Popular White Claw Flavors, Ranked Worst To Best

What's the best flavor of White Claw? Like anything, that depends very much on your own personal taste, and how well that taste mixes with sparkling malt liquor. The hard seltzer that's become the new go-to for outdoor parties and day drinking has worked its way into the American booze scene faster than anything in recent memory. And while, yes, there are in fact laws about where and when you can drink them (despite a popular meme telling you otherwise), it's hard to argue with the appeal of a 5% hard seltzer with only 100 calories and no beer bloat. 

Picking the best of 11 classic White Claw flavors can be tough — and that's without even including the company's newer line of higher ABV hard seltzers. But White Claws are a little like a day of fishing: Even a bad one is better than a good day at work. That is, of course, unless that day at work consists of drinking White Claws by a pool to figure out which one is best. Which is exactly what we did one recent Tuesday, to rank all the popular flavors of White Claw from worst to best.

11. Pineapple

Nobody's really going to complain if you throw them a pineapple White Claw. Because, hey, free White Claw. But nobody's going to be sitting around the pool rewriting the lyrics to the SpongeBob theme song to say, "Who drinks a big pineapple White Claw or three?" either. While the pineapple flavor isn't all that bad, it's pretty indiscernible from any of the other, crisper flavors, and therefore doesn't really offer much of anything. It's got a tang to it, and if you were told it was pineapple flavor, then you'd definitely taste it. But try blind taste testing the pineapple and you'll likely have no idea what kind of White Claw you just drank. 

Nobody is confusing this stuff with fruit juice, even though White Claw proudly announces that each of its magical beverages has real fruit juice inside. So if you're a big fan of pineapple juice and are trying to make it your poolside drink of choice, might we suggest mixing a big coconut rum cocktail in your Yeti instead? This White Claw ain't bad, but there ain't a whole lot to it either.

10. Strawberry

There's nothing quite like walking through a field of fresh strawberries, inhaling the fruity aroma that transports you to the English countryside ... and throwing a bunch of malt liquor on top of it. That's what we'd guess White Claw was going for with its strawberry flavor. But it didn't quite hit the mark. Of all the berry flavors, the strawberry is definitely the weakest, hitting your palate with a strong boozy overtone before you even realize it's supposed to be a strawberry drink. That might be because strawberry just isn't that strong a flavor. Or maybe whoever formulated this wanted something with a lot more of a malt liquor taste. Either way, breakfast at Wimbledon this most certainly is not.

That said, strawberry White Claw has a little more heft than the citrus flavors. There's a fullness to the strawberry that is somehow satisfying, even if the flavor isn't as strong as it could be. White Claw is on to something good here, and if reformulation is ever on the table, amping up the strawberry is not a bad idea.

9. Mango

Mango can be a divisive fruit. Those who are really into tropical fruit will put it in everything from pico de gallo to steak sauce. Those who don't like it tend to rebel at its almost-constant presence, and avoid mango at all costs. So your opinion on mango-flavored White Claw will depend greatly on whether you fall into the pro-mango or anti-mango camp.

Upon first crack of the mango can, your nose is met with a flavor that almost has hints of nicotine, which is likely an unfortunate combination of the mango and aluminum flavors from the can. Squelch that fast with a quick sip and the smell will be barely noticeable, as your olfactory receptors figure out that it's a mango White Claw and not a cigarette and your brain reacts accordingly. After that, you'll find the mango flavor packs a much more powerful punch than many of the other flavors, and if you're into mango this is gonna knock your socks off. If you're not into it, you'll probably hand all of them to your friends as soon as you open variety pack No. 2.

8. Lemon

Upon first sip, the lemon White Claw is pretty indistinguishable from lightly flavored mineral water, a dangerous attribute if you're planning on having "a few Claws." The initial taste is crisp and clean and not at all boozy. But give the lemon a chance. Counter-intuitively, the more of this you drink the more you taste. The lemon really starts to come out about a quarter of the way into the can. And by halfway you're starting to taste the malt liquor as well.

Still, maybe it's because we're used to drinking lemon in our water, sodas, or iced teas, but the flavor is almost like a garnish to the hard seltzer. It's cool and refreshing, but nothing all that memorable either. Of all the popular flavors of White Claw, it's by far the mildest. But there's nothing objectionable about it, you're not going to get sick of drinking it, and it's not overly sweet.

7. Natural Lime

There is absolutely nothing "natural" about drinking a fruit-flavored malt liquor beverage out of an aluminum can, especially by a swimming pool in the middle of Arizona. So White Claw's choice to single out its lime flavor as "natural" as opposed to all the others is a little odd. Is every other White Claw completely artificial? They have the exact same ingredients (carbonated water, alcohol, cane sugar, natural flavour, and citric acid). Are we to believe somehow that the lime flavor is packed with fresh juice and vitamin C and counts as a serving of fruits and vegetables?

No, of course we're not. The lime tastes like lime, a little more bitter than other flavors, and not unlike a booze-free sparkling mineral water. What it doesn't taste like so much is "natural," which makes sense when you know that natural flavors can still come from a lab. Of course, so do the flavors of a lot of our other favorite beverages, and that doesn't stop us from drinking those. 

