Mar 21, 2022

Review: Hard Mountain Dew

PepsiCo's Hard Mountain Dew line of alcoholic malt beverages contains 5 percent Alcohol by Volume (ABV), no added sugar or caffeine, and features four flavors: classic citrus Mountain Dew, Black Cherry, Watermelon, and Baja Blast.

Hard Mountain Dew is currently available in Florida, Tennessee, and Iowa with a wider release to come, but I received the malt beverages courtesy of PepsiCo.

The Boston Beer Company, which is famously known for its Samuel Adams beer, produces Hard Mountain Dew in partnership with PepsiCo. As such, I thought it was appropriate to use my Samuel Adams tasting glasses for my first pour.

Hard Mountain Dew is basically alcoholic, diet soda. As such, there is a prominent taste of artificial sweetener in each of the four flavors. My guess is that they skipped the added sugar to offset the calories inherent in alcohol and retain a more acceptable 100 calories total per 12 ounce can.

The taste of the alcohol itself is barely noticeable over the artificial sweetener, which may or may not be a plus for some people.

Hard Mountain Dew has a somewhat milder citrus flavor than the regular soda version. This flavor unfortunately has a strong artificial sweetener aftertaste, which almost makes the beverage itself taste slightly bitter. You can smell the alcohol more than you can taste it.

The Baja Blast flavor masked the taste of the artificial sweetener considerably better, with the mild alcohol taste coming in midway through the sip and rounding out with a notable coconut aftertaste. It smells just like the soda-version of Baja Blast. This flavor was probably my favorite in terms of the balance.

The Watermelon flavor smelled and tasted very similar to a watermelon Jolly Rancher. The watermelon flavor lends itself well to the use of artificial sweetener, and I noticed it the least out of all the four flavors in the Hard Mountain Dew line. It wasn't overly sweet and ended with a hint of alcohol just on the tail end. It tasted the least alcoholic out of all the flavors and was pretty refreshing.

Claiming the unwanted title of worst in class, the Black Cherry flavor tastes very much like cough syrup. The combined taste of the cherry flavor, artificial sweetener, and alcohol made me feel like I was drinking watered-down, carbonated cold medicine--and yes, it was as terrible as it sounds. Both the alcohol and artificial sweetener were very prominent in this flavor. 

Overall, Hard Mountain Dew was interesting to try for the novelty of it, but I wouldn't get it again (if it ever becomes available here in California). I'm not a fan of diet soda in general, and the combination of both the artificial sweetener and the alcohol lends an almost metallic, cloying taste to the beverages. It just made me want a non-alcoholic, full-sugar version of the different Mountain Dew flavors.

Review by Renee.

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