Hoegaarden Rosée (Belgium)

TL:DR – “drinks like a berry cooler, noticeable artificial sweetener after effects”

Hoegaarden Rosée (raspberry-flavoured white beer beverage) – Hoegaarden Brewery, 3.0% ABV, 250 ml., (Hoegaarden, Belgium)

Ingredients: Ale, concentrated fruit juice (raspberry, apple, strawberry, elderberry), Invert sugar, citric acid, natural raspberry flavour, acesulfame-potassium.

  • Style: (flavoured beer) Cooler
  • Taste: generic red berry fruity easy-drinking palate rough
  • Where I got it : Firefly / Vancouver
  • How much: $9 CAD (after 10% off) – 4 pack x 250 ml., February 2013
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Recommended: no
  • What made an impression: easy drinking, but damn palate rough

Visual: (cellared for 5 years). 4-pack aluminum cans. Pours clear rosé pink with a light shade of brown, fine ringed retention, a few bubbles surfacing.

Nose: berry nuanced light malt, slight cloying foreshadowing. (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: crisp bite, fruity-sweet

Mid-palate: light burpy, generic soda-esqe raspberry-strawberry, (lvl-5-sweetness)

Finish: artificial sweetener roughness, slight residual jammy fruity

Summary: Basic and drinkable, more of a party drink to wash down potluck food. You’ll get a buzz while chowing down that food to get rid of that artificial sweetener nastiness.

Scarlett’s Lime and Elderflower Spritzer – Invivo Wines (New Zealand)


  • My Rating: [B-]

Scarlett’s Spritzers – Wine Spritzer infused with Lime and Elderflower – Invivo Wines, 5% ABV, 500ml, (Mangawhai Heads, New Zealand)

on the back label:

“We take our premium blend of wines, add water and infuse it with elderflower and lime. The result is a delicious and refreshing fruit spritzer with a crisp, dry finish.”


  • Style: (lime & eldeflower infusion, wine) Cooler
  • Taste: Fragrant elderflower lime white wine sugary moderately cloying
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $5.50 CAD – 500ml., August 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yes
  • Would I recommend this to at parties: yes!

Visual: Pours effervescent straw yellow with large bubbles clinging to the side of the glass, large CO2 steady streams.

Nose: fragrant elderflower with hints of lime citrus – absolutely enticing. (lvl-10)-pungency

Attack: incoming sugars & acidity

Mid-palate: bubbly-big CO2, light sour-tangy, white wine, (lvl-7)-sticky sweetness, grassy elderflower

Finish: light tartness, dissipating cloying sugars, lime oil bitterness, elderflower exhale.

Summary: Firstly, I have to say I love the taste of elderflower. Having made elderflower soda from scratch, I can certainly taste the real elderflower and limes in this spritzer. Although somewhat cloying and a touch thin, it reminds me of a sweeter, less dense flavoured St-Germain Cocktail (elderflower liqueur, champagne). Still, it’s very drinkable and goes well with a meal.

Snapple Spiked Peach Tea Vodka (USA)


  • My Rating: [C+]

Snapple Spiked Peach Tea Vodka, 5.5% ABV, 458ml, (USA)

Ingredients: water, sugar, vodka, citric acid, tea, natural flavour.

  • Style: (vodka, tea) Cooler
  • Taste: Candy fuzzy peach weak tea hidden vodka light cloying
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $3.50 CAD – 458ml., June 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this for parties: yes

Visual: Pours clear light brownish orange with no head and super micro bubbles around the perimeter, zero activity.

Nose: vodka covered up by weak peach tea, somewhat plasticky. (lvl-5)-pungency

Attack: thick viscosity, very low carbonation

Mid-palate: (lvl-6)-sweetness (MAIN) fruity candy peach (fuzzy peach), sweetened Snapple iced tea

Finish: mildly cloying, residual tea aromas, slight ethanol hit, light enjoyable sugar rush.

Summary: If you’re a fan of Snapple and sweetened iced teas, chances are you’ll like this. Very drinkable and easy on the palate with only minor alcohol detection. Not particularly complex or special, just a good recipe.

