REVIEW: Bud Light Lime Limited Winter Edition Cran-Brrr-Rita

Bud Light Lime Limited Winter Edition Cran-Brrr-Rita Case

I have very strong opinions about booze. My bourbon should be neat, my martini should have gin, and for the love all that is holy and 86 proof in this world, stop making flavored liquor.

I have watched and seethed as Absolut developed 700 different vodka flavors, then watched as this phenomenon spread like a virus to other liquors, to the point where there’s cinnamon whiskey and watermelon tequila.

Furthermore, every time I see a bottle of Pinnacle Vodka, whether it be whipped cream or cheesecake or confetti or whatever the hell their newest abomination is, I want to go insane and trash the entire booze aisle, sending glass bottles of infused bullshit crashing to the floor.

In other words, I think Ron Swanson and I would get along nicely in a bar situation.

These vehement opinions extend to beer, also. I’m not talking about things like Sam Adams seasonal beers; I’m talking about…well, a fine example would would be Bud Light Lime Limited Winter Edition Cran-Brrr-Rita.

You’d think this would not make me the best choice to review this product, but I disagree. I enjoy challenging my worldview and my objectivity, and I think this is the perfect opportunity to do so.

I also drank my fair share of Boone’s Farm and Bartles & James in college; then again, I also got a degree in Fine Arts, so I can’t really say I had the best judgment back then.

In my defense, I have actually tried Bud Light Lime before, and it wasn’t so bad. See? I’m not a total snob.

Bud Light Lime Limited Winter Edition Cran-Brrr-Rita Can

When I first poured my Bud Light Lime Limited Winter Edition Cran-Brrr-Rita from its petite eight-ounce can into a glass, it looked and smelled rather similar to cranberry soda. With the holidays just around the corner, it looked like a cheery refreshment that would look right at home at a party.

I tried it straight from the can first, and my first thought was, oh, hey, this isn’t so bad; it tastes a lot like cranberry sod…oh god what is happening.

What was happening was three worlds colliding – cranberry, Bud Light, and lime. I realize that this is a duh statement, but just think about that for a second. Bud Light and lime are acceptable together – while not quite like shoving a real lim e wedge into a light beer, it comes close enough.

Bud Light Lime Limited Winter Edition Cran-Brrr-Rita

But somehow, the addition of cranberry and the substitution of higher-proof malt liquor instead of light beer ruined everything. That one second of cranberry was quickly overpowered by the taste of beer. Let me amend that – it was overpowered by the taste of cheap, stale, incredibly skunky malt liquor, like a half-empty 40 of Mickey’s that had been left on your dad’s work table in the garage for three days.

As that taste sensation lingers, add some artificial lime. The aftertaste is a combination of sticky sweetness, tartness and stale malt liquor put together, which is just has appealing as it sounds.

I’m not sure where the Rita comes into play here, as a margarita contains tequila and I couldn’t detect any taste of that nectar of agave.

Bud Light Lime Limited Winter Edition Cran-Brrr-Rita actually tastes better if you drink it ice cold and out of a glass. The packaging ordered me several times to try it over ice, but I had no ice cubes handy, so I just put a can in the freezer for a little while (keeping a very close eye on it, because the last thing I wanted was a skunky, sticky cranberry malt liquor explosion all over my Stouffer’s lasagnas) and the cranberry seemed to overtake the stale 40 taste. I suppose it’s not a ringing endorsement when a high point of your beer product is that you can’t taste the beer (or, in this case, malt liquor) as much.

I really did go into this objectively, and unfortunately, I came out of it hating Bud Light Lime Limited Winter Edition Cran-Brrr-Rita and the fact that I still have 11 cans of it.

I think it’s cute that Bud Light tried to make a Limited Winter Edition…thing (what else can you call something named “Cran-Brrr-Rita”?), but combining sweet cranberry soda flavor with stale-tasting beer and artificial lime was a bad idea. Brrr-utally bad. I’m sorry, I use puns to cope.

On the plus side, if you leave this out during your holiday party, a child might mistake this for soda, take a drink, and instantly hate malt liquor forever, which means you’ll never have to worry about them passing around a brown paper bag containing a 40 of Colt 45. Then again, it might drive them straight into the arms of whipped cream-flavored vodka.*

*This author in no way endorses leaving booze out where children can accidentally ingest it. Or adults, in the case of Bud Light Lime Limited Winter Edition Cran-Brrr-Rita.

(Nutrition Facts – 8 ounces – 197 calories, 0 grams of fat, 23 grams of carbohydrates, and less than 1 gram of protein.)

Item: Bud Light Lime Limited Winter Edition Cran-Brrr-Rita
Purchased Price: $10.99 (on sale)
Size: 12-pack/8 fl oz. cans
Purchased at: Fry’s Foods
Rating: 3 out of 10
Pros: Festive color. The idea of having a drink with Ron Swanson. Tastes better when very cold. I guess Cran-Brrr-Rita is kind of a cute name for a limited winter edition alcohol. At least it was on sale.
Cons: Malt liquor tastes skunky as balls. Reminding me of the uselessness of my Fine Arts degree. Too sweet. The trend of infusing flavor into every liquor on the market. Cranberry, malt liquor and lime should never come together again. Having to buy 12 cans.

