Monday, August 8, 2011

Pitch Black hits a sour note on the Mountain Dew scale

Hey, where'd all the light go? I can't see in here. It's so dark, so dark in here. Maybe that's because it's... MOUNTAIN DEW PITCH BLACK out there. Fueled by the light of fanboy desire, the lights come up, but can the beverage live up to its hype, its reputation and its ability to save mankind?

It can't. It's just not very good.

When the initial Mountain Dew Pitch Black train rolled through in 2004, I didn't actually drink pop, I never got the chance to try it. But in the following seven years, I did relapse back into the sugary goodness of pop. And so, for seven years, I waited, patiently plotting the demise of various Mountain Dew related executives if they didn't bring Pitch Black back. I kept thinking things like “Brett O'Brien, marketing director for Mountain Dew, you better bring it back, or I'll be the one who Does the Dew, if you get my drift.” (That meant I would kill him).

This proof is a little easier to solve
than Fermat's Last Theorem.

My vaguely illegal thought crimes seemed to have worked, as Pitch Black recently hit store shelves again. But there's a problem. You see, Mountain Dew plus grape, should be an easy equation for awesomeness. On one side, there's a highly caffeinated beverage (Which I love), and on the other, there's grapes, which are quite possibly the world's greatest fruit.

I love grapes. I love them to the point that as a kid, my friend's dad called me “Grape Ape.” With that grape-earning cred stated, I must say Mountain Dew Pitch Black, with a “blast of black grape” is not grape. The closest flavor I can describe it as is honey dew melon. And since I cleverly call that fruit “Honey EW Melon,” I found my satisfaction with the beverage severely lacking.

I suppose I can't really blame the company, I mean the honey dew melon lobbying groups are ones with extreme power, and they probably held massive sway over the entire Pepsi corporation, but they should have just made a honey dew melon drink. They could have even called it “Pitch Crap” to let everyone know it should not be consumed by humans.

But merely tricking people into consuming the equivalent of a disgusting fruit was not enough for the Pepsi Corporation. They chose a variety of other ways to mess with rational people's senses.

Pitch Black's messed with my vision, because it's not actually black, or anywhere close to it. When I heard the name, I thought it would be black. And therefore, the deepest, darkest of blacks. I wanted it filled with ring wraiths, Johnny Cash and should be like the Rolling Stones' only good song. I wanted a black hole that had eaten another black hole, making it into some sort of irradiated super black hole.

I got purple.

Ideal coloration of something with the name
"Pitch Black."
Purple isn't black. Black is black. Purple is purple. There's no mathematical proof that can change that equation. I realize this might sound petty, but when they've already messed up the flavoring of something that should taste good, I can freely bitch about minutia.

It also smelled like chili cheese dip. A very un-grapelike smell... it actually doesn't, but I wouldn't put it past Pepsi to do that on future iterations of this accursed drink.

To recap, Mountain Dew Pitch Black, with grape flavoring is neither grape, nor is it black. And it's debatable if it's actually Mountain Dew. That right there is the utmost in naming failure, because nothing holds up even after cursory consumption. Unless they were going for irony.

Luckily, Pitch Black is a limited edition, it will soon be gone from the shelves (and according to Wikipedia Wikipedia has already vanished, except in New Zealand). So if you see that misleading, bad product sucking up the shelves of your local grocer, don't worry, it will soon be gone. And until that time occurs, you can find solace in creating your own Pitch Black with separate purchases of 1. Mountain Dew and 2. Actual grapes. It's not the most complex of recipes, but it tastes a heckuvalot better than that melon-y abomination.

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