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White Claw? More like White Blah
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White Claw hard seltzer. - photo by Nick Bowman

I guess it was only a matter of time. 

The beer snob in me cringed at the thought of trying White Claw. I felt like a vampire being spoon-fed garlic as I tilted the can to my lips. But I’m a firm believer of, “Don’t knock it until you try it.” 

White Claw Hard Seltzer

Alcohol by volume: 5%

Style: Hard seltzer

Bottom line: Better than LaCroix

And now I’ve tried it, so I’m knocking it — kind of. 

I tried the four flavors in the variety pack. I guess in the craft beer world these would be considered White Claw’s core brews. 

So we’ve got ruby grapefruit, black cherry, natural lime and raspberry. Why the company chose not to attach an adjective to raspberry, we may never know. 

I went into this taste test assuming that they would resemble LaCroix. So, basically, the worst case scenario. 

Surprisingly, each type had more flavor than LaCroix, which means they had more than the faint essence or whisper of fruit. 

Let’s talk about the positives of this drink. It’s gluten-free, 100 calories and more flavorful than LaCroix. According to the seasoned White Claw sippers I know, it doesn’t make you feel bloated like craft beer. 

Sounds like a win-win, right? So, what are the cons?

Other than the fact that it’s taking up precious craft beer space at grocery stores, it’s hard for me to link a face to White Claw. After purchasing the drink, I don’t feel the special spark I do when I buy a locally made beer. 

When I purchase some of my favorite craft brews, I know I’m helping out Eric Johnson down the road at Wild Heaven or Tommy Rodeck at his nanobrewery, Hoppy Trout, in rural North Carolina. 

I’m not shaming those who adore White Claw. I get it. It’s an easy-drinking, low-calorie alcoholic beverage that is easy on the stomach. 

If I had to rate White Claw’s core lineup, ruby grapefruit easily comes in first; natural lime takes second place; raspberry is the third pick; and black cherry takes up the caboose. 

Ruby grapefruit far surpasses all the others. It smells like grapefruit juice, but doesn’t have the bitter bite of it. It’s not overly sweet, and honestly, I can see myself drinking this again. 

The lime flavor tastes as if someone dumped a handful of lime skittles into hard seltzer. 

A glass of water with squeezed lime has more acidity and flavor than this drink. If it had a little bit more citric acid, it would be prime. 

The raspberry drink tasted like a combination of raspberry syrup and Splenda. The first sip wasn’t bad, but the artificial sweetener came through more each time I took another drink. It’s safe to say I wasn’t feeling it. 

Black cherry takes last place because of a personal hatred of medicinal cherry flavor. You know the flavor of cherry cough syrup? That’s what I’m talking about. 

I detected a little bit of that medicinal cherry on the backend. It’s not the worst cherry-flavored drink I’ve had, but I wouldn’t drink it again. 

White Claw is in neutral territory for me. I’m not going to pick up a pack to drink when I want to enjoy something tasty. I’d consider it more of a party beverage that has a higher chance of not offending both beer haters and lovers. 

If you haven’t given White Claw a shot and you’re looking to keep up with a trend, you’re in luck. The drink is everywhere. 

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