Black Cherry Hard Seltzer Review

Hard Seltzers are flavored malt beverages that ferment cane sugar or malted grains to produce their alcohol content. The low calorie, sugar, and carbohydrates make hard seltzers a popular choice for a refreshing drink. Hard Seltzers surpassed the total volume of spirits purchased and will likely surpass wine by the end of 2021.

Following in the footsteps of beer, many small, micro, and local breweries are leaning into the category as well (we included one in our research!).


Deanna Fiedler and Joyce O'Malley are members of our food and aroma evaluation teams. They took some time to evaluate 4 different black cherry hard seltzer products and document their flavor characteristics using Spectrum Descriptive Analysis (SDA). Read on to see what they learned!


 

We tasted four products all with black cherry flavor and to jump right to the chase, if you like:


Straightforward flavors

White Claw had aromatics of black cherry and mineral/flinty.

Not tasting alcohol

Bud Light Seltzer had no alcohol flavor but did have some medicinal notes.

More flavor

High Noon had the highest aromatics of the beverages tested with a good balance and blend of cherry, fruit, and floral citrus notes.

Trying new things

Cape May Brewing infuses real fruit into their hard seltzer.

 

Our Tasting Notes


White Claw Black Cherry Hard Seltzer


Tasting Notes:

Flavor & Basic Tastes

Overall Intensity: 5.5

Slight dark/black cherry

Slight mineral/flinty


Low bitter in mouth and aftertaste

Slight sweet (sweet spikes and bitter spikes)

Slight sour


Aftertaste: slight alcohol


Chemical Feeling Factors and Notes

Carbonation- Moderate

Mouth and tongue tingle/prickle


5% Alcohol/Volume

100 Calories

 

Bud Light Black Cherry Seltzer


Tasting Notes:

Flavor & Basic Tastes

Overall Intensity: 5

Slight black cherry

Slight medicinal

Slight benzaldehyde (almond/cherry)


Slight bitter, sweet and sour


Aftertaste: slight bitter

No alcohol aromatics, more medicinal


Chemical Feeling Factors and Notes

Carbonation: Low Moderate

Tongue roughening, slight burn from carbonation


5% Alcohol/Volume

100 Calories

 

Cape May Brewing Black Cherry Seltzer


Tasting Notes:

Flavor & Basic Tastes

Overall Intensity: 6.5

Low floral

Slight berry/fruity- not specifically dark cherry- more sour cherry

Slight fermented citrus (lemon)

Slight benzaldehyde (almond/cherry)

Slight soapy


Low sweet, sour and bitter


Aftertaste: benzaldehyde (almond/cherry), soapy, slight bitter, slight sweet


Chemical Feeling Factors and Notes

Carbonation: Moderate

Tingle, prickle, slight throat irritation

Low/moderate astringent (tongue puckering)


4.5% Alcohol/Volume

97 Calories

Contains 7% juice

 

High Noon Sun Sips Black Cherry Vodka & Soda


Tasting Notes:

Flavor & Basic Tastes

Overall Intensity: 7.5

Low-moderate cherry (dark and bright/light cherry)

Slight floral citrus (citrus blossom)

Slight general fruity


Low-moderate sweet

Low sour

Slight bitter


Aftertaste: slight alcohol- not as harsh, more fruity alcohol vs woody/grainy alcohol


Chemical Feeling Factors and Notes

Carbonation: Low-moderate (lowest)

Slight prickle- lowest feeling factors

Slight Astringency


4.5% Alcohol/Volume

100 Calories

 

White Claw: Dark cherry with mineral/flinty. Bitterness stuck out. Sweet and bitter spikes.

Bud Light: Lowest overall intensity. More fruit forward with slight notes of medicinal and benzaldehyde. No alcohol aromatics. Had the highest carbonation and lowest basic tastes.

Cape May: Slightly higher intensity. More berry and benzaldehyde, with soapy, floral, and a bright citrus note. Strongest feeling factors with tongue puckering (astringency) and throat irritation.

High Noon: Highest intensity. Highest cherry and fruit notes (citrus blossom). Reminiscent of cherry soda. Higher balance and blend. Highest basics tastes. Slight alcohol with more fruity than the woody/grainy alcohol in the hard seltzers. Best fit to black cherry hard beverage.


If you're looking to evaluate alcohol beverages consider using sensory evaluation to help qualify and quantify your products with sensory language.