Last year, the fifth brand extension of Mountain Dew was released, Mountain Dew Pitch Black. At the time, I wrote that the taste was "surprisingly good", "there is grape flavoring, though it is not what I was expecting", and "the grapeness is somewhat muted." It was a short-term beverage and did pretty well in the fall season.
And now it's back… kinda. Introducing Mountain Dew Pitch Black II!
What's the difference in the sequel? A very pronounced sour aftertaste. The packaging claims "Part II: Back with a sour bite!" and describes the beverage as "a blast of grape flavor with a sour bite." In contrast, the original was described simply as "a blast of black grape."
This new version has a similar color (purplish) and a nice grape smell. The packaging hasn't changed from the black/lime green/red/silver color scheme of 2004 either. Again, it seems Pepsi is emulating horror films and B-movies to tie in with the fall/Halloween timeframe of this drink. And it works, in my opinion.
The new flavor actually tastes more like candy now. In fact, the grape flavoring is more pronounced, with the sour aftertaste reminding me of Nerds, Spree, or Sweet Tarts. Not a bad thing, just very different. And different is what I expect with a drink like this. I thought the original Pitch Black was a bit too bland.
Overall, I like the new formulation. It's a great brand extension when you consider that it's a limited time offering. And the addition of sour is very distinctive, adding something that was really missing from the original. I give it my recommendation!