Ranking Four Loko Flavors From Worst To Best

Known for containing more than five alcoholic beverages in one can, Four Loko has a unique reputation in the canned alcoholic beverage world, notes George Mason University. It's carbonated, has a beer-like taste, and yet can be very sweet. That interesting combination of experiences has led many a college student to try one of these, but be warned: Drinking an entire Four Loko by yourself is probably a dangerous idea unless you have the tolerance of Frank Gallagher from "Shameless."

Four Loko is an interesting brand, with a history that includes college controversies, FDA warnings, and, at one time, its own black market. And since we know these drinks fascinate many and don't appear to be going anywhere anytime soon, we took it upon ourselves to try (almost) every flavor the brand has to offer. After all, if you're going to take a stab at this funky carbonated drink, you should choose a flavor that is less offensive than the others. And we must say — the flavors in this taste test greatly surprised us. We even enjoyed many of them, which was shocking considering our only prior experience with Four Lokos has been overwhelmingly negative. Here are Four Loko flavors ranked from worst to best.

13. Four Loko USA

We weren't sure what to expect from a flavor called "USA." Beer, hot dogs, and other Fourth of July barbecue items raced through our minds as we cracked the can open. Upon immediate opening, the scent was very strong. It turns out that we were kind of right in being unsure what the flavor profile was going to be: The Four Loko USA flavor tasted like the inventor tried to combine too many flavors and was left with a new one that took the worst traits from all the original flavors.

This flavor tasted like if you mixed a blue raspberry slushie with beer, but put more beer than you did the slushie. Honestly, we were kind of surprised to taste the blue raspberry flavor, as the brand already carries a Blue Razz flavor that is pretty tasty. The website says the USA flavor is a sour white cherry flavor, but that didn't really come across to us. Regardless of what flavor it's actually supposed to be, it's awful. It was so bad that when we went in for a second sip, we gagged. Feel free to give this flavor to your worst enemy.

12. Sour Grape

Disclaimer: We are not fans of grape flavor, so we weren't expecting to enjoy this. Going in, we actually thought the sour element might help cut some of the grape flavor and make it more edible, but we are sad to report we didn't taste any sourness in our can. The Sour Grape flavor from Four Loko is part of its sour line, which also includes Sour Melon, Blue Razz, and Sour Apple. As you can see, the sSour Grape was the worst of the bunch. No spoiler alerts here, but at least with all the other sour flavors, you could really taste the tartness in the drink.

We're not sure what went wrong in creating Sour Grape, but it genuinely just tasted like grape-flavored liquid cough medicine with bubbles. Gross, we know. We wouldn't buy this flavor or even pick it up at a social event. After trekking to about seven different liquor stores we still weren't able to locate the original Four Loko Grape flavor, which probably says a lot considering no one wanted to even carry it in their store. Seriously, when we asked different owners and workers, they all reported that the traditional grape flavor wasn't well-liked enough by customers to even stock it. We're sure if we had the Grape flavor to try side-by-side with the Sour Grape one we might taste a little bit of sourness in the latter, but on its own, it just tastes like straight-up grape.

11. Gold

Like many of the other flavors, we were curious as to what "Gold" tasted like. Surprisingly, Gold was pretty fruity, with hints of tutti frutti. The website was no help in deciphering that, either, as it just describes the flavor as, "Tastes like gold. Not much more we can say." Cheeky jokes aside, this drink wasn't the best of the bunch, but it was tolerable. Would we purchase it over any other flavor? Probably not. But if it was a choice between Gold and any of the flavors below it on this list, we'd pick Gold.

Though we wished it had been named something more indicative of the flavor and didn't have to spend most of our time trying to figure out what we were consuming, the beer taste made it even more unpleasant. A lot of Four Loko flavors (the sweeter ones, mostly) do a fine job of masking the malt beer flavor that serves as the base for the drink. Gold, on the other hand, did not mask it. Even if you usually enjoy beer, it doesn't taste good in this context mixed with fruity flavors.

10. Black

Like Gold, we were even more puzzled as to what a flavor titled "Black" could be. We guessed maybe it would be akin to black licorice, but other than that we were out of guesses. Upon the first glance at the liquid inside the can, we knew what it was immediately: a Mountain Dew knockoff. The highlighter lime green color reminded us of toxic waste, and not in a fun "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" kind of way. On our first sip, we knew our prediction was right: It tasted exactly like Mountain Dew with a hint of beer in it. Again, we have nothing against beer normally, but mixing it with these other flavors hasn't worked out so far.

