[Review] Howling Monkey: Sugar Free Energizing Cola

Howling Monkey. Quite possibly the greatest name choice of any brand in the history of Earth and yet this stuff seems to be ever elusive from the hands of even the most adamant of energy drink collectors. It’s almost impossible to find, though if you ever came across the fantastically designed circus-themed can it would be hard to miss. And as you can tell by the title of this post, I’m not even reviewing the actual energy drink, instead an energy cola that is simply an offshoot from the original product. I’ve never seen any Howling Monkey products besides this with my own eyes, and I happened across this by chance at my local Big Lots.

Straight from the can:

Sugar Free Howling Monkey Cola is made from an astonishing blend of energy boosting ingredients, multi-vitamins, and delectable flavors which stimulate your mind, body & taste buds.

Warning: Extraordinarily potent, not recommended for children, expectant mothers, the stimulant-sensitive, or the faint of heart.


After popping the top of the extremely amusing can, you’re met with a very generic cola scent. Crisp and very light, it reminds me of Diet Pepsi, though with some traits of Diet Rite mixed in as well. The aroma does not exactly tickle my fancy, as Diet Pepsi is one of my most hated colas of all time. Diet Rite on the other hand is something that I thoroughly enjoy on the occasion. Actually, now that I think of it, the aroma is very similar to Rockstar Cola, which I really didn’t like (that review is by Everyview contributor Brandon Majors, I left my opinion in the comments section).

The flavor is pretty awful, one of the worst-tasting colas I think I’ve ever had. Take that with a grain of salt, though, because I am very picky about which colas I enjoy. My palate is very strict in that regard, and anything that isn’t Diet Coke rarely earns my approval. Still, I’ve let more than a few friends sample the drink and they all agree. This is nasty shit. It reminds me of flat Pepsi, only a bit more syrupy in consistency. I’m really bummed out about it, because I really wanted to like it. I wanted to be able to proudly carry this awesome can around, proclaiming my fandom of Howling Monkey Sugar Free Cola. Instead I have to shamefully smother it with a pillow and toss it in the trash. I was going to work my way to a dead baby joke here, but after reading over it even I was taken aback by the grizzly horror I wrote down. I’m fucked up.

Anyway, Howling Monkey is off to an awful start. Sadly, things continue downhill with the kick. It claims to be “extraordinarily potent,” but in truth it’s just extraordinarily mediocre. The boost lasts about two hours and ends with a very slight crash. The two hours of kick are very weak, but contain very trace amounts of jitter. Very disappointing.

Howling Monkey Sugar Free Cola comes packaged in a two serving, 16 oz can. I can’t make much of a statement on value, as the only place I’ve ever seen it sold was at Big Lots in a six pack for $3.00. While that is certainly an impressive savings, Big Lots prices don’t count. And since I can’t find anywhere online or otherwise that sells this stuff for the SRP, I’m going to have to issue an N/A for Value.

Final Words:

Disappointment is probably the best word I could use to describe this. I really, really wanted to enjoy it. The can is absolutely awesome, the product’s brand name is fantastic, and I love supporting indie drinks and underdogs. Howling Monkey’s Sugar Free Cola is just not an enjoyable product, at least in my very honest opinion. I’m still going to hold fast for the opportunity to one day be able to try the regular cola, or even better the original Energy Elixir. I’m not going to let this product down my hope that at least one of those products will be amazing. Here’s hoping!


  • Utterly awesome brand name
  • Insanely entertaining can


  • Literally everything else
  • Can’t find this stuff ANYWHERE!

Score: 4.3/10 (Bad)

Aroma: 5.0/10
Taste: 3.0/10
Kick: 5.0/10
Value: N/A

2 Comments to “[Review] Howling Monkey: Sugar Free Energizing Cola”

  1. By Angelo Biagas, November 13, 2012 @ 7:27 PM

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  • Tweets that mention [Review] Howling Monkey: Sugar Free Energizing Cola | Caffeine Critic -- Topsy.com — July 19, 2010 @ 10:28 AM

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