Secret Diaries of Dr. Victor Drankenstein Ch. 18: On the Joose
I’ll just be honest here, normally I wouldn’t bother dusting off my lab coat for a Joose review. Not that it’s necessarily bad or anything, it’s just that the flavors tend to get released in lockstep with their main competitor Four Loko, so there’s just no reason to bother. Except for Dragon Joose I guess, but I got that mostly because I’m a sucker for things about dragons-even drinks, apparently. And even that just ended up being grape. Nothing to write the Internet about. Now Sweet Peach Iced Tea and Mango, that’s super exciting right? How about if I drink both? Yeah, now we’re talking!
Alright, let’s start with this peach tea. It’s a paltry 8% ABV instead of the usual 12%, which I normally avoid. To be honest, it makes me feel like I’m getting scammed. Nobody’s picking this up because it’s the most convenient delivery method for their daily sweet tea fix; if you’re shopping the “GET WRECKED: TWO BUCKS” cooler down at the corner store, you are a man on a very specific mission. Most drank brands seem to have these random 8% flavors, and I for one demand to know why! My research powers have turned up nothing, and I’m not exactly surprised there. When it comes to the science of drank, I pretty much am the research. So what’s the deal here? Does that extra 4% just not take with some flavors? The people need to know.
Opening up the surprisingly sturdy can (seriously these Joose cans are like adamantium) and taking my first drink, I’m momentarily caught off guard. It’s non-carbonated, which is weird for me as far as malt liquor goes. I mean, the tea-inspired versions are always non-carbonated, but somehow it surprises me every time. Maybe that’s the reasoning for the lower ABV here? Without CO2 to provide any sort of drag, this thing could be pretty deadly. I already accidentally drank half of it. It’s not even that great, it’s sort of like drinking the syrup out of a can of peaches. Which I always do! Granted though, it’s not a flavor I’d normally want 24oz of. But it’s just so smooth! Flavor considerations kind of go out the window here, it’ll be gone before I know it, and whether I like it or not.
Okay, it’s gone-lasted about five minutes. Two dollars well spent I guess? I can’t say I’d recommend it. To simulate the experience on the cheap, go pick up a can of peaches at the store. You can get halves or slices, whichever you prefer. Now sit in the corner and rub them vigorously on your face, while you sob quietly and sing along to this music video. Next!
Okay, bring on the Mango! Ironically (is this actually irony?), Mango Joose is a 12% ABV version of a flavor that otherwise only exists in Four Loko’s new Poco Loko line, which are not only lower ABV but also smaller cans as well. So whatever financial slight I may have endured with the Peach Tea, the good folks at Joose have made up for here. So…I…wait a minute. Ah, jeez. I just realized I actually reviewed that Mango Poco Loko. It’s right here! This is pretty embarrassing. Okay, did you read it? I did, and it looks like mango flavored drank is the way to go. Let’s see if it was safe to add that extra 4% back into the mix!
Before we get down to the tasting though, I just noticed that the flavor as listed on the can appears to be “Ma’s Mango”. The “Ma’s” is all sideways and in a different font, but there’s no way it’s not part of the name with that placement. Is mango a flavor people generally associate with mothers? I’d have thought the tea would’ve been a more appropriate match. Is there a subset of drunks out there looking to get hammered on something that’s just like mom used to make? Just speaking for myself, when I’m reviewing malt liquor for the Internet at noon on a weekday, mom reminders are the last thing I want. She must be so proud.
I’ve had to take a few drinks just to make certain, but I’m going to have to say that Mango Joose is probably not as good as Mango Four Loko. That review up there was pretty rave, this is nothing to really get excited about though. It’s not exactly terrible, and it’s markedly better than the peach tea. Yeah though, I’m thinking my theory on some flavors just not being able to support 12% may have been correct. There’s some mango in here somewhere, to be sure, but it’s mostly like drinking a bucket full of Smirnoff and Sour Patch Kids. Joose’s flavors tend to be pretty much 1:1 with their Four Loko counterparts in my experience, so I doubt it’s just a case of wonky artificial flavoring. Even though the smaller can size and lower alcohol content may not allow you to get as crunk, I fully recommend the Poco Loko take on mango for all your tropical bender needs.
I guess overall, avoid Joose? I’m surprised to find myself saying that, in all honesty. I’ve never had anything against the brand and to be fair I will pretty much drink anything that moves. These are both pretty mediocre though. I’ve already reviewed a better mango flavor, and if you want some weaksauce hard iced tea made for delicate ladies, you could always go with Mike’s. In closing, seriously if anyone has any drank ideas throw ’em my way. The market just isn’t keeping up with me, so I’m open to suggestions if there’s something I’m missing. Specifically, if you know where I can get my hands on some Night Train, or if there are any scofflaws out there willing to mail me some, let me know. Help support the malt liquor and bumwine research and archiving movement! It is an important cause, and if we don’t do it, who will?