Strawberry Pineapple Spritz – Palm Bay Beverage (Vancouver, BC, Canada)


  • My Rating: [C+]

Strawberry Pineapple Spritz – Palm Bay Beverage, 5% ABV, 355ml., (Vancouver, BC, Canada)

Ingredients: carbonated water, glucose-fructose,vodka, citric acid, natural and artificial flavour, sodium citrate, malic acid, potassium sorbate, colour.

  • Style: (Strawberry-Pineapple) Vodka Cooler
  • Taste: Candy strawberry-pineapple low alcohol detection
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $9 – 6x355ml., sometime in 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this at drinking parties: especially good for non-drinkers and sweettooths

Visual: Shiny blue aluminum can. Pours bright pink lemonade, no head, a few bubbles here and there, barely any activity.

Nose: 100% candy strawberry (pink/red Skittles), (lvl-4)-pungency

Attack: dense sugars

Mid-palate: (lvl-8)-quickly dissipating sweetness, background subdued alcohol, (MAIN) chemical candy strawberry-pineapple

Finish: light burpy, mild tart, fruity candy pineapple.

Summary: Well-hidden alcohol but possibly heartburn for those with a sensitive stomach like me. Has a minor plastic-chemical taste but overall a rather pleasant candyesqe flavour. Mildly carbonated.

Alcoholic Cloudy Lemonade – Hooper’s (London, Brighton, UK)


  • My Rating: [B-]

Alcoholic Cloudy Lemonade – Hooper’s, 4.0% ABV, 500ml., (London, Brighton, UK)

Ingredients: water, alcohol, sugar, lemon juice (5%), natural lemon flavour, citric acid, ascorbic acid, colour (E160A)”

  • Style: (Lemonade) Fruit Cooler
  • Taste: Undetectable alcoholic fizzy lemon squash
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $4 – 500ml., August 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this at drinking parties: yeah pretty good flavour

Visual: Pours cloudy pale white-yellow with lots of bubbles in the glass and lots of soda-like activity.

Nose: clean lemonade soda. Enticing. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: soda fizziness

Mid-palate: medium sour-puckery, (lvl-7)-sweetness, (MAIN) lemonade

Finish: burpy, lemon peel + oils, mild alcohol bitterness detection, tart lemon finish.

Summary: Decent medium bodied lemon flavour; it drinks like a Fentiman’s Victorian Lemonade or a San Pellegrino Limonata. You can barely taste any alcohol in this one.

Alcoholic Strawberry & Elderflower – Hooper’s (London, Brighton, UK)


  • My Rating: [C-]

Alcoholic Strawberry & Elderflower – Hooper’s, 4.0% ABV, 500ml., (London, Brighton, UK)

on the back label:

“A sparkling alcoholic strawberry & elderflower flavoured juice drink.

Ingredients: water, alcohol, sugar, lime juice (3.3%), strawberry juice (1.7%), natural flavours, citric acid, natural colouring from carrot.”


  • Style: (strawberry, elderflower) Fruit Cooler
  • Taste: Candied strawberry artificial sweetener roughness
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $4.30 – 500ml., June 2015
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this at drinking parties: sure if your friends haven’t tried it before

Visual: Pours bright ruby pink with lots of fizz, no head, lots of big bubble activity.

Nose: super candied strawberry, almost perfume/soap-like. (lvl-8)-pungency

Attack: soda-like fizzy bite, incoming dense sugars

Mid-palate: (lvl-8)-sweetness, light tangy, (MAIN) artificial strawberry candy, artificial sweetener palate roughness, mild elderflower

Finish: mild cloying, lingering candy aroma, burpy finish.

Summary: Mostly strawberry candy with some elderflower but it quickly gets covered up by some palate roughness. Just average overall, taste is not bad, texture is iffy. Beware the heartburn.

Crabbie’s Raspberry Ginger Beer (Edinburgh, UK)


  • My Rating: [C+]

Raspberry Ginger Beer – Crabbie’s, 6.9% ABV – 750ml., (Edinburgh, UK)

on the back label:

Ingredients: carbonated water, sugar, alcohol (water, glucose syrup, yeast), ginger wine (water, glucose syrup, grape juice concentrate, ginger extract, yeast), grain alcohol, citric acid, natural flavour, anthocyanins (colour), potassium sorbate (preservative), sodium metabisulphite (preservative), ascorbic acid (antioxidant). Contains wheat and sulphites. [full of non-beer stuff!]


