First and foremost, I apologize for the obnoxious sticker covering up the logo on this can. Big Lots seems to have a bad habit of identifying the most important parts of beverage label graphics and subsequently deciding that that is, obviously, the best place to apply their fluorescent orange, non-removable sticker. However, it is very difficult to complain when a hard-to-find beverage is offered for only 50 cents.
Rainforest Cola is, as the can indicates, an acai infused cola. As I've noted on the blog before, acai has been on the rise lately in the beverage industry. I knew that it was only a matter of time before people started experimenting with mixing the fruit into sodas, and when I read about this one a month or two ago, I wanted to track it down and give it a try. My experience with acai flavored beverages thus far has been fairly polarized. The drinks that I've had so far have either been very good or just bad, with little middle ground. This is no different with Rainforest Cola and, unfortunately, this one does not fall on the "good" side of things.
Although I am very familiar with the flavors of both cola and acai, I could not imagine the two together. Even upon smelling the beverage, I still had a lot of difficulty formulating an expectation about the flavor of the drink. That being said, I don't know that it would have mattered if I had been able to imagine the taste, as I don't think that whatever I could have come up with on my own would have been very accurate. To put it simply, Rainforest Cola is a bit odd. I could tell right away that it was not a beverage that I was going to enjoy, but I could not immediately determine why. The drink is not offensive in any way, and the taste is not necessarily shocking to the taste buds, but there is this underlying weirdness about it that I think turns me off to the taste. Despite the drinks tastes of being an acai infused cola, the acai is very heavy and blots out most of the cola taste. I tend to think of "infused" as meaning light and subtle in flavoring, but the acai is definitely prominent in Rainforest Cola. The tart nature of the acai and the wet and refreshing nature of the cola seem to constantly fight with each other, and the flavor that results is almost coffee-like in its bitter, "dry liquid" taste.
If you are a big fan of acai, you may like this one, as that's really the driving taste here. It's certainly not a horrible beverage, and I've definitely had worse, but I really just don't think that the combination of cola and acai is a good one. The flavors seem a bit contradictory, and while I commend Rainforest Cola for taking the risk inherent in experimentation, I think that a simple and straightforward acai soda would have been a much better approach.
Verdict: Not recommended
Purchased: Big Lots [Columbia, SC]
Size: 12 fl. oz. [355 mL]
Price: $0.50 [Discounted]