With the major tentpole release of Halo Infinite and the title skyrocketing into a lot of Xbox Tavern writers’ top 5, I decided to find the one angle that no other writer had bothered to go for: reviewing the Halo XP booster Rockstar flavours.
Well, one YouTuber reviewed them, but who watches YouTube anyway?
The drinks were put through a series of rigorous tests, I drank them. I then reviewed them based on the following criteria: Aroma, taste, mouth feel, and overall impression.
So, without further ado here we go:
Rockstar Fruit Punch
This sleek metallic red can made a good first impression when I saw it in my local convenience store. It was on sale, so that also helped.
Aroma: A sharp acidic smell, like watered down turpentine
Taste: The taste is immediately arresting, imagine the smell of a leaking battery transformed into a flavour. The artificial Cherry dominates what is supposed to be a fruit punch. Fine for people who like the idea of quaffing liquid cyanide, but everyone else is going to struggle.
Mouth Feel: Impressive, my taste buds were deeply numbed after one sip. I could imagine this being useful for people in hot pepper eating contests that need to dull their senses to extreme heat. Everything I ate for the rest of the day was tinged with this horrific Fruit Punch effect.
Overall Impression: I was overwhelmed, it was ridiculous how bad the first taste of this drink was. But, like the UK’s alcoholic beverage of choice Special Brew, I was deeply concerned by how each subsequent taste actually got worse. No matter how much I thought I had no sense of taste left, this drink continued to find new parts of my mouth to assault.
I would never drink this again unless a gun was put to my head. Actually, I might let them pull the trigger instead of drinking it.
Rockstar Fruit Punch Zero Sugar
A snazzy white can with the Master Chief emblazoned on it. I didn’t have anything funny/pretentious to say about it.
Aroma: Menacing, but not as extreme as the Fruit Punch. The methylated spirit aroma is hinted at rather than fully embraced.
Taste: I always thought having less sugar made things worse, but the Zero Sugar seems to have weakened the sulphur elements of the sugar-full version.
Mouth Feel: There is a strange syrupy aspect to it, like a buttery chardonnay mixed in with lemon curd but with the bottled essence of spiritual violence.
Overall Impression: The more subdued nature of the Fruit Punch Zero Sugar makes it a better choice. Gun to my head and I had to pick between Fruit Punch or Fruit Punch Zero Sugar, I would pick the latter. Secretly, I would hope that the person holding the gun would slip, accidentally pull the trigger and either kill me or destroy both cans. I would take either.
This is the drink that I first had back in 2005 out of a Montreal depanneur. It was a game changer, I thought Red Bull tasted bad, but Rockstar one-upped them in every aspect. A black can, embossed in gold that looks like it houses deodorant, it might as well.
Aroma: The whiff is vaguely reassuring. The fake smell hints at a bygone age when men were men, and energy drinks were designed to make you never want to put anything in your mouth ever again.
Taste: It is hard to put a finger on what flavour they were going for, sweetened motor oil is probably the closest approximation. Somehow, though, kind of good.
Mouth Feel: There is the same syrupy effect that Rockstar seems enamoured with. This one seems especially cloying as it sticks to the molars, in a sinister ‘we are going to destroy your enamel’ way that made me instantly want to brush my teeth.
Overall Impression: I didn’t hate this Rockstar flavour, in fact, I would drink it again… Maybe.
Rockstar Pure Zero
A white can that could easily be mistaken for the Fruit Punch Zero Sugar. Which, for me, is like a Russian roulette situation in any shop. Except in this simile, it would be like loading a gun with a bullet and then loading it with a second bullet.
Aroma: The smell makes me think of a burning ocean after a catastrophic offshore spill. Pungent and cloying in the same way that you see those sad seagulls covered in crude petroleum.
Taste: It is very much the same flavour as the original, only sadder in every way. The can says that it has grapefruit in there somewhere, I did not realise that grapefruit is supposed to taste like expired cough medicine.
Mouth Feel: The stickiness of the original is replaced with a sharp bite. The closest I was able to compare it to is when I’ve burped too hard and for a second my stomach regurgitates stomach acid/bile.
Overall Impression: This might be the least bad experience I had with the Halo XP line. It wasn’t one that I overly enjoyed, but it wasn’t one that made me want to pull out my own teeth to distract me from the punishment of drinking. Yes, the one that had an aftertaste like an acid reflux reaction was the best one.
I was not able to find the Blackberry/Goji version of the Halo XP boost, so my research is not exhaustive. However, based on my current experience, I can surmise that Rockstar is a distinct brand with varying flavours that feel like reliving past deaths on each sip. I am astounded that they have managed to secure their niche as the beverage that people drink when they hate themselves, and that this seems to be popular enough for their continued existence.
For Halo fans… Maybe get into Apex Legends instead? Monster has a deal with the EA battle royale and is a much more bearable thing to burn your brain and sense of taste with.Become a Patron!