Review: Duff Energy Drink


Guest reviewer and fan of The Simpsons Michael Denham chimes in with this take on a familiar brand from the animated series.

Boston America, a beverage company based in Woburn, Massachusetts, is known for producing licensed novelty products. Among other things, they’re behind the real-world version of Tropic Thunder‘s Booty Sweat, an energy drink sporting Mario’s visage urging drinkers to “Power-Up!,” and Pop-Secret popcorn-flavored lip balm. Now, after successfully selling it in a 2007 promotion for The Simpsons Movie and yielding to popular(?) demand, Boston America has revived Duff Energy Drink.

For those unfamiliar with The Simpsons, Duff is the fictitious brand of beer that Homer Simpson is particularly fond of. For obvious reasons, Duff’s real world counterpart is something less legally regulated but almost certainly just as potentially harmful to your health: an energy drink.

The can, modeled after Matt Groening’s in-show depictions, has the trademark Duff logo and red/tan color scheme that pervades Springfield’s bars.

Inside, the amber-red drink is about what you’d expect from an energy drink born specifically for tie-in purposes: it smells a bit citrusy and tastes a bit bitter. The closest item on the market I could approximate it to would be Rockstar Energy Drink, with its biting taste dialed back. An even fainter bitter aftertaste lingers around after each sip. Overall, not something to phone home about.

Each 12 oz. can has 160 calories and a hefty 40 grams of sugar. It’s chock full of B vitamins, giving you 50% to 1000%(!) of your daily recommended values of the various B varieties. It also has a full gram of taurine and 120 milligrams of caffeine, comparable to Rockstar. (Hmm… tastes like Rockstar, smells like Rockstar, has the same makeup as Rockstar… there’s an analogy to ducks in here somewhere, I can feel it.)

In the end, the most that can be said about Duff Energy Drink is that it’s a wonderful novelty to have on your shelf if you’re a Simpsons fan… and a wonderful can to look at on the store shelves if you’re not.