On paper, Monster Ultra Black has the potential to be great. It is a limited edition with striking packaging in a successful and popular line of drinks. Despite being a winner on paper, Ultra Black falls short in taste and kick. Disappointment aside, it is by no means a bad drink. Its biggest weaknesses are really just average and there will be a fair share of drinks that end up scoring below this. High hopes come up short sometimes, and that's okay. Let's just hope the next time Monster (or any other brand) has great packaging that the taste is up to par.
Taste is probably the weakest part of this drink. It's a shame too, because the rest of the components are there. That's not to say the flavor is bad, just disappointing. If you've read my reviews or had a couple different zero sugar Monsters you know that they all have a very formulaic base flavor with minor accents respective to each flavor. Ultra Black follows the formula, however, the accents underwhelm. According to Monster, "Black" is a reference to the black cherries grown outside of Chicago. Despite the nice backstory, I was unable to detect any cherry flavoring. The flavor as a whole doesn't have any distinct features and I find that to be the primary issue. It's inoffensive but slightly bland.
I'm a sucker for black and red. Monster Ultra Black absolutely nails it.The black base color with the red and silver accents looks sharp. Aesthetics aside, the usual can attributes from Monster's zero sugar line of drinks apply. Attributes such as the grippy texture on the outside and the tall skinny 16 fl oz. form factor, which are personal favorites. Hopefully Monster adds Ultra Black to the lineup permanently, because it's a looker.
Monster Ultra Black has an 137mg of caffeine. All other zero sugar Monster drinks have 150mg according to Monster's website. In the wild I've seen some of the Monster zero sugar drinks that have 140mg, but never 137mg. Odd. I am curious what Monster's thought process was during the creation of this drink. Regardless, the limited edition has 13mg less of caffeine than the regular drinks in the lineup. Ultra Black is definitely not the strongest Monster out there.
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