And for a crisp, warm weather, marathon drinking drink, this one fits the bill. Just don't think it's better for you because you see the word "natural."

6. Blackberry

Have you ever been mistaken for a celebrity? And then when the unwitting stranger tries to take a selfie with you, you have to break the news to them that you are not, in fact, Zach Galifianakis? And then you have to see the disappointment on their face when they realize you're only you? Welcome to the life of a blackberry White Claw.

Because not only does blackberry sound like perennial White Claw alpha flavor black cherry, it kind of looks the same. And after a few hours of White Clawing, those cans get harder to tell apart, and you might just pull one out of the cooler by accident. And for a split second you'll think you got a black cherry, because the flavor is full and rich and takes over your mouth. But then that initial euphoria wears off, and you realize there's not quite as much richness to this White Claw as you'd expected. So you pull the can away from your face, sneering something like, "Oh, this is not black cherry! What the (White Claw-fueled expletive) is this?" And poor blackberry has to deal with yet another day of being a disappointment.

5. Watermelon

If you were going to make fresh watermelon cocktails nby blending up some watermelon puree and adding it to rum or vodka, you'd get a pretty good approximation of the flavor of a watermelon White Claw. As far as duplicating a fruit's natural flavor, watermelon does it better than any other White Claw. But let's be clear: Tasting like watermelon doesn't make it the best flavor. It just means White Claw's flavorologists hit the mark when they made this one.

Since watermelon is one of the milder fruit flavors, it means this can is still not all that rich in flavor. And though it tastes good, it's not anything you'll be craving for weeks afterward. If you want something refreshing, this is your best option, but if you want something with a lot of flavor, you might want to look further down this list. Also, word to the wise, drink your watermelon White Claw while it's still cold. After a little time in the sun it starts to take on a bit of a cardboard flavor. So treat this like you would a light beer and enjoy it before it heats up.

4. Ruby Grapefruit

Much like mango, your thoughts on the ruby grapefruit flavor of White Claw will depend largely on how you feel about the flavor of grapefruit itself. Are you the type who cuts open a grapefruit, sprinkles a packet of Sweet'N Low on top, and calls that breakfast? That means you're probably in your 80s and reading a story on White Claws, which is awesome. It also means you're going to love ruby grapefruit, as it has the subtle, rounded flavors you love in the oft-maligned citrus. As an added bonus, you don't need to put any sweetener (real or artificial) on top!

If you don't love grapefruit, you still won't hate this flavor, since it's not overly bitter or sour, and is entirely drinkable. And if you want a fruit flavor that you can crack open on the beach and not think too much about what it tastes like, this one is definitely the way to go. It's crisp, refreshing, and altogether different from the rest of White Claw's flavors.

3. Raspberry

Does this raspberry White Claw flavor necessarily taste like raspberry? No. After two or three Claws, you could crack this can open and think it's blackberry or even black cherry. But try it when your senses are at full capacity and you'll see that it has a definite fruity flavor, more so than almost any other variety of White Claw. 

It's also rich and full without being overly sweet, but it's easy to imagine that the taste might be a little disappointing if you're a die-hard fan of raspberry. This drink definitely tastes like something in the berry family, but raspberry may not be it. The trick is to not think too hard about it –- you're drinking White Claws here, not tasting your way through Provence. But just be forewarned that if you crack this open expecting a summer you-pick farm in a can, that's not going to happen.

2. Tangerine

If you're having one of those White Claw-for-breakfast weekends, might we suggest tangerine as your first drink of the morning? The strong orange flavor makes you think you've stopped at a country orange grove somewhere in Central Florida — that is, until you get the quick, crisp bite of mineral freshness that lets you know this ain't no roadside OJ. The overtones of juice in the tangerine flavor are the strongest of any White Claw, making it taste like an orange juice spritzer that's delightful on a warm day.

It has a definite bite on the back end, though, so if you're looking for a smooth finish, you might want to try one before committing to a whole afternoon of them. For those who like that little "hello" at the end of each sip, tangerine might be your winner. Just make sure to keep track of how many you've had; more than any other flavor, tangerine can get away from you.

1. Black Cherry

Anecdotally at least, black cherry seems to be the White Claw flavor everyone associates with the drink. It's full and rich and has a hint of fine chocolate under the malt liquor and carbonation. And if you've been drinking White Claws for a couple of years now, it'll give you an almost Proustian reaction, conjuring up memories of tailgates, barbecues, or maybe just Wednesday mornings on your couch. Whatever the association, it's a strong one, as black cherry is to White Claw what cool ranch is to Doritos.

Most White Claw flavors, though nice, ultimately taste like a mild malt liquor with a splash of fruit flavor. Which is all well and good if you're just looking for something to keep in your hand at a party. But black cherry is the odd flavor that has a distinctive taste –- like blackberry mixed with cherry. It might not be your personal favorite, but it is the quintessential White Claw flavor. No point in trying to be provocative here. Black cherry is and always will be the classic, which is why it's the best on our rankings of popular White Claw flavors.