MTN DEW Purple Thunder Is the Best Kind of Abomination

The berry-plum soda has the potential to join Baja Blast in DEW canon.

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Graphic: Lillian Stone, MTN DEW/Circle K

When a beverage takes on the hue of Fabuloso All-Purpose Cleaner, there are two possibilities: Either it’ll taste really bad or it’ll taste really good. That’s the risk I took when sampling MTN DEW Purple Thunder, the newest member of the DEW clan. The Very Purple Beverage (VPB) debuted yesterday in an exclusive partnership between MTN DEW and Circle K convenience stores and is said to combine “the mouth-watering flavors of blackberry and plum for the ultimate berry combination.” Spoiler: I tasted exactly zero notes of blackberry, and barely a whisper of plum. Instead, I tasted what can only be described as pure purple. And that, friends, is exactly what I wanted.

What is MTN DEW Purple Thunder?

MTN DEW Purple Thunder is the latest addition to the DEW lineup, on offer exclusively at Circle K convenience stores. Per a press release sent to The Takeout, the beverage is the result of “a continuous mission to create the best flavors with the best partners,” meant to tempt the citizens of DEW Nation with a “delicious flavor twist of blackberry and plum.”

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Purple Thunder is the second in a recent influx of berry-flavored soda releases. Take, for example, Dr. Pepper Dark Berry, currently midway through a marketing campaign that is centered on individuals named “Barry.” (Manilow, among others.) Unlike MTN DEW Purple Thunder, Dark Berry features notes of black currant and black cherry—but the berry-licious trend seems to be advancing.

Also: I’d be remiss if I failed to mention the MTN DEW Purple Thunder bottle design, which features a biker gang composed entirely of aggressive humanoid fruits. The press release notes that the fruits are “enjoying the sweetest ride of their life.” (We get it, MTN DEW—you’re partnering with a gas station.) But would tasting MTN DEW Purple Thunder be the sweetest ride of my life?

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A lot going on here!
A lot going on here!
Graphic: MTN DEW / Circle K

What does MTN DEW Purple Thunder taste like?

First things first: When you look at this soda, your brain says “grape.” Intellectually, I knew that Purple Thunder is not a grape soda. But I still experienced a zing of cognitive dissonance when I took a swig and did not, in fact, taste grape soda.

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Instead, I tasted something better. At first sip, Purple Thunder packs a lot of the sharp, acidic, wakey-wakey awoooooga brilliance of MTN DEW Baja Blast. It’s got that same carbonated bite up top, sending a cascade of ultra-flavorful bubbles zipping over your tongue. It’s a blast, baby! Yeah!

But unlike Baja Blast, Purple Thunder settles into something softer. At first, I chalked it up to the round, juicy sweetness of the blackberry contrasting with the tart plum. But then I reminded myself that this beverage likely contains no actual fruit whatsoever—and that is just fine.

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I eat plenty of fruit. If I’m reaching for MTN DEW, I’m seeking a flavor utterly foreign to the natural realm. I’m looking for a fizzy lifting drink akin to the one that nearly sent Charlie Bucket soaring to his violent demise. I’m looking to power-wash my palate with a flavor that would boil a Neanderthal’s innards. MTN DEW Purple Thunder does just that, managing to pour up a softer, juicer version of Baja Blast. If Baja Blast is for shaggy-haired skaters, then Purple Thunder is for shaggy-haired skaters who wear tasteful floral prints.

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In fact, Purple Thunder is so damn good that it makes me wonder: Does this purple goblin of a beverage have the same kind of staying power that made Baja Blast America’s sweetheart? Like Purple Thunder, Baja Blast began as an exclusive partnership with one brand before taking the nation by storm, eventually resulting in a retail release and boozy spinoff. There’s only thing holding Purple Thunder back from that kind of acclaim: the fact that thirsty customers must physically walk into a Circle K to acquire the product. That could, unfortunately, keep this vaguely berry-flavored wunderkind from getting the attention it deserves.

For now, MTN DEW Purple Thunder is now exclusively available at Circle K stores on fountain or in 20-oz. bottles. My advice? Get it while you can.

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