Bomba Coconut Energy Drink (in a Glass Grenade-Shaped Bottle!) (Big Lots)

A stock image of Bomba Coconut Energy Drink, from Big Lots
If you like coconut, you will probably like this one a lot more than I did.

I HATE coconut. I don't think I'm even in the minority here, because it seems that at least 50% of all people in the world don't like it. I think it all comes down to texture: I just can't stand the flakiness, which feels kind of like I'm chewing on wood shards, while the disgustingness of the flavor itself is magnified by the terrible consistency. (I should also mention that a childhood incident, and the first time I ever tried the stuff, didn't help: A babysitter gave me a bon-bon and, I took a small bite, immediately taken aback at how unexpectedly horrible it tasted. After all, the chocolate led me to believe it was going to be sweet! Not wanting to cause a scene, I shoved the whole thing in my mouth, chewed it for what felt like days, and went against my gag reflex by swallowing it all in several agonizing installments.)

However, as much as I hate the fruit itself (and it feels wrong to call something so gross a fruit), I do like artificial coconut flavorings. Coconut rum, for instance, is pretty tasty. Coconut candy can be pretty good. It kind of tastes like suntan lotion, but that also brings back positive memories of summers at the beach, and who doesn't love a good visit to the ocean?

So heading into Bomba's Coconut energy drink, I honestly didn't know what to expect, because it could go either way. The scent is pretty accurate, with strong notes of suntan lotion giving way to a rather authentic finish that did not excite me. I gave my wife, who was eagerly looking forward to this one above all other flavors, the first sip, and she seemed pretty enthusiastic about it, so that got my hopes up a little bit...until I tried it for myself.

It's not as disgusting as authentic coconut, but it tries its damndest to be, with a flavor that starts of kind of citrusy, then moves on to the lotion-y taste for a second, before once again veering off into a finish that isn't quite bitter, but definitely isn't sweet. Fans of authentic coconut will probably get a kick out of it (as my wife did), but I was left quite a bit disappointed. I'm three flavors in (out of five) and this is far and away my least favorite, and the only one that, even at $.33, I would never try again.

Overall: 4/10. The small price tag at Big Lots, along with the cool package design that I've been harping on, are about the only two pluses, as the coconut flavor is a little too realistic for my tastes. It starts of citrusy and kind of sweet, with the carbonation adding in some refreshment, before it veers off into a more typical “suntan lotion” flavor for a couple of seconds; that gives way to a finish that borders on the bitter. Again, I do not like authentic coconut flavor (but do enjoy coconut rum and other artificial tastes) so take my opinions with a grain of salt, but this is the only flavor of Bomba so far that I would never get again, even at this ridiculously low price.