Review: Monster Energy Ultra – Ultra Red, Zero Ultra, & Ultra Blue


If you need a zero calorie version of Monster Energy drink, Monster Energy Absolutely Zero is the obvious choice. But what if you want some fruit flavor added to your sugar-free experience? Then it's time to take a look at the three flavors in the Monster Energy Ultra lineup, including Monster Energy Ultra Red, Monster Energy Zero Ultra, and Monster Energy Ultra Blue.

Monster Energy Ultra - Ultra Red, Zero Ultra, & Ultra Blue

Monster Energy Ultra – Ultra Red, Zero Ultra, & Ultra Blue

The red/silver/blue colors and flavors of this lineup seem to emulate that which we've seen with the Red Bull Editions collection of flavors, though Monster's take is zero calorie. It's also got some pretty horrible naming conventions. I mean, the zero calorie version of regular Monster is called Absolutely Zero, while two of the flavored versions are named Ultra Red and Ultra Blue, and then finally you have the pointlessly named Zero Ultra.

Seriously?

As a sugar-free subset of Monster Energy drinks, it would greatly help the consumer to somehow standardize the naming conventions on these drinks. You're throwing around phrases like "Zero" and "Ultra" but there's no hierarchy. Ultra Red is zero calorie, while Zero Ultra doesn't even describe the flavor… and so on.

Now that we got that little marketing rant out of the way, let's jump into the drinks themselves. The three colors seem to reflect the flavors of Cranberry (Red), Citrus (Zero Ultra), and Berry (Blue). Aside from the reflective claw 'M' logo, the cans are also textured a bit, with the background pattern having a very interesting feel. It's a small thing, but sets the packaging apart in a nice way. Red features a raised paisley pattern, Zero Ultra has a different paisley look, while Blue has a notable frost graphic in the background. All 3 flavors denote "Zero Calories" and "Zero Sugar" on the top band.

Caffeine content is on par with other lower calorie Monster Energy products at 8.75 mg/oz. In contrast, flagship Monster Energy features 10.00 mg/oz, while your off-the-shelf Mountain Dew contains 4.5 mg/oz.

Monster Energy Ultra Red

Monster Energy Ultra Red

Starting off with Monster Energy Ultra Red, you are greeted with a drink that is light red/pink in color and features a notable cherry-ish scent. The flavor skews towards a pleasant cranberry/pomegranate mouthfeel, though it's quite syrupy in execution, with notable artificial sweetener aftertaste. Overall, it's a pretty good flavor, with nice cranberry highlights that add a unique twist, but don't' overpower the base Monster Energy flavor.

Monster Energy Ultra Red
Carbonated water, citric acid, taurine, erythritol, sodium citrate, panax ginseng extract, potassium sorbate (preservative), caffeine, acesulfame potassium, sodium benzoate (preservative), sucralose, D-calcium pantothenate (Vitamin B5), gum arabic, niacinamide (Vitamin B3), natural flavors, salt, ester gum, L-carnitine L-tartrate, inositol, D-glucuponolactone, guarana extract, pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Red 40, Blue 1, cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12).

A 16 oz can contains 0 calories, 360 mg sodium, 2 g carbs (0 g sugars), and 140 mg of caffeine.

Monster Energy Zero Ultra

Monster Energy Zero Ultra

Moving on to the original Ultra flavor, Monster Energy Zero Ultra, this is probably the reason we have such a messed up naming convention, given that the flavor isn't noted in the name. It's a cloudy/clear color with a grapefruit-like scent. The flavor is a nice break from typical energy drink in that it plays up a subdued citrus taste. Overall it's quite pleasant, though the sweetener-prompted aftertaste is still there. This is the drink that did well enough for Monster to add both Red and Blue siblings, so this mix must be resonating with the marketplace.

Monster Energy Zero Ultra
Carbonated water, citric acid, erythritol, taurine, sodium citrate, natural & artificial flavors, panax ginseng extract, L-carnitine L-tartrate, sucralose, caffeine, sorbic acid (preservative), benzoic acid (preservative), niacinamide (Vitamin B3), acesulfame potassium, D-calcium pantothenate (Vitamin B5), salt, D-glucuponolactone, inositol, guarana extract, pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12).

A 16 oz can contains 0 calories, 360 mg sodium, 2 g carbs (0 g sugars), and 140 mg of caffeine.

Monster Energy Ultra Blue

Monster Energy Ultra Blue

Finally we enjoy a cold can of Monster Energy Ultra Blue, my personal favorite of the bunch. A light, berry-infused scent carries over into a light, berry-infused flavor. This cloudy white-colored beverage does a really great job of masking the artificial sweeteners. They are still notable, but blend in nicely with the other energy components. The berry flavor has a nice "winter" feel to it, accentuated by the can design with branches and snow. Sure, it's just a visual, but it contributes to the overall experience.

Monster Energy Ultra Blue
Carbonated water, citric acid, erythritol, natural & artificial flavors, taurine, sodium citrate, panax ginseng extract, L-carnitine L-tartrate, caffeine, sorbic acid (preservative), sucralose, benzoic acid (preservative), niacinamide (Vitamin B3), acesulfame potassium, D-calcium pantothenate (Vitamin B5), salt, D-glucuponolactone, guarana extract, inositol, pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Blue 1, Red 40, cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12).

A 16 oz can contains 0 calories, 360 mg sodium, 4 g carbs (0 g sugars), and 140 mg of caffeine.

Overall, this is a solid series of sugar-free beverages. The flavors are tasty, sweeteners aren't completely offensive, and the energy buzz is notable, but not overwhelming. Recommended.

Comments

  1. Love the marketing rant, made me laugh. Great review, very informative. I think blue is my favorite too. -Danielle Robertson, author, "Are You a Monster or a Rock Star: A Guide to Energy Drinks"

  2. Im a fan of the can or cans. The drink itself is OK for the zero calorie genre. Really dont like / trust sweeteners like sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin. THere are better, natural alternatives. When you are going for zero calorie it seems that sucralose is now pretty common.

  3. B-Rizzle says:

    The Ultra Red one pretty good. I picked up a MTN Dew Voltage flavor in it somewhere. I like Ultra Blue the best.

  4. I'm drinking a can of Ultra Red right now. Red White and last blue on fav list. Ultra Red is in fact i think my favorite Monster flavor of all or at least tied with the Orangade tea one.

  5. Blue is the best; havent tried Red, and the white one tastes like butt. Like artificial lemon and the artificial sugar taste is too overwhelming to enjoy,

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