My history with acai-based beverages has been a bit shaky, at best. There have been plenty of acai drinks that I have liked, and an almost equal number of those that I haven't, so I picked up Sambazon's energy drink with a sort of reserved hesitancy. But, in the end, I was glad that I gave it a try, as this one definitely falls into the "have liked" list.
Just as a preliminary note, Sambazon does offer a regular calorie version of their all-natural Amazon Energy concoction. I don't normally go for the low-calorie versions of drinks, as they almost always harness the less tasty power of artificial sweeteners or some form of Stevia. The latter is the case with Sambazon's "lo-cal" energy drink, as some of the evaporated sugar cane juice has been replaced with a Stevia extract alternative. Given my consistently poor history with Stevia, I was fairly worried about trying the low calorie version first, but it was the only option available to me at the time, so I decided to go with it anyway.
And I have to admit, it's really not that bad. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the Stevia actually sort of works with this drink. There are only a few drinks about which I have been able to say that, and Sambazon seems to be one of the companies that really understands that a little bit of Stevia goes a long way. The taste of the acai is also very strong and natural, which I actually found to be very tasty and pleasant on the palette. The acai berry can be a bit strong, as it has a fairly pronounced tartness, and by itself (or when overused in a beverage) it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. Luckily, Sambazon is really on the ball when it comes to acai (as you would expect from a company that specializes in the fruit), and the mix of ingredients in Amazon Energy creates a very unique and pleasant flavor that is diverse enough to cut the tartness of the acai without detracting from the natural taste of the berry. The acai berry's unique taste is still very present in this drink, but the other ingredients make it more recommendable as a "beverage for everybody" than something like a straight acai juice that is more pure to the source.
Overall, I think that this is a great drink, especially for those who like the taste of acai. It is strong enough to appeal to fans of the berry, while still being mild enough to appeal to those who may have not yet developed a taste for the fruit. And it's USDA certified organic, to boot. Definitely check this one out.
Purchased: Big Lots [Greenwood, SC]
Size: 12 fl. oz.
Price: $0.60 [Discounted; comparative price of $6.98 for a 4-pack]