Review: Amp Energy Relaunch

If the orange-flavored Mountain Dew LiveWire ever became an energy drink, it would look and taste a lot like Amp Energy Relaunch. As part of the 3 new Amp Energy flavors released in March 2008 (which include Amp Energy Traction and Amp Energy Elevate, Amp Energy Relaunch seems to continue the PepsiCo strategy for Amp by borrowing flavor structures from other Dew products.

Amp Energy Relaunch

Amp Energy Relaunch

While Amp Energy Traction tastes like Mountain Dew Pitch Black and Amp Energy Elevate hints at Pepsi Blue, Relaunch brings us back to 2003′s limited-time launch of Mountain Dew LiveWire. I’ve found it very interesting that these 3 new Amp additions all seem to tie in with existing Pepsi products. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. In fact, from my personal perspective as one who doesn’t partake of energy drinks, I found it very welcoming. In fact, it might be that “everyman” approachability by casting familiar flavors in these products that ultimately help them succeed.

Upon opening the can, it’s obvious you have the orange flavor here. Hints of your typical orange soda emanate from the opening, touching on a scent that is probably most closely aligned with Sunkist. The color of the beverage is along the orange-colored lines of LiveWire.

The taste was pretty much what you’d expect from an orange soda, but surprisingly was not as fake tasting as some of the more syrupy experiences we’ve had, including Fanta Orange and Orange Crush. There was still an element of “energy drink” flavor there, most likely tied to all the supplements, but overall the flavor was a mild orange, closer to the makeup of Tropicana Twister Orange or Sunkist. My biggest issue was probably around the aftertaste, which wasn’t horrible, but there was something present at the end that just didn’t seem quite right. I’d say of the 3 new Amp flavors, Relaunch is probably my least favorite.

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 Relanch, that purpose is to “Revive”, accomplished with the addition of electrolytes (much as you would find in sports drinks like Gatorade) and B vitamins.

Like the original Amp Energy and Amp Energy Overdrive, Amp Energy Elevate contains 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. Not marketed, but also included is maltodextrin (74 mg vs. Amp/Amp Overdrive’s 55 mg). The boost in electrolytes moves up the sodium content of this drink when compared to the rest of the Amp lineup (110 mg vs. Amp/Amp Overdrive’s 65 mg, Amp Traction’s 70 mg, and Amp Elevate’s 65 mg). If you like salt, Amp Energy Relaunch is the drink for you!

Amp Energy Relaunch 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 Relaunch
Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, natural and artificial flavor, sodium citrate, taurine, guarana seed extract, sodium benzoate (preserves freshness), sodium hexametaphosphate (to protect flavor), caffeine, maltodextrin, gum arabic, niacinamide, panax ginseng root extract, Yellow 6, calcium pantothenate, salt, calcium disodium edta (to protect flavor), brominated vegetable oil, riboflavin, Red 40

Like Amp Energy Traction and Amp Energy Elevate, the can design of Amp Energy Relaunch has changed when compared to Amp drinks of the past. It sports a orange/black color scheme, with a similar-styled “Relanch” 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:

Revive and hydrate with a burst of orange citrus and an intense surge of energy to get up and get moving again. Tackle whatever life brings with the power of Amp Energy and a specially formulated energizing combination of electrolytes and B Vitamins to jumpstart your body and mind.

Amp Energy Relaunch – 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… orange.

Though I have never been a huge fan of Mountain Dew LiveWire, Amp Energy Relaunch wasn’t too bad. It had a somewhat obscure aftertaste that can probably be attributed to the increased use of sodium in the beverage, putting it more in line with a sports drink as far as experience. Still, the decent orange flavor, carbonation, and overall balance of flavor help it to stand out. We’ll see if the marketplace agrees.