Once fall begins to roll in, I traditionally switch from clear liquors (vodka or rum) to something darker and more robust, typically a whiskey or bourbon. Always on a budget, as I’m sure many of you are, I try to find quality spirits at affordable prices. I think the Evan Williams brand Read More →
Four Loko’s have been a large contributing factor in the making of some horrible mistakes since the product starting lining refrigerators in convenience stores around the country a few years ago. I myself have fallen victim to this syrupy menace on more than one occasion. The entire line is comprised of super potent malt alcohol, with a heaping amount of sugar, and what I’m sure isn’t an oncologist approved mix of artificial flavors and colors. Long gone are the energy enhancing ingredients that made Four Loko even more infamous than it is currently. Our nanny-state government made them do it.
I saw the Four Loko Margarita, and in name of thoroughnosity (yeah, I made that word up) I decided to review it for the margarita series. Surprisingly, after the first two or three agonizingly sober sips, this didn’t taste dramatically different than Bud’s Lime-A-Rita. Whether that is a complement to Four Loko Margarita, or an insult to Lime-A-Rita…. well, that’s a tough call.
The throbbing headache experienced the next morning is confirmation a plenty that one should not be drinking these things. But, if kept absolutely ice-cold, Four Loko Margarita is only half bad. Given that I was able to finish the can versus killing stubborn weeds with it as I had planned, I’m giving Four Loko Margarita an honorary ‘Meh’ for their efforts.
In my quest to find the perfect ready to drink margarita, I think that I may have found something special tucked inside a small display in a gas station cooler door. Cayman Jack is the epitome of an ultra premium malt beverage, and I can say for certain that I have never tasted one better. Regardless of flavor. Cayman Jack may be the nectar of the gods.
Speaking of nectar, let us talk about what goes in to flavoring Cayman Jack. Real blue agave nectar gives the beverage what most of the others I’ve reviewed lacked: authenticity. Found only in the most premium mixes, the agave gives CJ a real ‘it’ factor. Further sweetening this work of art is 100% cane sugar. No sticky corn syrup to be found, almost unheard of in this category of drinks. Lastly, to give that beloved tartness associated with margaritas, the bottler squeezes in the juice from real (organic!) limes, not funky concentrated chemicals. What’s not to love?
Mine came from a can, two tall ones for $3.50. But if you purchase the six-pack of 12 ounce bottles, you’ll be holding one of the coolest containers I’ve ever seen. Definitely an attention getter. As if you couldn’t already tell, Cayman Jack Margarita gets a big double thumbs up Hell ‘Yea! from me. If you enjoy margaritas, I don’t see any way you could be disappointed.
Number two in our on-going margarita series is Mike’s Classic Margarita. Mike’s, in my mind, has always had a high quality product, a great selection of flavors, and never carried the ‘sissy’ stereotypes with which many of the other premium malt beverages were weighed down. The attractive black labeling is masculine enough that your buddies won’t be questioning your gender or sexuality behind your back. Thankfully, this packaging carries over to their Classic Margarita line.
Mike’s Classic Margarita is flavored with real lime juice and agave nectar. This gives it a more authentic flavor than Lime-A-Rita but is a great deal sweeter. In alcoholic beverages, sweetness doesn’t always equal greater drink-ability. Mike’s is somewhat syrupy, and while that tastes great initially, it starts to sit kind of heavy on your stomach by the end of the bottle or can. They’re very filling and I’ve never had the desire to drink more than one in a sitting. Drinking over ice helps remedy this situation a bit.
If you’re looking for a six pack of something to guzzle down before the game at a tailgate party, I’d give this a ‘bleh.’ You’d probably blow up before you reached the gate. If you’re like myself and just want a convenient, fairly authentic tasting night cap, you could do a whole lot worse than Mike’s Classic Margarita. Giving it a ‘Yea,’ so long as you stick to a serving or two.
I’m starting a short series of margarita flavored beverages. First up, one almost everyone has at least seen, if not tried, is the super popular Lime-A-Rita by Anheuser Busch. I happen to live in a town where these are manufactured, and a few weeks after these were released, Budweiser couldn’t can them fast enough.
Originally, I could only find them in 24 ounce tall cans, usually in the same cooler as those cheap hobo beers. The classic margarita may be my favorite cocktail (at least at the moment), and at first I was afraid to see what those Bud boys had done to my go-to self medication. But the idea of an easy to grab can intrigued me, and curiosity won out. Before I knew it, I was $2 lighter, and cruising out of the convenience store with my Lime-A-Rita wrapped in the protective sleeve of a brown paper bag.
To be honest, it wasn’t that bad, and certainly wasn’t deserving of its spot in the wrong side of the fridge. I wouldn’t go as far as calling it an ultra-premium malt, but it had a nice flavor, even if the beer notes started peeking through as it warmed up. A 24 ouncer will get warm on you unless you chug it, thus the suggestion to ‘try it on ice.’
The flavor is very lime heavy, and I’ll by no means ever mistake it for the real thing, but it’ll do in a pinch, or after a long day when you don’t feel like pulling out the blender. The 8% alcohol content will certainly get the job done in that department. Be careful, it’ll sneak up on you. I’ll give it a tentative ‘Yea!’ You should be pleased so long as you pop that top with reasonable expectations.
Miller developed Miller 64 in an effort to go toe-to-toe with Michelob Ultra in the low carb beer market. It is a mere 64 calories compared to Michelob Ultra’s 95. I was eager to try this one out.
Miller 64 has a slight corn malt aroma. The pour results in a vigorous head that dissipates to a thin film. The color is a pale yellow. The mouth-feel is very light bodied with an abundance of carbonation. It has a corny sweetness to it, but there are no big “beer forward” attributes. It does, however, have more flavor to it than the watery Michelob Ultra. I think I could drink quite a few of these beers in quick succession and not get tired of the flavor because it is so light.
A friend of mine commented that Miller 64 is “watered down”. I told him that I think they did an incredible job for what they were trying to accomplish in the low carb/calorie category. One suggestion that would not raise the caloric intake is to add a few more hops. The bitters would give it some more dimension instead of being a bit thin on flavor. Even though this beer lacks a bit of beer character, it has its place in the market. It would be perfect ice cold on a hot day and definitely fits the bill if you are looking to drink a refreshing light beer.
Any long time reader of The Consumer’s Corner (all 3 of you!) knows that I have a particular disdain for beer. There will be beer reviews available here, but I won’t write them. Those articles will be subbed out to friends who have significantly more experience with the bubbly brew, or I’d be completely skipping over one of the largest markets in all of consumerdom. Not going to happen.
What I love to drink are beer strength (5%ish alc/vol) beverages that actually taste good, much like Twisted Tea. Except for the most virgin of palettes, I think everyone would agree that Twisted Tea offers one of the smoothest, tastiest, and easiest to drink alcoholic beverages on the market. The flavor of Twisted Tea ‘Original’ is simple and to the point; sweet (but not too sweet) tea, a drop of lemon, and a barely noticeable bite. Again, it’s super smooth. Refreshing as well.
This review probably isn’t news to some of you; apparently this is a pretty successful product that has flown under my radar for quite some time. Just tossing this up for other poor, clueless souls like myself. Now that it has my full attention, I’ll be sampling as much as I can from the rest of ‘Twisted Tea’ portfolio. Available in sizes ranging from 12 ounce glass, all the way to keg-in-a-box, they all get a big ‘Yea’!