If you're a fan of Mountain Dew, there's a chance you could enjoy this, which is why it's a little further up on the list. If you are a Mountain Dew aficionado, though, you'll probably hate this, because it's so close to getting the flavor combination right but still misses the mark. You'll be wishing you had a real Mountain Dew and a small bottle of vodka to put in it instead of drinking Black Four Loko. Again, we have a major qualm with how this flavor is marketed: There's no indication on the can of what this flavor could possibly be. Sure, that's probably part of the allure of it, but we generally like to know what the flavor of something is before drinking it.

9. Watermelon

We're now entering "it wasn't horrible, but we would probably pick another flavor" territory. Watermelon, thankfully, tasted exactly like what you would think — a carbonated watermelon beverage. Honestly, it was a bit too sweet for our tastes, but if you are a watermelon diehard, you'll be obsessed with this flavor.

One thing about all of the Four Loko flavors we've noticed is that they're pretty spot on with delivering the flavors promised on the can (when there's actually one listed). If it says "Watermelon," it's going to taste like watermelon. In our opinion, the balance of the flavors is where Four Lokos go wrong. This one, for instance, is very, very sweet, and we wouldn't mind if it was a little less taxing on our taste buds. It's better than the imbalance created by the gross beer taste in flavors like Gold, but the sheer sweetness ruins any chance Watermelon has of being at the top of the list.

8. Peach

The Peach and Watermelon Four Loko flavors are basically tied in our minds. They both succeeded and failed at the same fundamental things. Both flavors excelled at delivering the flavor promised on the can, but they also were just far too sweet and we wished they would've dialed it back a bit. The only reason we chose to rank Peach over Watermelon was that the Peach flavor is probably more universally likable.

If you have a bunch of friends who want to try a Four Loko flavor together (which is the way you probably should try it, since one can is gigantic and contains so much alcohol), we wouldn't recommend buying this Peach flavor over any other flavor. However, if you already happen to have this one on hand, it's not a bad introduction to the brand. The Peach Four Loko flavor is pretty standard and middle-of-the-road, hence its placement here.

7. Blue Razz

If you love popular sour candies, this is going to be your new favorite alcoholic beverage. The Four Loko Blue Razz flavor literally tastes like Sour Patch Kids, and we were happy about it. One of the things this flavor excels with is masking the beer-like flavor that's somewhat of an unfortunate signature to Four Lokos. Because it's one of the flavors in the sour line from this brand, Blue Razz is perfect for anyone looking for a sweet drink, anyone wanting a (very) sour drink, or anyone who wants to try a Four Loko for the first time. Even if you've tried other Four Loko flavors before and weren't a fan, if you enjoy sour flavors, you should give this one a shot.

The reason this variation isn't higher in the ranking is that the rest of the flavors on this list are just that good. Seriously. We were taken aback at how tasty some of the flavors were (more on that in a minute), and the Blue Razz was solid, but it didn't knock our socks off as much as some others did. In our opinion, you can't go wrong with the sour flavors (yes, that even includes the Sour Grape much lower on this list). The Blue Razz Four Loko is a carbonated (and very alcoholic) version of a slushie from 7-Eleven, and we're stoked about it.

6. Red

Once again, we were met with a flavor name that was not very indicative of what it could actually taste like. The Red Four Loko flavor had us puzzled beforehand. Would it be cherry, raspberry, apple, or some other fruity flavor? Turns out, it was cherry. We know the Four Loko website leans into the mystery of what this flavor could be, stating, "We're not gonna tell you what Red tastes like, you'll just have to try it yourself and see." We can totally see why the brand wants to lean into the mystery, as having to try out the flavor yourself can make the overall experience of it fun, kind of like a blind taste test. But, as we said before, we enjoy knowing what we're drinking before we drink it. So we're here to report, it's very much cherry flavored.

The website also goes on to tell us that we've "definitely tasted this flavor before," and that's not wrong. The Red flavor is reminiscent of anything strongly cherry-flavored item you've had before, like an ice pop or a cherry cough drop. We enjoyed this Four Loko flavor. Much like Blue Razz, it wasn't our absolute favorite because we savored some of the other flavors a lot more, but it was decent. If you have a friend who loves everything cherry, this will hit the spot.

