler energy drinks I have seen around. Looking sinister is a black labeled drink with bright red lettering and a cool chinese dragon shining out from the front. This is made by Orca beverage, the ones who produce Dads Root Beer, along with a bunch of fun vintage-looking sodas.
Dragon Tail comes in brown glass bottle – looking much like a beer only much cooler. From what I understand there are a number of different Dragon Tail formulas that now hit the market, but so far, the only ones I managed to get hold of is this pretty red bottle. It is one of the prettier bottles I have seen in a long time, with dark dragon scales setting itself of in the background. You can tell just form the bottle design that this is an energy drink, even before you read the warning label telling you this is not for kids on the side.
This leads to the only real drawback for this whole package, the complete lack of caffeine content on the bottle itself. I think the whole design and layout absolutely rocks, but just telling the public that this has caffeine and guarana but not saying how much is in here is a complete waste. I let my kids drink Doctor Pepper, which also has caffeine in it. But, they also print their caffeine content on the can so I know it’s not enough to wire them up. Not listing it here is inconsiderate, seeing as this is sold in soda stores and places kids like to go and buy sugary drinks.
This is supposed to be a lightning cola tea flavor, and so immediately my mind goes to the only other drink that compares, China Cola. China Cola, for those people who have never entered a natural foods store before, is the most popular natural cola made by Reeds, the ones behind Genger Beer. But unlike China Cola, which is made from licorice and about a hundred different herbs, Dragon Tail is made to taste like cola from the mysterious “natural and artificial flavors” ingredient. This just means that instead of coming up with their own cool cola taste from unique herbal flavors, they just used the stock Cola flavoring.
And it tastes like it too.
Now that does not mean it tastes bad – at all. It actually tastes decent – but it is not like you just opened up a Virgils or Red Bull Cola. This tastes like a cola should and does, with no surprises at all. I was hoping that the addition of green tea extract in here would alter the flavor profile to give it a sharper green-tea-bite, but all I really got out of this is a decent sweet fizzy cola
Now because I wanted to give this a fair shake, I bought a four pack of these to try on different occasions to really judge the energy found in here. There is quite a lot of cane sugar in here too, so the rush of energy could be coming from that just as much as the caffeine and guarana added in here. However, I can honestly say that Dragon Tail does the job of perking a person up very nicely.
Twice I took these into boring meetings only to find myself alert and awake through the presentations and paid close enough attention that I saw how un-boring the material actually was. I found I skipped my afternoon coffee cravings too, so my guess is there is at least 100mg of caffeine in here, if not more. As a sometime treat – Dragon Tail is perfect. The only thing that would make this a real winner in my eyes is an addition of a less caloric version – something to cut the 160 calories inside this 12 ounce bottle.
While Rocket Fizz might be working on bringing in caffeinated treats, I am very happy with Dragon Tail, and am looking forward to being able to give the other flavors a try too.