Before I do the actual taste tests and tell you what I think, a quick bit about each company/product:
Irn Bru, often called Scotland’s other national drink (after Whisky for which Scotland is famous for producing) is a product of A.G. Barr more commonly known as Barr’s, and is one of their most popular products, even after changing their recipe to reduce sugar in response to a sugar tax implemented in the UK in April 2018, Irn Bru was still consistently popular, possibly even more so for a period as people bought up stock of the original recipe Irn Bru, which is still available from certain retailers who stock piled it, in fact, I bought myself a can at £3.99, which is a crazy huge mark up but I wanted it for comparison. Anyway Barr’s the Scotland based soft drink manufacturer has managed to keep Irn Bru as the number 1 selling soft drink in Scotland, beating out other brands, including Cola. This isn’t the first time that Barr’s have made an energy drink based on Bru, they released Irn Bru 32 back in 2006, I never tried it at the time so I can’t say how similar this new product is but keep reading and you’ll find out what I thought of it.
Coca Cola is a soft drink made by the Coca Cola Company, famous for the adverts at Christmas and for being over 130 years old. Coca Cola is perhaps my second favourite drink, after Irn Bru, and it’s definitely my partner’s favourite (she’s quite partial to the Cherry variant) so I was quite excited to try this product, I wonder who decided to try this first though, two large soft drink manufacturers releasing caffeine/energy drinks variants of their classic/most popular drinks, seems a little fishy? Although I suppose you copy what works, and if they hadn’t then I would have two awesome drinks to try.
Irn Bru Energy:
The Irn Bru energy drink hits you hard with that refreshing taste of irn bru, closer to the original or irn bru extra than the reduced sugar version which makes 40% sugar content per 330ml can. It’s a little heavier on the palate than regular irn bru, probably due to the caffeine and even though the taste of bru leads the charge, you are left with more of a Red Bull feeling to finish. Overall though it’s enjoyable and as a lover of Irn Bru and caffeine, long may this product last. I want to add that after tasting the sugar free version, I think it’s almost as good as the the non sugar free version, the biggest difference in my opinion is that much like Coca Cola Energy, it’s softer on the palate but it’s still good. If you enjoyed this little review, and are a fan of Irn Bru, check out my review of Irn Bru 1901, which you can check out here.
Coca Cola Energy:
The coca cola energy drink is a little softer, and a little more initially refreshing, although it doesn’t quite have the same initial jolt as the Irn Bru so it really depends on what you are looking for in an energy drink. The overall taste is Cola, although it reminds me more of Fentimans Curiosity Cola than classic Coke, but the cola taste is definitely there. Much like the Irn Bru however, you get a taste of the base product up front followed by something else, it’s kind of hard to describe other than just saying it’s a little fruity once the cola taste dissipates, but the closest I can come to a comparison is fruit flavoured chewing gum, like juicy fruit or even more so like bubbaloo once the flavour runs out and you are just chewing the gum. That might not sound pleasant but it’s like that only refreshing and quite tasty. Plus it has all that extra caffeine that keeps writers like me awake when everyone else is sleeping.
It’s closer than I thought but if I had to pick I’d say for me, I prefer the Irn Bru, it just has a little more substance but if you want something lighter without skimping on the caffeine then I’d go for the Coca Cola instead.
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