29 thoughts to “REVIEW: Bud Light Lime Limited Winter Edition Cran-Brrr-Rita”

  1. Funny that you would taste the flavor of beer in this, as it is not beer whatsoever…

    This, along with the Straw-ber-Rita, and Lime-A-Rita, are flavored malt liquor. Bud Light Lime is beer with a lime flavor, these only share the same brand name.

    At least research the product you’re trying and reviewing first.

    1. Good reading:
      “But somehow, the addition of cranberry and the substitution of higher-proof malt liquor instead of light beer ruined everything”

    2. Well, we changed it, even though the Bud Light Lime-A-Rita website calls it “Bud Light Lime-A-Rita Flavored Beer” (scroll down to the bottom and read the small print).

      Also, aren’t malt liquors considered to be a type of beer.

      Wikipedia says it is:

      Although, Wikipedia can be inaccurate sometimes, so let’s go with a dictionary definition:

      Or we could, go by Wise Geek:

  2. I had a similar experience lately, except instead of a Cran-brrr-rita it was a local brewery’s pumpkin spice ale, and instead of cranberry followed by skunky malt liquor it tasted like pumpkin-spice ale followed by a mouthful of chlorinated pool water. At first I thought I was crazy (sometimes my palette is weird with beer), except my husband (a brewer and beer enthusiast) blurted out the same thing I was thinking right after we had both had a swig.

    1. I read an article recently that some bars are getting in trouble for watering down their upper shelf liquors or adding rubbing alcohol. Maybe you went to a bad bar. Also, I saw the cran-brrr-Rita at qfc for $1.99 individual 8oz cans in a side stack near the dairy section. I think I’ve had a larger one recently from the gas station and it was tasty but had to have it refrigerated and in a glass. Not too bad.

  3. For some reason this reminds me of MD20/20 aka Mad Dog 20 / 20, which came in such flavors as “fruit punch” and “blue” and was quite high gravity… err… higher proof for the flavored fortified “wine” crowd and was exceptionally cheap as well… indeed, well suited for the occasional depressed broke college student like mysel… err.. yes, uh, other people.

    1. I have not had MD20/20 in FOREVER (as mentioned, you’re not the only one with a past of being a broke college kid making poor decisions), but now that you bring it up, I have to laugh rather heartily. If memory serves, it is kind of similar to something like “red” flavor. Just all dressed up to make “responsible adults” think they’re drinking something other than hobo juice.

  4. Call me crazy but I LOVE them! Yum O! Recently I discovered they were no longer available in my area. I had to be talked off the ledge! Send me your 11!

  5. December 23, 2013
    Tried them on Thanksgiving; My family thought they were great. The problem is the stores, drive-thrus, liquor stores can’t keep them stocked.

  6. I love the cranbrrita problem is I can’t find them anymore. They are way better then the strawberrita & Limerita and I can find these everywhere Ughh!!! Please bring them back I have friends that can back me up on this.

    1. Yes love them I have people everywhere looking for them …why keep the others all the time but not the best seller ???? Makes no sense????????

  7. I know nothing about drinking… and I pretty much hate beer. But I love these things. Dump them in a large glass with ice and guzzle them down like sparking kool-aid with a kick.

  8. I absolutely loves these little cans of deliciousness!!!! I’m with the others, let’s make them year round instead of seasonal!!!!

  9. I too am love the cranbrrrritas and am saddened when I found I could no longer get them. I think they are great over ice and with a little pineapple juice. A bay breeze sans vodka. Don’t like strawberries would love to see these out year round!

  10. Well, Im here cause I’m drinking one of these hot messes right now; had to google it to see what was up…stopped by my local Booze depot and was getting some Knob creek, and saw these, had to pick a couple up looked interesting, have yet to try the others mentioned including lime bud, hehe won’t find me drinking that…needless to say I’d agree with the author – this shits bad!
    I forgot a block of ice, peace.

  11. Love love love it. Mango-Rita is good too. Just wish the calories were lower. Doesn’t taste like beer at all. And not sickly sweet like the other malt “coolers” from seagrams and Smirnoff.

  12. I love the cranberitas and have the same problem, there is none. Try a mikes harder cranberry lemonade, much better taste, but more sugar for you diebetic drinkers to count.
    A great summertime drink is to mix 3 parts mikes harder cranberry of BL cranberitas, and one part monster rehab soho tea. It is amazing!!! This coming from a former restaurant owner and I know a good drink if one is placed in front of me. Enjoy!!!

  13. I tried it and the first taste was, wierd, then another taste was yum it tastes good. My concern is if it has the same calories and sugar as Mike’s Hard lemonade. I wont buy it . I got hooked on Mike’s one summer and gained 30 pounds, which as soon as I looked up the ingredients I stopped buying it as good as it was. mikes was mostly sugar. The cran-brrr-Rita does needs lots of ice . I’ve yet to find the ingredients. It is tasty though ! 🙂

  14. I am not a drinker period! And, I truly don’t like beer; but, I love all the flavors of the Rita line!!! We all have individual interests, the author should realize that just because he hated the beverage does not mean that everyone else will!!!! Speak for yourself and let others decide for themselves! Great job Budweiser!!!!

  15. Bring them back instead of Mango, strawberry, lemon, and ugh watermelon. Watermelon is real nasty taking.

  16. I loved and miss my cran beer Rita. I’ve been waitin for it to come back I miss it it n wish it wasn’t the winter/ holiday Rita’s please bring it back!!!!!!

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