Editor’s Note: These products were provided to us as a review sample by Dogfish Head. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
When I think of canned cocktails, my brain conjures memories of overly sweet malt beverage concoctions snuck from the grownup’s cooler at summer cookouts. There are the Mikes Hard Lemonade’s and the Hornsby’s Hard Ciders that many of us garnered our first alcohol experience from. Few of these heavily sugared drinks have thrilled me. Then Dogfish Head went ahead and fired up their stills and put their mixologists to work to craft a set of carbonated, flavored, made from scratch cocktails and the game changed.
Dogfish Head is not new to me. In fact, the last time I reviewed them I was less than thrilled with the results. This time however, I feel they are in their wheelhouse. They have crafted drinks that are tasty, refreshing, and bubbling with nostalgia.
Tasting Notes: Blueberry Shrub Vodka, Strawberry & Honeyberry Vodka, Cherry Bergamot Whiskey Base Spirits
Vital Stats: 40% ABV. These base spirits used to flavor the canned beverage are not available as standalone products–yet.
Review: These sophisticated takes on infused spirits are well balanced and flavorful on their own. The vodkas lean towards a bit of an herbaceous quality. I recommend that if you have the opportunity to sample these raw cocktail fixings that you pour them over ice. The dilution punches up the refreshing nature. These infused spirits are nice if you are not looking for the soda-like experience of the scratch made canned versions of these drinks. Well balanced and light on the sugars. The alcohol sings on the palate while the fruit plays backup in all the right ways.
Tasting Notes: Strawberry & Honeyberry Vodka Lemonade Cocktail, Blueberry Shrub Vodka Soda Cocktail, Cherry Bergamot Whiskey Sour Cocktail
Vital Stats: 7% ABV, these are similar strength to a good beer. Distributed in about 12 states currently.
Review: All are refreshing and carbonated, with a gentle sweetness that leaves you wanting another sip. The Strawberry & Honeyberry Vodka lemonade sparkles with a fruit forward flavor that is not overly sweet. The Blueberry Shrub Vodka has a more subtle, herbaceous quality if you are looking for something less sweet. The Cherry Bergamot Whiskey Sour was my favorite but is the sweetest of the three. What’s nice about this one is that the whiskey is front and center but not overpowering. I am not a huge fan of sugar drinks and rarely if ever drink soda. But these made me smile. As the weather heats up, the world begins to slowly churn back to life with the promise of outdoor BBQ’s and campouts, these are a perfect addition to the adult beverage cooler. You can feel like a kid again, drink like an adult, and have similar calories and carbs to a standard beer.
Final Thoughts: Whether you are looking for base ingredients to punch up your own mixed drinks or looking for a Spring/Summer beverage for your weekend gatherings, keep an eye out for these tasty drinks. They are a wonderful addition to the flavored, canned adult beverage market that will not feel overtly sugary or gimmicky.
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As the creator and writer of “Johnny Scotch”, John Dover has built his Jazz Noir world from the music he is immersed in on a daily basis and from his travels across the US as a professional musician. John continues to build the “Johnny Scotch” library through short stories, and...