Review: Mountain Dew Typhoon

Update: Mountain Dew Typhoon returns for a limited time starting May 2011

Finishing off our look at the 3 new Mountain Dew flavors which are a part of the DEWmocracy 2 campaign, it’s the red-hued Mountain Dew Typhoon. This flavor, along with Mountain Dew Distortion and Mountain Dew White Out, will be voted upon to become a regular part of the Dew lineup. This is just like the last DEWmocracy vote (Summer 2008), where Mountain Dew Voltage prevailed over Mountain Dew Supernova and Mountain Dew Revolution.

While Distortion and White Out were purely from the “School of Citrus Flavor”, Mountain Dew Typhoon skews closer to “Fruit Punch University” in approach. Granted, that in itself is a citrus-oriented learning environment, but this flavor is probably the most distinctive of the three DEWmocracy 2 flavors. I’m not sure if you’ve been keeping track, but have you noticed the trending with both blocks of DEWmocracy flavors? DEWmocracy 1 featured 3 entries that all reflected “berry” flavors, while DEWmocracy 2 is definitely the “citrus” installment. The skeptic in me questions all this “you choose the flavor, design, color, etc” stuff when it’s pretty obvious that the folks at PepsiCo are steering these campaigns towards a product release that obviously fits into a certain pre-planned niche, no matter what is selected.

To save you from reading too much more (though we would encourage it!), we’ll tell you what we think. All 3 DEWmocracy 2 flavors are weak and can’t really hold a candle to the lost flavors of the past (um, hello… Pitch Black!) And even comparing this second generation against the original DEWmocracy is sad, because the sophomore effort leaves a lot to be desired.

That said, if we had to choose based on taste, our vote would probably go towards Mountain Dew White Out. However, it’s also our opinion that given the muted flavor and odd coloring of that drink, it probably would be the product to fail most severely in the marketplace. Which is why if we were to vote based on what we think will be commercially successful, we’d throw our weight behind Mountain Dew Typhoon… with one caveat.

Change the color!

How stupid is it to introduce a product that could be a real Dew flavor and have it match almost identically in color to an existing successful product… Mountain Dew Code Red? Give Typhoon a new color and maybe we’ll have something that will stand out. The reds are too close in hue right now.

Back to the taste, of the three DEWmocracy 2 flavors, it by far is the most distinctive, featuring a very sweet taste highlighted with a touch of pineapple tartness (which matches the scent). Yes, there’s quite a bit of a syrupy flavor, which is part of the odd choice in taste as well as the use of high fructose corn syrup — wouldn’t a DEWmocracy be awesome with a flavored sugar entry on par with Dew Throwback 1 or Throwback 2? The front part of the sipping experience is quite good with the influx of tropical punch flavor, while the backend is where things fall part somewhat with more of a fake mouthfeel.

Like the color of the drink itself, the primary color on the label is red with secondary yellows and purples rounding out the look. Once again we get the illiterately-spelled “‘Mtn Dew” logo, sitting on top of a subtle “sunburst” design in the background. Yellow bubbles sit to the left, while a dark “swirl” design owns the right side — the trademark callout on the back of the bottle calls this the “Mtn Dew Typhoon Landscape.” “Typhoon” is spelled in all caps on top of a classic hurricane icon you may see on your local weather forecasts (well, if you lived someplace that had hurricanes… we don’t get many here in Chicago.) This drink is formally described as a “Punch of Tropical Dew”. A note on the bottom of the label mentions “Design by Dew fan: Shanea Wisler.” The plastic 20 oz. bottle we reviewed was clear, with a standard PepsiCo imprinted “swirl” pattern on the upper half.

The top of the label portrays a silver band asking you to “Choose the Next Dew” and “Try All 3 and Vote at”. Text and phone voting has now come into play, as proclaimed by the following callout message: “Vote for Mtn Dew Typhoon at or call 1-888-292-9418 or text 509 to MTDEW (68339). Standard rates may apply.”

The text number 509 is significant because it’s the code assigned to the beverage during the early stages of the DEWmocracy process before the drink had a color or name.

Mtn Dew Typhoon packs 280 calories in a 20 oz. bottle, with 105 mg of sodium and 76 g of carbs — all of which are sugars. It contains 4.55 mg/oz. of caffeine, which is the same as the previous DEWmocracy flavors, however those also included ginseng for extra punch. It’s on par with original Mountain Dew which has 4.5 mg/oz. In contrast, the two Mountain Dew Game Fuel flavors from Summer 2009 (Horde Red, Alliance Blue) contained 6.0 mg/oz of caffeine.

What else is inside? Here’s the ingredient list…

Mountain Dew Typhoon
Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, natural flavor, sodium benzoate (preserves freshness), gum arabic, caffeine, sodium citrate, glycerol ester of rosin, calcium disodium EDTA (to protect flavor), brominated vegetable oil, Red 40, Yellow 5

As we mentioned earlier, while our taste preference lies with Mountain Dew White Out, we feel that Mountain Dew Typhoon is the most commercially viable of the DEWmocracy 2 flavors… if they can somehow solve the shelf confusion problem with Code Red. The edgy, fruit punch quality delivers a distinctive pineapple-infused taste that currently is not found in the Dew lineup. But we’d still prefer Pitch Black to return!