Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Rainforest Cola

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]


  1. Rainforest cola tastes awesome!

  2. Oh, good! I'm glad you enjoy it. I actually gave one to a friend of mine, and he really liked it, too. I figured that there had to be some people out there who like it. I just didn't personally favor it.

    Thanks for the feedback. I always love to hear differing opinions. I just checked your link, by the way, and I love your site. I'm officially a fan.

  3. I just tried this last night (got mine at Big Lots too) and didn't like it at all.

    Funny thing is, that's kind of a compliment coming from me, because I don't like cola. So if I don't like it, it probably means it does indeed taste like cola! And this reminded me of cola enough that I just plain didn't like it.

    You can tell I don't have a palette for taste testing this stuff though because I don't remember a prominent acai flavor in there! I'll stick with acai juice I guess :)

  4. I just shared a can with my daughter at lunch today. Also purchased ours from Big Lots. It was super-carbonated. With no prior acai experience, I can't say that it tasted of acai or not. It was an odd, cola-ish taste for me. It was okay. Like you, I can't really say what I didn't like about it; it was just strange. Maybe what I didn't like is that it didn't taste like Wild Cherry Pepsi -- my favorite! LOL

  5. Oh yeah, and my teen daughter and I joked about the strange taste coming from the tree frogs used in the making of this drink... ;-)

  6. I like it, too, and I wish they would sell it here regularly. I got mine at Big Lots, and I know that when they're out, that will be the end of it. It's a lot healthier than regular colas. I wonder if part of the reason you didn't like it is because of the stevia? It has a sort of flat taste that carries through.

  7. I can see why you didn't like it.
    It a taste you have to get use to.
    But for me I love it and just got two more today.

  8. i have two 24 pack acai cola drinks and i think their the best just because its good for u...

  9. Just bought one myself. haven't tried it but it doesn't sound like I will like it because I was hoping for mostly cola flavor..

  10. Bought the only 4 they had at Big Lots in Richmond, KY. I'm drinking my 2nd one now. Diet Ale 8 is the only carbonated beverage I normally drink, but being a lover of acai juice I had to give it a try. Gotta say I really like its light refreshing taste. Just hope I'll be able to find more!

  11. Well, you never know. You may be pleasantly surprised.

  12. Liked it. It's great ice-cold, very sharp, just sweet enough and never flat.