Howling Monkey Energy Drink

An energy drink called “Howling Monkey” has been spotted (in the wild so to speak). The people behind the drink – McKenzie River Corporation – are releasing this one under the radar. They are adopting 100% viral marketing by making mysterious appearances and giving away free samples.

(cc Flickr/imfaraz)

There is virtually nothing about this drink anywhere and the website tells us virtually nothing. It’s all part of the mystique and I’ve fallen into the trap by blogging about it.

Nonetheless the drink appears to have an unusual ingredient – quinine. This is found only in soda water tonic water (sorry – my bad). There also seems to be a second formulation that is an energy cola.

Howling Monkey Review

Everyone here at the EF branch offices have been all aflutter lately over the Howling Monkey. Not only because it’s the greatest name we’ve heard since Lucozade, but also because they’re so mysterious.

What is it?

I don’t know, the website is so cryptic! It must be a puzzle, like the Da Vinci code.

Whatever it is, it worked. I’m a sucker. I’ve been looking to get my hands on some of this for a while now so, needless to say, I was exceedingly happy to see my dear friend and colleague Oz walk in with a bag of Monkeys the other day. I got one can each of the Elixir, the Cola, and the Sugar-free Cola.

Caffeine Informer! Always on point, so here’s a quick rundown:

First of all, I think the cans rock. They’ve got kind of an old-timey feel that manages to have some character without looking too contrived. I wouldn’t go so far as to use the word hip, but they certainly seem to be well-received by everyone I’ve shown them to.

The instructions are illustrated right on the front to eliminate any confusion:

Fig. 1– Just your average workaday monkey–not terribly unlike you or me–looking pretty ordinary, if not a bit enervated. But wait, what’s this?

Fig. 2– Drink it. It’ll make you feel better.

Fig. 3– W00t!!!!!

Succinct. I like it.

Being that I was already pretty juiced up at the time, I opted to put those bad boys on ice (actually, in my backpack) until the next day. I wanted a clean system so that I might avoid tainting the purity of this wondrous, effervescent, simian delight.

So, the verdict: perhaps this was a case of unrealistic expectations. I liked it, don’t get me wrong, but it was pretty average if you ask me.

The cola tastes just like cola. Now, I’m told that there’s a difference between Coke and Pepsi and I can confidently say that Howling Monkey tastes just like one of them. I can’t tell which. If you can, then you’re drinking too much of that crap. Knock it off before you get diabetes.

The sugar-free cola tastes just like sugar-free cola. See above and, seriously, lay off the soda. At least Howling Monkey gives you some B vitamins and Ginseng with your pound of sugar.

The elixir was the most interesting of the group. It’s quite tart–like, distractingly tart, but I know some people are into that–with an odd little bit of a caramel aftertaste. Very sweet though. Lighter in color than the cola. I liked it better than Monster, Rockstar, etc. I realize that’s hardly a ringing endorsement, but still, I’m just saying.

Overall, the Monkey gets a thumbs up. I would probably buy this in the future. If I had to complain, I’d have to say that the buzz was average. Maybe a bit short-lived, but these things are so subjective.

The can says it’s extraordinarily potent, which is a claim that I’d have to respectfully disagree with.

Potent, maybe. Maybe remarkably potent. Maybe slightly more potent than average, but certainly not extraordinary. Then again, I may be getting jaded.

Anyways, GIVE US THE FREAKING NUMBERS. The big fiend and I have been talking about this and he says he can’t find any real info on this stuff. Luckily for you all, he’s pretty knowledgeable and his guesses are pretty close. Look at how he nailed the infamous Redline mystery. So, he’s on it. You Howling Monkey guys could help him out though. He’s got enough crap to do as it is without having to reverse engineer your confounded drinks.

Recap: great name, great can, good taste, a little light on the, uh, “Revitalizing Blend”.

There you go.

UPDATE: We have some more details on the ingredients in Howling Monkey.

Drinks are reviewed by an independent drink reviewer and do not necessarily reflect the views or beliefs of this site.

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  • Corn Videos

    nothing to say? maby nothing worth saying!

  • zach

    for most of the kids in my school who get the drink because of me they all say that they like it better then Red Bull and better then the Monstar drinks. and i personally think that it is the BEST energy drink that i have had.

  • Yeahx

    Actually it has Vitamin E and Calcium which I find pretty surprising. Right now Im drinking the diet cola that I got for free and it has the typical diet taste.

    Hey have you guys done a story on One a Day – All day Energy multivitamins? I’ve been trying to take these instead of drinking energy drinks lately and they are pretty good.

  • Quinine

    Dude! Quinine is that stuff that glows blue under black light! Right on! It’s in Tonic Water, not soda water… DAMN!

  • SB

    Drank a can last night. Got an excruciating migraine today. Haven’t had one in six years. Stay away.

  • Quinine

    Man, I am drinking a HOWLER right now! If anything, it expands my mind… your migraine must be a result of dehydration, dude. Drink some @#%#@$^%ing H20 for once.

  • Merk Ya

    I live in Cincinnati, OH and only one small store around me has this drink. I personally love it and have been drinking a minimum of one a day. It doesn’t give me a headache like all the others and also seems to help alot when I need to focus on homework.

  • Eric D

    Merk if you live in cincy the shell on ohio ave in clifton carries howling monkey

  • love this stuff

    I think the cola version was made to compete with the also pretty ulusive Rockstar cola. I like this one better though.

  • SP

    This stuff rocks! Best energy drink ever. I dont drink sugar free stuff because it can kill you but when I do allow myself to drink some sugar stuff, I DRINK THIS! There is a place by my gym that sells it 2 for $3, best bargain out there considering Red Bull’s little can is a rip off.

    Monkey rules.

  • Wacko

    Met the rep on the way through Fremont California. He gave me a cold can and a splash of Jaigy.

    Howling Monkey makes a nice bomb..

  • Monkey

    Actually, SP the stuff that kills people in diet drinks is aspartame. Some new drinks (like sugar-free howling monkey) don’t use it, but use Splenda instead which as far as I know has no known cancerous effects.

  • Vic

    I have a limited supply of this drink if anyone is interested just look up aznuzni as the seller id. I am the only one selling this item on ebay so far. I am sure you know that it is hard to find so check it out if you are interested.

  • Mfrank

    The company has an odd marketing campaign; the Howling Monkey truck with its flashy animated sides, apparently ignores all noise ordinances in its efforts to increase notoriety. We had that damn truck play its jungle beat for over an hour in Chelsea, New York tonight. The truck double parked and blasted its message at 11 pm on. Is this really the way to get good word of mouth?

  • CrazyAboutHowlingMonkey

    I’ve tried to find it – everyone seems to be out! This is ludicous! I’ve had it and like it – the sugar-free elixer, yet no one can help me find it! HELP!

  • monica

    does anyone know how long this stuff lasts once you drink it?

  • Mfrank

    Once again the truck at 9:47 pm making its noisy delivery with howling loop noise from the truck, why do companies insist on marketing that wakes up children and isn’t appropriate to noise ordinance laws in cities? Do the people who own this company have any kids?

  • akim

    Does anyone know where i can find this in San Francisco?

  • Sheryl

    I love it!


    Howling Monkey has one heck of a kick.I drove upstate NY for 3 hours straight and felt incredibly focused all the way! A great drink with no jittery feeling or crash. Crash? Oh,no!

Last Modified: September 20, 2017