I now have officially had a “hard” seltzer. Just one flavor from a more artisanal producer but none-the-less, I have an idea of what this category is like. The Ficks Blackberry Seltzer was sent to me by the company after I e-mailed that I would be honestly reviewing it. Sometimes, I say that and the offered product never shows up so kudos to Ficks for believing in their drink.
Obviously, this has to be reviewed under different rules and parameters. I like my regular seltzer to have a good strong bubbly-ness to it and to not have a fake fruit flavor. I will take a lightly flavored but truer taste over a strong artificial note.
The blackberry flavor with Ficks does not have that candy note to it. This tastes like blackberry, not in the sour way that some of that fruit can be but more in the red wine area. It is not a super bubble filled seltzer. More lightly sparkling. One out of two parameters met.
Now this does basically taste like a wine cooler to me. A light wine cooler. It is better than quite a few regular seltzers that I have had but it doesn’t reach my go-to Trader Joe’s flavors like clementine and grapefruit. I can have those without the alcohol and not think about it. The Ficks Blackberry clocks in at 5%. It would be easy to quickly enjoy a couple cans.
And that is what this comes down to. Would Ficks be fun at a party? Yes, indeed. Will it replace my normal seltzer, no, because what I get at TJ’s can be utilized in way more situations. I can have one at work, or in the car on a hot L.A. day. Maybe the other flavors would blow me away, maybe another brand would as well but until that time, “hard” seltzer is just fine. If you can find one made well, like the Ficks brand seems to be, then go for it but I would take beer, spirits and wine in a fantasy draft before seltzer.