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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  • Jeremy

    SP May 11th, 2007 1:09 pm
    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.
    In reply to this, your still getting a rip off. The company’s suggested retail is 99 cents, youre paying $1.50 each lol.

  • Dave

    Not only does their stupid truck violate noise code, it spews air pollution in a city whose poor neighborhoods already have shockingly high childhood asthma rates. And the space the truck takes up slows down other cars so they pollute more. The execs who thought of and authorized this campaign should drop dead, and quick.

  • Trevor (costa mesa)

    “An 8.3 ounce can of Red Bull contains 80 milligrams of caffeine.”

    since the howling monkeys come in 16 oz, the statement from the company of the caffeine being comparable to red bull is true. However one has to wonder if that includes all the OTHER types of caffiene (ginseng, etc) or not.

    let me just say this.. there is no such thing as a healthy energy drink. They are bad for you, just like soda is, end of sentence. energy drinks are a waste of money. If you feel like you are low on energy or need a wake me up, try eating something healthy instead of just cosuming caffeine.

    Take protein for example, Most neurotransmitters are made from amino acids obtained from the protein in food you consume. Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals that motivate or sedate, focus or frustrate.

    energy bars with protein are a great source of energy and don’t have caffeine. I have drank soda all my life and now i have acid reflux from all the caffeine, i have to take prescription medicene or I throw up excess stomach acid. its not from just soda but, believe me caffeine is Not good for you, anyway you look at it.

    It’s a drug, in fact, it’s the most popular drug in the world. It’s good but just don’t abuse it and don’t waste your hard earned cash on 2 dollar drinks when water is free and better for you. Drink some odwalla or naked brand juice if you want to waste cash on an exspensive drink.

  • just got back from deer hunting and was crazy thirsty. picked one up and tried it. once i got home seen that it had quinine in it…..has anyone ever looked up what quinine is?? it may taste ok but i would never drink it again.

  • Crystal
  • JWizzle

    I love this drink it’s a dollar for a 16 oz can it tastes surprisingly good considering every other energy drink is like 2-3 bucks this is currently my favorite and i used to drink monster all the time this is good replacement

  • yourlocaldrugselling lawyer

    Quinine is a medicine used to treat malaria. the only FDA approval for the medicine is treatment of malaria. Quinine was recently pulled from the market because it was used “off-label” (meaning without FDA approval) for restless leg syndrome, or leg cramps.

    I find it interesting that the can states Quinine on the front, but there is no mention of quinine in the ingredients list.

    Also interesting is the idea that it has “pure caffeine” in it. yet the caffeine is listed as part of a revitalizing blend, with no mention of the amount of caffeine.

    Crazy! Good luck to all who drink it! hopefully you don’t end up like fig.3!!!!

  • adam

    I get howling monkey for 99c a can in pickerington ohio.

  • I’ve been hooked on this stuff ever since finding it in the most ghetto bodega in all of Brooklyn a few months ago. I still love the 99 cent Arizona Energy shots…but for the same price, you can have 60% more caffeine with a Howling Monkey…and besides…look at that fricken’ can! Its like a Coney Island sideshow. I want howling monkey t-shirts and paraphernalia, now.

  • I love this stuff- not because of the taste or the caffeine content, but because of the hilarious graphics. A crazy monkey? Count me in! Any idea where I can find this stuff? I haven’t seen it in a while.

  • David whitwood

    i had been drinking numbers of energy drinks over the years working graveyard shift at a gas station and it wasnt till i found howling monkey when i was visiting my bro in olympus, washington that i found the one that gives me the kick i needed to get through the night and the next morning without the jittery feeling and without the crash. Howling monkey is a kick ass energy drink and would recomend it to anyone

  • Jeff

    anyone know where to find it in Indiana, or somewhere
    near Chicago????????

  • Billy

    well they have it up here in michigan and to the guy that said is better then monster…this is one of the worst energy drinks ive had..maybe it was a bad batch..or maybe they just suck lol

  • Albert

    this is the best energy drink ive had. i was buying it for 99 cents at some mom and pops store. i cant find it at 7-eleven anymore. im sad, i moved and i cannot find it anymore! im in the bay area, and im pissed at this company! but i want some! >.

  • Scott D. Whitney

    I would appreciate a name And e-mail address of the powers to be in the New Product And Developement department Thank You

  • SFarlz

    i’ve been drinking howling monkeys for a while now and i personally love them. they taste great and you cant beat the pricing. but i only know of 2 little stores in my area that sell them an i’ve heard that they have been discontinued!!?? i was trying to find out if that’s it completely? or will i be able to find them online to purchase?? i dont want to spend time trying to find another drink that i like, i’d love to find out how i can get ahold of some howling monkeys so if anyone can let me know…i’d appreciate it.

  • Meldon

    I’m in Western Michigan and I was told today at a gas station that they are being discontinued. They were even sold out of them already and not getting any more in at one gas station. Another gas station I asked didn’t know anything about it, but I bought 15 of them just in case.

  • errrite

    um no word on caffine content? how bout the huge label on top that says caffine charged? durr okay george.

  • acc

    their official website doesn’t say anything about them being discontinued.. you’d think they’d mention it up there, if anywhere!

    anyone know of any online place that sells these? i know of one 7-11 that’s a bitch to get to that actually stocks there. everywhere i go i ask if they have howling monkey and they always give me weird looks.. it’s seriously easier to get some coke than this stuff!

  • jo

    hey i was just wondering if you guys have any howling monkey stickers or not . if you don’t can u please tell me where to get some. that would be great. thank you

Last Modified: September 20, 2017