Monster Beverage’s packaged tea line designed to compete with Arizona is called Peace Tea. We previously explored the history of the brand in our review of Peace Tea Razzleberry Tea. Today, we look at their Arnold Palmer clone, known as Peace Tea Caddy Shack.
Arizona’s Arnold Palmer Half & Half lineup, consisting of products featuring a mixture of tea and lemonade, has been a huge success, with new flavors and expansions continuing to grow the line (such as the recent Arnold Palmer Half & Half Strawberry). The company expanded their golf theme when they added a lemonade line under the Jack Nicklaus name. Thus, it’s no surprise that when Peace Tea launched their own tea/lemonade combo, they also utilized imagery associated with the links. Monster trademarked the phrase “Caddy Shack” (#85127350) in 2011, no doubt trying to piggyback association with the 1980 golf comedy film, Caddyshack (note the difference of 1 vs. 2 words in the product names).
Once again, the Peace Tea product comes in a 23 oz can, featuring artwork that conveys both the peace movement as well as golf. In fact, the peace sign is flashed by a set of fingers wearing golf gloves. Clearly labeled above the brand name is the product description of “Tea + Lemonade.” This space is typically reserved for the product flavor in the Peace Tea lineup, but for this drink, “Caddy Shack” gets its own logo placement below the brand. Because of this treatment, it would not be a surprise to later see various Caddy Shack subflavors, just like Arnold Palmer.
When poured into a glass, Caddy Shack takes on the same appearance as other tea/lemonade drinks, with a light brown appearance with a notable lemony scent. For the purposes of this review, I sampled an Arnold Palmer Half & Half side-by-side with Peace Tea Caddy Shack. Right of the bat, it should be noted that the Peace Tea offering utilizes cane sugar and sucralose as primary sweeteners, while Arnold Palmer uses high fructose corn syrup, sucralose, and acesulfame potassium. Palmer notes the use of black tea, while Peace just references “tea.”
In general, a tea/lemonade combination should have a mix of both flavors, with the bitter & depth of the tea flavor accented by the smoothness of lemonade, which helps to cut down the bitterness a bit. Different drinks accomplish this mixture in various ways. For example, the Arnold Palmer has a strong black tea base flavor, which is found at the front of the mouth during sipping. As the flavor passes over the tongue and finishes, the sweetness of the lemonade flavor comes through. In effect, however, the tea flavor tends to dominate over the lemonade.
In contrast, Peace Tea Caddy Shack is lemonade-driven, with an overall higher level of sweetness throughout. Lemonade dominates the flavor at the start, which then is cut by the tea kicking in towards the finish. While the Arnold Palmer provides a pretty constant flavor experience throughout a sip, Peace Tea features a unique rise-and-fall of sweetness. There’s a slight aftertaste associated with the artificial sweetener, but it’s not strongly noticeable. Overall, the different flavor of Caddy Shack is not bad by any means, just different from the competition. Those who prefer a sweeter half & half combination may want to set their tastebuds on the Caddy Shack iteration. It’s a good drink, while slightly differentiating itself from the established brand in the category.
Peace Tea Caddy Shack
Brewed natural tea (pure filtered water, tea), sugar, apple juice concentrate, lemon juice concentrate, citric acid, natural flavors, sodium citrate, sucralose
A 23 oz can contains 143.8 calories, 57.5 mg sodium, and 37.4 g carbs (37.4 g sugars)