5. Sour Melon

We had pretty mediocre expectations going into the Sour Melon flavor. Because we tried the traditional Watermelon Four Loko flavor before this one, we expected something similar. But when we tasted this one, we were quite pleased. Yes, it has some watermelon notes to it, but it's sourer than anything. And we were obsessed with that.

We found that the sour drinks cut the beer flavor significantly, while also balancing the core flavor of the drink. Sour Melon did that perfectly. We would absolutely purchase this beverage, and it's a perfect pregame drink. Instead of having to open a few different drinks, with Four Loko, you just have to open one and you (and, ideally, at least three of your friends) are good to go. Seriously, though, remember how strong these drinks are — with between 12% to 14% ABV — and stay safe. If you're prepared, though, we totally recommend Sour Melon as a solid Four Loko flavor to take a stab at.

4. Strawberry Lemonade

Now we're getting into Four Loko flavors we're really excited about and will be purchasing again in the future. We've had issues with other flavors on this list missing the mark or showing up as complete mysteries. With Strawberry Lemonade, however, we were shocked to find the creators of this absolutely nailed the flavor. It didn't taste at all like beer or alcohol — which is both dangerous and delicious. This flavor simply tasted like carbonated strawberry lemonade, and we loved that.

The lemonade flavor was tart without being lip-puckeringly so, and the strawberry added a nice fruity touch to it. Strawberry Lemonade didn't make the top three simply because we loved the other flavors more. If you are getting a bit tired of your favorite Truly Lemonades, or want to just branch out and try a new carbonated lemonade alcoholic treat, this Strawberry Lemonade Four Loko is a solid option.

3. Fruit Punch

If you were the kid who always chose fruit punch out of all of the flavors on the soda fountain at a restaurant, this is your adult beverage dream come true. Four Loko's Fruit Punch flavor reminded us of other fruit punch carbonated canned alcoholic beverages. Taste-wise it's not too far off from the fruit punch flavors from White Claw and Truly. But, again, what sets this one apart is its ABV and how many alcoholic beverages are contained in just one can.

When choosing what drinks to stock up on for your personal bar cart or selecting options for your next party or gathering, consider putting the Fruit Punch Four Loko flavor in the lineup. Even if you've never tried Four Loko before, buying one or two (or more, but remember how strong they are) can be a fun new drink to try for you and your friends.

2. Electric Lemonade

It's clear by now, but after tasting all of these Four Loko flavors, we realized that the ones with sour or tart elements were best because of how well they masked the malty beer flavor. The Electric Lemonade Four Loko was no different. We're not too sure why it's called "Electric" Lemonade other than for pizzazz and marketing reasons, because this just tastes like a carbonated lemonade.

Like Fruit Punch, if you're a fan of Truly Lemonades but are looking to try something new or something with (a lot) more punch, the Electric Lemonade variety is the one to try. Perfect for a warm summer afternoon by the pool or at the beach, you could have a cup of ice nearby at the ready and sip this bad boy all afternoon (and night, if we're being realistic). The Electric Lemonade Four Loko takes our second place because it's universally likable and delicious, but the flavor that took our top spot was just too good that nothing could top it.

1. Sour Apple

Folks, we've made it. We've reached the top spot, the best of the bunch. When choosing the best Four Loko flavor among the ones we tried, it was no contest. The Sour Apple Four Loko flavor blew us away completely. Are you surprised that one of the sour flavors in the collection took first place? Because we definitely weren't. Like the other sour ones, the bitterness in this cut through the sweetness of the apple flavor and created a pleasant balance you would enjoy for the entire 23.5-ounce can.

Even if you're not typically a fan of sour candy (we don't actually usually gravitate towards sour candy), this alcoholic drink is universally enjoyable. It's well-balanced, tasty, and will have you wondering if there's even any alcohol in it (don't worry, you'll realize after a few sips that there's plenty). Before doing this taste-testing experiment, we were skeptical of the Four Loko brand as a whole. But we wound up enjoying many more flavors than we anticipated, and are shocked but happy to say we will be repurchasing some of the best flavors again.