A new drink combines cold brew coffee and malt liquor. Here’s what we thought of it.

Business Insider Deutschland wrote:

A new drink combines cold brew coffee and malt liquor. Here's what we thought of it. - The Reports

A new drink combines cold brew coffee and malt liquor. Here's what we thought of it. - The Reports Bethany Biron/Business Insider

  • We taste-tested Hard Cold Brew Coffee, the new alcoholic concoction from La Colombe and MillerCoors currently being tested in select markets. 
  • The 4.2% ABV beverage comes in black coffee and vanilla flavors and is made using a mix of malt liquor and La Colombe cold-pressed medium roasted Colombian and Brazilian coffee beans.
  • Initial reactions toward the drink ranged from “perfectly mediocre” to “the aftertaste is like chemicals.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The rise of hard seltzer has paved the way for even more fresh takes on the canned cocktail — including alcoholic coffee. 

La Colombe and MillerCoors recently teamed up to develop Hard Cold Brew Coffee, a chilled alcoholic java that debuted in select markets in September. The 100-calorie drink claims to provide a new way to “rally like a grownup” by providing a jolt of energy “because good times wait for no one.”

As more young drinkers pass on beer in favor of lighter options, alcohol companies are increasingly seeking out innovative ways to appeal to them.

“Our drinkers are constantly on-the-go and looking for new options to enjoy during their celebrations,” Sofia Colucci, vice president of innovation at MillerCoors, wrote in an email to Business Insider. 

Read more: Gamers, white-wine calories counts, and ‘The Bachelorette’: MillerCoors CMO reveals how the company is trying to win over drinkers as millennials and Gen Z ditch beer

While La Colombe may not be the first to foray into hard coffee — PBR, for example, released a version in July shortly around the time it also launched its own hard seltzer — its certainly the most high-end. The Philadelphia-based coffee company is known for its specialty roasted beans and upscale beverages, including the draft latte.  

Though the drinks have a relatively low ABV at 4.2%, mixing caffeine and alcohol together in a such a way evokes the horror stories that plagued early versions of Four Loko. In order to stay out of trouble with the FDA, La Colombe and competitors like PBR have ensured that their beverages contain no more than 50 mg of caffeine. (For reference, the 2010 Four Loko 23.5-ounce can had 156 mg of caffeine and 12% ABV.)

A group of reporters for Business Insider tried the drinks on a recent Friday and had mixed feelings. While I personally quite enjoyed the black coffee — I tend not to discriminate when it comes to coffee in any and all varieties — my colleagues weren’t so keen.

The group’s overall sentiment toward the beverage ranged from “perfectly mediocre” to “the aftertaste is like chemicals.” Here’s a closer look at what we thought. 

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