Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/5/2016 (2017 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
In the past several weeks I’ve checked out the beer scenes in Regina and Minot and one thing I noticed is that craft sodas are becoming a thing. Not only that, but boozy sodas are becoming incredibly popular.
Breweries are making boozy and non-boozy versions of root beer, ginger ale and other various drinks. I feel that malt-based alcoholic root beers will become more of the norm in the next five years.
Speaking of boozy sodas, I’ve been feeling incredibly bored lately and trying new fruity coolers because there are times when a full-on hoppy IPA just doesn’t do it for me.
I’ve been drinking a great deal of alcoholic iced teas in recent days because, well, iced tea is delicious, and not only that, beer/malt-based iced teas may become the next
Bud Light Lime — even though Coors Light Iced T failed miserably a few years back.
This week is all about my absolute favourite alcoholic iced teas that are available in Manitoba.
Mill Street Lemon Tea Beer
This tea brew predates the flop that was Coors Light Iced T by several years. In fact, Mill Street Lemon Tea Beer may have been one of the first tea-based beers on the market.
The beer pours a rich orange/amber ale with a good amount of cloudiness. The aroma is very much tea forward. I find it to be a rich combination of Orange Pekoe and Earl Grey, with notes of lemon, a bit of a graininess from the malted barley and wheat, and a bit of a sugary sweetness. But it’s more Orange Pekoe than anything.
The taste has the complexity of a wheat ale with the complementing tea flavours. The flavour gives off a gritty wheat that’s more common in a Belgian witbier or a German hefeweizen, plus it has a decent amount of lemon.
For the most part, Mill Street Lemon Tea Beer comes off as an ale with tea and lemon flavours, not overpowering and not overly sweet.
It costs $3.06 per 473 ml can at the 10th and Victoria Liquor Mart and beer vendors around Westman.
• 4/5 Pints
Boston Beer Co. Twisted Tea Original
Who would have thought that Boston Beer Company’s (a.k.a. Sam Adams) most popular product in Manitoba would be a barley malt-based iced tea cooler? I sure as heck didn’t! Twisted Tea is a camping and Countryfest tradition in Manitoba for the past few years for those who are tired of Bud Light and want something sweet.
Twisted Tea Original pours a clear orange/amber with just a hint of carbonation. The aroma is very much the typical summertime picnic in the park iced tea you get served from a plastic water pitcher — very sugary, a moderate amount of tea and a hint of malted barley that gives it a bit of a hint of booze and grain.
When tasting Twisted Tea, the first thing that hits my tongue is the booze burn from the malt, which is reminiscent of a typical vodka cooler. I’m a bit surprised by the burn, but the iced tea and sugar follow-up give off that typical summery iced tea taste. However, I feel like it’s missing a bit of lemon, so feel free to use a lemon wedge. Looking back, it has a hint of a flavour that reminds me of Sam Adams’ popular amber Boston Lager, but I don’t have the lager on hand to taste test.
It’s $2.34 per 355 ml bottle at most Liquor Marts and beer vendors around Westman.
• 3/5 Pints
Snapple Spiked Rasp Cherry Tea Vodka
This is the only non-barley/wheat-based beverage of the bunch. I felt it only made sense that if I was going to promote boozy iced teas, my favourite brand should be on the list.
Snapple is known for some of the best bottled and canned iced teas out there. Their owner, Canada Dry Motts, has licensed out the iced tea to be turned into boozy form.
This isn’t the first time Canada Dry Motts has done this. They also have a decent variety of Mott’s Clamato Caesar products at Liquor Marts and vendors, including Mott’s Clamato Caesar Original, Lime and even Spicy.
Snapple’s Spiked Rasp Cherry Tea Vodka beverage pours a slightly cloudy orange-golden lager — in fact, this is the most beer-looking beverage I’ve had all night!
The aroma is a medley of raspberry, cherry and loose-leaf paper ... for some strange reason. It tastes like your typical Snapple iced tea right at the beginning, with a floral tea flavour followed by the fruitiness of raspberry and cherry. Then, the booziness from the vodka kicks in and leaves a light burning sensation on the palate.
For the most part, this drink is all about the iced tea and retains that famous "Snapple" taste — but the hint of vodka makes you realize that this isn’t a non-alcoholic beverage at all.
I know a lot of people tell me that they don’t know when there’s vodka in their beverage because it’s "neutral," but I get a bit of an acidic bitterness on my tongue any time I taste something with vodka in it.
This is pricey for a Snapple product, but if you are an iced tea aficionado, the Rasp Cherry Tea Vodka is worth trying because it goes down so well.
It will set you back $2.99 per 458 ml can at Liquor Marts in Brandon, Dauphin, Minnedosa, Neepawa, Roblin, Russell, Swan River, The Pas and Virden.
• 3.5/5 Pints
Cody Lobreau is a Canadian beer blogger who reviews every beer he can get his hands on as he believes that he should try every beer twice to get an understanding if it’s truly good or bad.