Review: Mountain Dew Dark Berry


Last year around this time, we were triumphing the limited edition return of Mountain Dew Pitch Black, which was featured over the summer as part of Pepsi’s “Back by Popular DEW-mand” campaign. This year, Gotham City gets into the flavor game with Batman-themed Mountain Dew Dark Berry. They are different drinks, but perhaps “Black” paid a visit to Gotham City and shared just a bit of its flavor profile.

Mountain Dew Dark Berry

Mountain Dew Dark Berry

As we’ve reported in our preview stories about Mtn Dew Dark Berry, this drink is part of a large-scale marketing campaign for Warner Bros’ The Dark Night Rises, the last in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy. While The Avengers got a selection of Dr Pepper cans, Bruce Wayne apparently prefers brands that have spelling issues (As for Spider-Man… well, he’ll have to settle for Pop-Tarts).

Video: Rule the Streets with Dew (Source: DewGothamCity.com)

PepsiCo has not only rolled out this limited edition flavor for 8 weeks, but they’ve also introduced special 16 oz “thermochromic” cans filled with regular Mountain Dew that feature a color-changing bat symbol based on temperature. They’ve slapped a Batman logo on Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s NASCAR vehicle, which incidentally won a race last weekend. And finally, they’ve launched a rather substantial online destination at DEWGothamCity.com that provides prizes for redeemable codes, as well as access to content related to the franchise.

Packaging availability for Dark Berry

Packaging availability for Dark Berry (Source: PepsiCo)

Dark Berry is available in 20 oz plastic bottles (depending on region, the standard Pepsi 20 oz PET shape or the newer “Sidekick” model), 12 oz cans sold in 12-packs, and 2 liter plastic bottles. Our 20 oz sample featured a somewhat metallic finish on the label, which when combined with black & white photography, creates an urban look. The “Mtn Dew” logo stands out in blue and red colors, with “Dark Berry” proclaimed as the flavor underneath.

Not the most imaginative of names

Not the most imaginative of names

Officially, this drink is described as “Dew with a Blast of Mixed Berry.” The last time we saw something with a “Blast of Mixed Berry” was Amp Energy Elevate, may it rest in peace. Diet Mountain Dew Ultra Violet also claimed a “Mixed Berry” tagline.

Mountain Dew Dark Berry

“I’m Batman!”

In the background of the label is Batman (shocking, I know!), along with a bit of cityscape, and The Dark Knight Rises logo (“Only in Theaters”). The back contains an advertisement for the online portion of the promotion, where you are encouraged to “Rule the Streets with Dew.” There’s just something about that phrase that seems odd. (Do you have a moisture problem in your city? Why so much dew everywhere?  Is it slippery?)

Visit the website. Enjoy movie marketing.

Visit the website. Enjoy movie marketing.

The drink itself is dark purplish-blue in color, but more vivid than what we found in Mountain Dew Pitch Black. Like more Dew drinks that are colored blue, we can thank our friends Red 40 and Blue 1 for their food dye contributions. The scent is berry-oriented, but weaker than what you’d find in Mountain Dew Voltage.

Regarding the flavor, I was expecting something along the lines of Voltage, Game Fuel Alliance Blue, or Revolution. One of the marketing materials used this description:

Rising up to join the Mtn Dew family this summer is Dark Berry Dew, a mysterious and exceptional purple beverage infused with black and blueberry flavor on top of the distinct Dew taste you know and love. It’s the perfect drink to accompany your adventure into the Streets of Gotham City… so grab some at your favorite grocery or convenience store while you can.

In contrast to my perceptions, I found Mountain Dew Dark Berry is not be the syrupy, sweet berry flavor I expected. Rather, the taste was far more subdued and less sweet. I’d actually say that the flavor profile was better defined as containing elements of grape. Personally, I feel that Dark Berry has more in common with Mountain Dew Pitch Black than Voltage or other berry-flavored line extensions. The drink starts out with a subtle grape front end, then dissolves over your tongue to a more recognizable blueberry flavor. It’s not like any current Dew available, but it seems to share a heritage with those that appeared before it.

Only in Theaters

Only in Theaters

It’s not a revolutionary flavor, and if it was available permanently I couldn’t see it building an audience (which is somewhat sad, given that we live in a universe where LiveWire and White Out still exist for some reason). However, as a limited time offering, Dark Berry is brings a nice grape/berry twist to the Dew franchise, making for a refreshing summer break from the boring flavors you have the rest of the year. I could care less about the Batman tie-in, to be honest. I think DC (and Warner Bros) is just hoping that Marvel (and Disney) doesn’t have the upper hand by the time summer is over, and if it takes insanely crazy marketing campaigns linked to carbonated soft drinks, so be it!

Recommended… so go find it while you can!

Mountain Dew Dark Berry
Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, natural and artificial flavor, sodium benzoate (preserves freshness), caffeine, sodium citrate, gum arabic, calcium disodium EDTA (to protect flavor), Blue 1, brominated vegetable oil, Red 40

A 20 oz bottle contains 290 calories, 105 mg sodium, and 77 g carbs (77 g sugars). Caffeine content is 4.55 mg/oz, roughly the same as standard Mountain Dew.

Official Website: DEWGothamCity.com

Full Disclosure: This beverage was provided compliments of PepsiCo