The Afternoon Break: tasting some Rogue Canned Cocktails

I know, I know – this is normally the Afternoon Beer Break – but hey, not everyone likes beer, and who knows, maybe you’re looking for a change of pace. There is no doubt that canned cocktails have come on strong (I had an amazingly good M+S scotch and soda while stuck in Manchester earlier this year), and the beer brands are riding that wave. To that end, I was able to try out three different varieties of canned cocktails from the crew over at Rogue Ales and Spirits.

Now, you might be wondering why it is, exactly, that a beer company thinks it can just whip up some canned cocktails – I mean, brewing and fermenting aren’t exactly the most alike of processes. Well, you should know that Rogue also distills spirits – mostly whiskey’s (which require aging) as well as a few gins (you can see the full range here). So, yes, Rogue knows what they’re doing with these canned cocktails.

To start with, they’ve pegged things (across the line) at an ABV of 7.5% – which means you need to be careful with these, because they are tasty, and you’ll be silly before you know it. So, you know – drink responsibly, friends. Secondly, these all have sparkling water as the base, so you’ve got a nice bit of bubbly in your glass.

As this is their first foray, they’ve started with just three flavors, though I think they’ll appeal to a variety of tastebuds. My favorite was the Cucumber Lime Gin Fizz – it was a solid flavor combo (quite refreshing), and had a LOT of fizz out of the can, which I appreciate. This all added up to a solid 4/5 in my book. A close second to that was the Cranberry Elderberry Vodka soda, which is a delightful bright hue, and tastes almost like you’re drinking candy. Since we’re giving ratings, this one is a 3.75/5.

That leaves the Ginger Lime Vodka Mule as bringing up the rear. At first, the ginger hits tightly, but it fades very, very quickly. It’s still there in the nose, but the flavor itself almost disappears. Additionally, this one didn’t feel nearly as carbonated. Perhaps that’s what you’re looking for, or maybe I just had an odd can off of the line. Whatever it was, it was by far my least favorite of the trio. I ended up giving this a 2.5/5, which means it’s square in the middle. I wouldn’t turn it down if someone handed me one, but it’s not one I’d seek out in the store (or if I had another choice).

Now, if you’re looking to find these Rogue canned cocktails for your end-of-year celebrations, I’ve got some bad news. Just like we sometimes get to see watches before they’re available to the general public (and write about over at WristWatchReview), we got to try these canned cocktails out in advance. Nationwide availability is planned for January 2020, so you don’t have long to wait to look for these in your local store. So, keep an eye out. I, for one, am thinking that the Cucumber Lime sounds about perfect to have in the fridge for once the warmer weather rolls around, while the Cranberry Elderberry gives you a bright bit of cheeriness in these darker days.

Tasting Notes

  • Cranberry Elderberry Vodka Soda
    • Red!
    • Fruity nose, almost fruit punch
    • Fizzy
    • A sherbet flavor on the tongue
    • Easy sipping
  • Ginger Lime Vodka Mule
    • Clear!
    • Strong lime nose
    • Ginger up front – fresh, fades quickly to a more dry-spice ginger
    • Not much lime in the flavor
  • Cucumber Lime Gin Fizz
    • Fizzy and opaque
    • Gin and cucumber on the nose
    • Mild sweetness
    • Lime hint
    • Cucumber up front
    • Quite drinkable

Patrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.

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