The latest company to enter the ready-to-drink space is Stone Brewing, which recently dropped this quartet of canned RTD margaritas: all sparkling, and made with real tequila. We got the full lineup to try, so let’s serve the salsa and get started.
Each is 12.5% abv.
Stone Buenafiesta Margarita Classic Lime – Things kick off with a bold lime flavor here, plus quite a bit of salt, which masks the herbaceousness of the tequila while making room for some sweetness. Some greenery emerges alongside a stronger lime character as it develops in the glass. Later: The experience turns just a touch saccharine but stays overall fairly balanced, indeed managing to come across as a reasonable enough margarita — its effervescence rather understated, particularly as you get a little ice melting in the glass. B+
Stone Buenafiesta Margarita Strawberry – There’s kind of a Kool-Aid thing going on here, slowly moving from a candylike character to a more traditional agave-and-lime note, a bit gravelly on the back of the throat. The strawberry element re-emerges with time (and some melting ice), again showcasing strawberry candies and a lightly medicinal quality. For those who feel they need well-doctored ‘ritas only. B-
Stone Buenafiesta Margarita Passion Fruit – My least favorite of the collection; while I normally love passion fruit, here it comes across with a strongly artificial, chemical character. Candylike fruit quickly turns bitter, the finish saccharine and off-putting. C-
Stone Buenafiesta Margarita Pineapple Habanero – This one looks the part at least, a bright yellow-green color that evokes fresh pineapple juice mixed with lime. It tastes the part, too, imbuing a fresh blend of lime and pineapple with an ample, though not unbearable, spice. The effervescence helps to cut through both the sweetness and the heat, lending this expression a balance and approachability that is lacking in much of the lineup. A-
each $14 per 4-pack / stonebrewing.com