As soon as I poured the juices into separate glasses for a Sugar taste test, I could tell the difference.
While V8 was thick and pulpy, Mott's was thinner and more transparent, reminiscent in texture of a juice nectar rather than a traditional purée. The two smelled different. Even in a blind taste test, Katie, a longtime V8 drinker, could tell her old favorite instantly. "Oh, this one smells like classic V8," she said assuredly upon first sniff.
She was right. It possessed the recognizably vegetal aromas, like celery, that we've come to associate with V8. Mott's, on the other hand, had an enticingly spicy smell, one that's piquant enough to water the back of the tongue in the same way that a nice, tangy bloody Mary does.
Although Mott's tasted a bit aggressively saltier than the standby V8, it was actually hard to choose a winner. In fact, a quick label check revealed that Mott's had the lower sodium content: 410 mg per cup, compared to 480 for V8. Choosing a winner was difficult.
At the end of the day, it really comes down to taste. Which do you prefer: a mild, thick vegetable juice, or one with no pulp that's got a pleasant kick? Ultimately, we decided V8 gets the win for stand-alone vegetable juice — although Mott's would be spectacular in a bloody Mary. Veggie juice drinkers: what are your thoughts?