Mountain Dew’s limited-edition Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast Variety Pack features four different flavors of alcoholic, flavored malt beverages based on a tropical theme: Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast, Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast Punch, Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast Pineapple, and Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast Mango.
As Hard Mtn Dew is not available in my state (California), I received these four cans courtesy of Mountain Dew.
On the whole, the Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast variety flavors tasted less sweet than when I first tried Hard Mtn Dew last year. The reduced sweetness, it seems, is a result of less aggressive use of artificial sweetener. I find this to be a vast improvement in the overall taste and enjoyment of the Hard Mtn Dew line, as the bitter aftertaste of artificial sweetener really overpowered a lot of the flavors when it first released.
The original Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast tasted much the same as the last time I tried it, minus the reduced sweetness. There was a nice balance between the tropical flavoring and alcohol taste, which was most noticeable midway through drinking. The artificial sweetener taste, while present, was inoffensive due to the coconut aftertaste masking some of the bitterness. The Baja Blast flavor sported the same iconic color and scent of its namesake soda.
Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast Punch smelled like typical fruit punch and sported a pinkish-red hue. True to its name, the Punch flavor certainly punched me in the face with its intensity–but not in a good way. The Punch flavor was generically fruity with cherry undertones and very alcohol-forward to the point that it tasted like it had a higher ABV percentage than the rest of the variety pack (it doesn’t). In addition, the artificial sweetener was particularly cloying and long-lasting in the aftertaste. These factors combined made me think of medicine, unfortunately.
Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast Pineapple had a pleasant pineapple aroma that was a mix of fresh fruit and candy notes. This flavor had an expected yellow color, which is always unfortunate in a beverage in my opinion. It had a refreshingly light pineapple flavor with a mild alcohol taste, and basically tasted like a less sweet, alcoholic version of Mtn Dew Baja Gold with some artificial sweetener aftertaste. Baja Blast Pineapple was my favorite out of the three new flavors.
Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast Mango smelled like mango candy and had a reddish orange color. It tasted sweeter than the original Baja Blast and Pineapple flavors, and resultingly had a stronger artificial sweetener aftertaste. The taste of alcohol was also more prominent, but not nearly as strong as in the Punch flavor. The mango flavor sort of missed the mark for me and, while pleasant enough to drink, didn’t make me immediately think “mango.” I had to check the can to remember which flavor I was drinking.
Overall, the Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast Variety Pack offers some interesting summer flavors for those who are looking for sweet, alcoholic beverages or just enjoy the idea of alcoholic soda. The original Baja Blast and Baja Blast Pineapple flavors were the best of the pack by far and offered refreshing, balanced flavors with minimal artificial sweetener aftertaste. The reduction in sweetness really helped the palatability of the Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast flavors.
Review by Renee.