I've never really given up my quest to find Mountain Dew Pitch Black.
I'm well aware Pepsi doesn't make it anymore.
I guess I look at it like those guys who hunt the Loch Ness Monster. They still believe. They've dragged the entire loch with a fleet of boats towing state-of-the-art sonar and found nothing. But, yet, they still believe they'll find it.
If you're not a regular peruser of HalloweenAddict.com, read my post from last year HERE to get caught up on my quest.
How did my quest begin again, you ask?
Well not only was it getting closer to Halloween, a time when I become aware that I'm not buying cases of the Mountain Dew Pitch Black in anticipation of its "Limited Edition"-ness, but I was in a convenient store and spotted a new flavor of Mountain Dew.
The flavor was called "Ultra Violet" and it ONLY came in Diet.
I'm not a big Diet soda guy, but I'm a bit of a fanatic about Pitch Black, so I grabbed a bottle.
I had been fooled by the last Dew-mocracy buying up all three flavors running for er, "soda Office" and being let down by all of them and their berrilicious flavors.
My leap in logic this time was "Well 'violet' is a shade of purple, and purple is the color of grape soda and Pitch Black was just a caffeinated grape soda so maybe THIS is it!"
I got further excited by finding out that Mountain Dew Ultra Violet was a limited flavor, only being on sale from August 10th - October 19th. That's right around Halloween!
I took my first sip and though it didn't seem Pitch Blacky, and was definitely diet-ey, and it wasn't tooooo bad. Maybe my taste buds were hiding behind denial... or hope... but I drank the whole bottle and thought... "Huh. Maybe this is just a diet version of Pitch Black?"
I find the masses to be a better litmus test for judging a soda that perhaps time has tricked my taste buds, so I dove onto the wide wide world o' webs.
My first (and really ONLY) trusted stop was BevReview.com and, sure enough, Steve Tanner had already posted a review of the latest Dew monster. You can read all about it HERE.
Though the review is pretty positive, there is no mention of it tasting anything like Pitch Black. In fact his description of the flavor as "... a light berry flavor..." rather than a grape-tasting flavor, pretty much put the nail in the coffin on this one.
To make a silly soda quest article a little longer and in the interest of science, I thought I would do a taste test or "Pepsi Challenge" so-to-speak between AMP Traction (which is the closest Pepsi product I've found to Mountain Dew Pitch Black) and the new Mountain Dew Ultra Violet.
First: color check.
On the left in the photo is AMP. On the right, Ultra Violet. As you can clearly see, AMP has more purple punch to it. It's almost opaque.
The Ultra Violet really is more of a lavender and pretty transparent.
As far as comparisons to Pitch Black: winner--- AMP.
But taste... well that's a different story. And, really, without having a fresh can of Pitch Black, this study shifts gears a bit and becomes more about which tastes better, not which one tastes closer to PB.
I gave the taste test to someone who had never tasted Mountain Dew Pitch Black.
We started with Ultra Violet.
Her first comment: "Smells like dish detergent."
After her first sip she shook her head disgustedly and exclaimed "Oh god! That's awful. You know what it tastes like? In the '80s when they had grape Bubblicious gum, and you chewed it too long so that most of the flavor was gone. It tastes like that."
Noted. And an excellent analogy, too.
Then we moved on to AMP.
Her first words: "Mm. Smells like grape."
After the sip: "Oh that's good." She sips again.
"Oh I could drink that."
Let me throw in my 2 cents as a Pitch Black fan. Though I do believe that AMP Traction tastes similar to Mountain Dew Pitch Black, I still find it to be missing something.
I believe that "something" is that it's not carbonated enough, or that it's missing the citrus kick that most Mountain Dew sodas have. I can't tell.
It would make sense that AMP Traction is less carbonated than a soda. It's technically an "Energy Drink" and they're mildly carbonated so you can drink them quickly.
I'm finding the "bite" that Ultra Violet gives as more appealing but my tastebuds aren't sophisticated enough to know if it's the Aspartame aftertaste of the Diet drink, the carbonation or the mystical Mountain Dew citrus flavor that makes me prefer Ultra Violet to AMP Traction these days.
Well there you have it. Let's recap:
To they layperson: AMP tastes better than Ultra Violet.
To someone who loves Pitch Black, AMP tastes closer to Pitch Black than other Mountain Dew sodas.
To ME... I'm liking the Ultra Violet these days, though I know it's not close to Pitch Black at all.
As Ultra Violet IS only out for a limited time, I am officially designating it my Halloween soda of the 2009 season. Why fall in love with something knowing it will go away soon?
Well, in the words of the great poet Bret Michaels from the Poison ballad "I Won't Forget You": "It's better to have lost at love, than never to have loved at all."
UPDATED: Further confirmation that there will be no Pitch Black this Halloween comes from the official Mountain Dew Twitter feed @mtn_dew HERE. Two questions from Twitterers received the same exact answer:
"hey [name], unfortunately, no plans for a return of pitch black this halloween"Hmmmm... they do say "THIS Halloween"... perhaps next? See? There's that "hope" again...
ALSO: Wanted to throw in a link to this spectacular Diet Mountain Dew commercial that parodies the horror genre. Watch it HERE.