  • Style: (raspberry, ginger) Flavoured Cooler
  • Taste: Fruity grape med-sweet light ginger cooler
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $4.25 – 500ml., August 2014
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to beer aficionados: not particularly special

Visual: Pours clear brilliant ruby red without any head, no retention, no lacing, and only a few countable streams.

Nose: Very fruity berry, ginger beer soda in the background (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: dense fruity sugars

Mid-palate: Very berry-forward, (lvl-4)-sweetness, (MAIN) red grape, mild ginger, syrupy sweetness

Finish: mild ginger burn, rooty ginger-sweet finish.

Summary: Not actually raspberry, but grape, and not actually a beer but a mix of alcohol, wine and juice. Pretty good drinkability, but not something I’d want again and again.

Vodka FX (Energy Cooler) – (New Zealand)


  • My Rating: B-

Vodka FX (Energy Cooler), 7% ABV – 440ml, (New Zealand)

Ingredients: water, vodka, sugar, citric acid, GUARANA EXTRACT, sodium citrate, artificial flavour, GINSENG, colour, sodium benzoate.

  • Style: (Vodka) Cooler
  • Taste Profile: sugar rush -> fizzy Red Bull -> cloying/mild alcohol bitter finish
  • Where I got it : Select Liquor Store
  • How much: ~$4, sometime in 2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this to clubbers: yes

Visual: guarana + ginseng in a vodka drink just screams ENERGY doesn’t it? Lots of chemicals + guarana extract and ginseng in the can so it is advertised. Pours apple juice yellow (looks a lot like Red Bull) with no head and a few steady streams.

Nose: 99.9% almost identical to the infamous Red Bull candied cherry/bubble gum aroma. So this is pretty much a Red Bull-Vodka in a can.

Attack: sharp 10/10-dense sugars

Mid-palate: fizzy, Red Bull flavour (apple-cherry-pink bubblegum = 100% artificial)

Finish: residual sugars, medium cloying, mild alcohol bitter finish with a bit of sugar phlegm.

Summary: Mild heartburn after 10 minutes. Quite alert as if I had an actual Red Bull-Vodka. I can fully recommend this if you like Red Bull-Vodka; if you don’t then pass. I actually like RB+Vodka so I give it a B-.

T.O. Bevy Blacur (Canada)

T.O. Bevy Blacur – Totally Organic Beverages, 5% ABV, (Winnipeg, MB)

Ingredients: filtered water, organic conc pear juice, organic alcohol, organic conc black currant juice, organic natural black currant flavor

  • My Rating: B+
  • Why I like it: 0.1% trace of alcohol, ‘that smooth
  • Where I got it: Cat and Fiddle (Poco)
  • How much: $5 (after 10%), 330ml, Dec/2011
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: yep cause I bought them all
  • Would I recommend this to chix: yes definitely

Tasting notes: pours super dark purple, zero CO2. Black currant on the nose. Drinks like a spiked Ribena (black currant juice) but with zero alcohol nastiness. Slight pear flavour, rich dark black currant depth. Super easy drinking. Also 100% organic, which is nice.

Woody’s Refresher (England, UK)

Woody’s Refresher – 5% ABV, (England, UK)

On the back label:

“Our original recipe is blended with triple distilled vodka to create a sparkling cooler with a unique taste”

My Notes:

  • My Rating: C+
  • Why I like it: fruity sweet without much alcohol flavour
  • Where I got it: Brewery Creek
  • How much: <$15 for a 4pack, Summer 2010
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: No
  • Would I recommend this to beer afficianados: No

Tasting Notes: cool electric pink colour, tastes fruity like strawberries-raspberries. Good sweetness level and quite refreshing. 100% unnatural but not cloying or offensive on the palate. Good for a cooler. I like their sarsparilla more.

2nd tasting (Sept/2012): Rating: C, pours cotton candy pink, no head no CO2. Smells a bit of Listerine on the nose. Med-high sweetness, tastes of cream soda, strawberry/cherry, finishes slightly cloying and Listerine.