Representing the "mixed berry" flavor of the 3 new Amp Energy line extensions hitting March 2008 is Amp Energy Elevate. Like its Amp Energy Traction sibling, the flavor seems to bring back memories of another retired PepsiCo product.
Feel like reliving the taste of Pepsi Blue? While that long lost 2002 marketing flop saw a hint of its taste return in the Summer 2007 limited edition Pepsi Summer Mix, it seems to find more of a native home as part of the mixed berry flavor in Amp Energy Traction.
While the can is blue, the drink itself has more of a purplish appearance, much like a light-colored grape flavor would. The scent is very sweet and hits of a berry, Kool-Aid-like experience. Think liquid SweetTarts. And tart is something that does factor into the flavor as well. It's not painful or anything, but it isn't a smooth "berry" flavor either. In this case, it works. There's probably a bit more flavor present than I'm hinting at, but the Pepsi Blue vibe just hit me when I first tested this energy drink.
As Pepsi's positioning has previously noted, each of the 3 new Amp Energy spinoffs feature something a little different in the way of supplements, giving each a dedicated "purpose." In the case of Amp Energy Elevate, that purpose is to "Focus", accomplished with the addition of L-Theanine, an amino acid typically found in tea. According to Wikipedia, L-Theanine "has been shown to reduce mental and physical stress, may produce feelings of relaxation, and improves cognition and mood when taken in combination with caffeine."
Like the original Amp Energy and Amp Energy Overdrive, Amp Energy Elevate contains maltodextrin (74 mg per serving vs. Amp/Amp Overdrive's 55 mg per serving), ginseng (17 mg vs. Amp/Amp Overdrive's 10 mg), taurine (148 mg vs. Amp/Amp Overdrive's 10 mg), guarana (124 mg vs. Amp/Amp Overdrive's 150 mg), and B vitamins. The addition of L-Theanine comes at 12 mg per serving and is apparently a brand name version (Suntheanine).
Amp Energy Elevate contains more caffeine than the original Amp Energy and Amp Energy Overdrive, breaking down to 10 mg/oz., in comparison to Amp/Amp Overdrive's 8.875 mg/oz. (Standard Mountain Dew contains 4.5 mg/oz.)
A full ingredient list is as follows:
Amp Energy Elevate
Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, natural flavor, citric acid, taurine, guarana seed extract, sodium benzoate (preserves freshness), sodium hexametaphosphate (to protect flavor), caffeine, maltodextrin, gum arabic, niacinamide, panax ginseng root extract, L-Theanine (Suntheanine® brand), calcium pantothenate, Red 40, calcium disodium edta (to protect flavor), brominated vegetable oil, caramel color, riboflavin, Blue 1
Like Amp Energy Traction, the can design of Amp Energy Elevate has changed when compared to Amp drinks of the past. It sports a blue/black color scheme, with a similar-styled "Elevate" logo sitting under the familiar "Amp Energy" name and icon. Reflecting PepsiCo's intention to distance Amp from the Mountain Dew brand, a smaller Dew logo appears in monochrome towards the bottom right portion of the can. The association is still there, but not as prominently as well the brand was "Amp Energy Drink from Mountain Dew" or even in more recent iterations where the Dew logo was still featured in full color under the Amp logo. The 16 oz. size doesn't note the previously used "Tall Boy" size brand either.
Text under the secondary logo panel lays out the following:
Bring your mind to a whole new level to keep connected, focused, and alert. Sharpen your game — the power of Amp Energy with a blast of mixed berry and a kick of L-Theanine.
Amp Energy Elevate – More Power To You
As is the tradition with other Amp Energy beverages, the pulltab reflects the primary color of the can, in this case… blue.
Overall, I liked Amp Energy Elevate. The flavor was good, it reminded me of an old favorite in Pepsi Blue, didn't taste too much like an energy drink, and had a nice bitter/Dew citrus element that tasted somewhat familiar.