Veryvell is the first foray into the CBD wellness space by lumbering giant Molson Coors, better known for their cheap beer than their adaptogenic sparkling waters.
But, having seen the writing on the wall and realizing that millennials and zoomers now demand their foods and beverages to be “functional,” aka mildly, psychosomatically stress-relieving to deal with the relentless turning of the screws by late stage capitalism as civilization crumbles, Molson Coors rebranded from “Molson Coors Brewing” to “Molson Coors Beverage” and enlisted cannabis juggernaut HEXO Corp to co-found a subsidiary called Truss Beverages.
So on the one hand, this is a corporate CBD sparkling water paint-by-numbers: get some weird flavors, load up on the adaptogens, slap on some bland colors and fonts, and viola: functional beverage!
On the other hand, well, these are all of our buzzwords! We’re slaves to the zeitgeist and need all the chill functionality we can get.
Today we’re cracking open the Veryvell Grapefruit Tarragon, which promises to “boost your clarity” with 20mg of CBD, plus ginseng and guarana extract.
Ginseng is a famed root, used for millennia in traditional medicine, which may help boost cognitive function, calmness, and even math skills.
Guarana is another brain-tickler: the seed of the fruit of an Amazonian vine which, like the Amazon itself, contains a cornucopia of bioactive compounds, including caffeine, theophylline, theobromine, tannins, saponins and catechins.
We don’t know exactly how much ginseng & guarana is in this: the label doesn’t say. But if nothing else, the placebo effect is a real thing, and we consider ourselves easily influenced. Let’s boost our clarity!
The nose on this is all grapefruit, a truly fleshy, sour, white grapefruit. If we didn’t know better, we’d swear we were sniffing a glass of fresh-squeezed juice.
On first sip, though, the tarragon is present with full clarity, its anise-like herbal hues washing through the garden of our mouths, licorice-y and deeply complex.
The grapefruit then thunders in, super sour and pithy. This is not your ruby red, or even your pamplemousse: this is the tart heart of citrus paradisii in all its puckered glory.
The Tarragon Grapefruit is an astonishingly intense and sophisticated flavor experience, and while we personally might have chosen a slightly more ruby grapefruit to help balance the dank, fecund bitterness of the herbal ingredients, the whole thing just roils with wild, spicy, woody, citrus, vegetal and bitter dimensionality.
It’s a sipper. One lil sip is enough to contemplate for a good few minutes.
There’s something about it that’s almost unpleasant at first. In a desentized Sparkling Water world where Bublys fizz like Pez rather than their fruit counterparts, and LaCroix’s watered down expressions have an entire generation thinking grapefruit tastes remotely like nothing, it’s astonishing to be drinking something so close to the actual experience of shoving your tiny serrated spoon into actual citrus flesh and receiving the subsequent pucker in your mouth.
If you’re coming to this one for the grapefruit, be forewarned that the tarragon is equally present: your mouth gets that distinct anise-like vague anesthetic effect and the fennellyness is pronounced.
If you’re coming to this one for the clarity boost: you’ve come to the right place. The Veryvells are pretty potent, and this one is no exception. Guarana revs you up, ginseng keeps you in your lane. The CBD keeps you from feeling like you need to run a marathon while you’re at it.
In a world where new CBD and “functional” beverages crop up daily like adaptogenic weeds, this Truss offering feels like a masterfully crafted and thoughtful addition to the conversation, both as a flavored sparkling water and as a beverage that functions as it promises.
Damn, Molson Coors, you’ve won us over.
Carbonated Water, Broad Spectrum CBD (Hemp Extract), Natural Flavors, Ginseng Extract, Guarana Extract
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