Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast Mix Review: A Predictable Party For The Taste Buds

Mtn Dew Baja Blast is an icon among soft drinks. According to a MegaMenu reader poll, it is the second most popular variety of Mountain Dew behind the original. It is also our overall favorite. So it was a natural choice for PepsiCo to add to its alcoholic Hard Mtn Dew lineup, which it launched in collaboration with The Boston Beer Company in 2022. In the summer of 2023, the company tripled down by releasing a Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast Variety Pack with three limited edition flavors: Mango, Pineapple, and Punch. And due to popular demand, it is back permanently.

To help you prepare for the occasion, we've taken it upon ourselves to try all the Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast flavors (which were provided to us by a representative from PepsiCo) and share our thoughts. But before we dive into the proper review, let's talk price, availability, and ingredients.

Where and when can you get a Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast Mix Pack?

As previously mentioned, the Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast Mix Pack is no longer a summer-exclusive offering, even though the vibes are perfect for a warm and breezy summer day. It is a permanent addition to the lineup, joining the original four flavors: Mountain Dew, Watermelon, Livewire, and Baja Blast. However, all of these flavors are being rolled out on a state-by-state basis, so they are not yet available nationwide.

The easiest way to find out where to buy some for yourself is to use the online product finder on the Hard Mtn Dew website. The variety pack is available through many major retailers, including Walmart, Kroger, and Target. However, you shouldn't bother looking unless you live in one of the states where they are sold. These include Iowa, Tennessee, Florida, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, Arizona, Kentucky, Connecticut, Wyoming, Oregon, Vermont, Idaho, Colorado, and Nevada (Las Vegas only). Don't worry if you don't see your locale on this list, though, as the brand is planning to expand its reach soon.

How much does a Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast Mix Pack cost?

We have good news for thrifty Mtn Dew enthusiasts: Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast is a reasonably priced beverage. A 12-pack of 12-ounce cans costs about $19.99, depending on where you shop. That comes out to a reasonable $1.67 per can. For reference, other flavors in the Hard Mtn Dew lineup are also available in a 24-ounce single-serve can for about $3.49.

These prices are equivalent to other flavored malt beverage 12-packs on the market, which makes sense considering how competitive the field has become for these types of drinks. A Mike's Hard Lemonade variety 12-pack of 12-ounce cans also costs about $19.99, as does a Twisted Tea variety 12-pack of 12-ounce cans. Hard seltzer 12-packs from White Claw and Truly will cost a few bucks less on average, but this price difference is negligible, especially for hardcore Baja Blast fans.

What is in a Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast Mix Pack?

Since the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) doesn't require alcoholic beverages to include an ingredient list, we only know a few facts about the contents of the Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast Mix Pack. To start, we know that it is 5% alcohol by volume, possibly due to some malted barley content. We also know that it includes carbonated water to give it that signature fizz synonymous with the soft drink it is based on. Any natural or artificial flavorings used are unfortunately a mystery, though.

It is also worth noting that Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast is sugar-free and caffeine-free, so you won't be bouncing off the walls like you just drank a pre-prohibition Four Loko. However, the sugar-free branding does not preclude the inclusion of high-fructose corn syrup. And based on how sweet these flavored malt beverages taste, we expect they probably do include high-fructose corn syrup as well.

Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast Mango is the real winner

Mango may be a summer fruit in most parts of the world, but Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast Mango is delicious and refreshing enough to be a year-round staple. It is far and away our favorite new flavor from the Baja Blast Mix Pack. The natural mango flavoring provides an authentic touch of tropical sweetness. It is a welcome twist that doesn't cut into any real estate occupied by the citrusy notes of the Baja Blast base. The resultant combination tastes surprisingly cohesive, perhaps as if this was how Baja Blast was always supposed to taste.

Between the zesty effervescence of Baja Blast and the juicy sweetness of the mango flavoring, there is hardly a trace of any malt alcohol flavor. Without any kind of bite present, it's easy to forget that Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast Mango is 5% alcohol by volume. In fact, this flavor tastes remarkably similar to the Baja Mango Gem soda that was released in the Summer of 2022. But tasting like soda is far from a bad thing when we're talking flavored malt beverages, especially considering that the alternative is tasting like booze.

Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast Pineapple is pretty good too

The Pineapple flavor of Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast is similar to the mango flavor in that it adds to the classic recipe of the original Baja Blast without diluting its zesty flavor. The natural pineapple flavoring makes it juicier and sweeter than before, and it nicely masks the bite of the malt alcohol mixed in. Much like the limited edition Baja Gold flavor released in the Summer of 2022, drinking this beverage is equivalent to drinking a classic Baja Blast from a hollowed-out pineapple.

The one unsettling thing about Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast Pineapple is its coloration. Yes, normal Mtn Dew already has the bright green coloration of a phosphorescent mushroom, but the pineapple flavor is even brighter. Its nuclear yellow color looks like the liquid in a highlighter pen — a hue that is far from appetizing. Of course, when you look past its aesthetic qualities, Baja Blast Pineapple is a solid new addition to the Hard Mtn Dew lineup.

Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast Punch lacks some punch

As the only Hard Mtn Dew flavor inspired by an entirely different beverage, Baja Blast Punch was set up for failure from the very beginning. Mixing two flavors as complex as Baja Blast and fruit punch comes with some obvious challenges, but the Boston Beer Company tried its best to overcome them. Unfortunately, this is by far the worst new flavor.

The two inspirational beverages are equally present in the flavor profile, but the mixture of the two is unsurprisingly less than the sum of its parts. The way the artificial sweetness just barely covers the pharmaceutical bite of malt alcohol makes for an experience reminiscent of downing a shot of Dayquil. The orange color certainly doesn't help either.

While there is a non-zero number of people who like to drink both Baja Blast and Tropical Punch, the number of people who like to drink both simultaneously is certainly much smaller. And with that fact in mind, we're not exactly sure who this drink was made for. It could be fans of the limited edition non-alcoholic Baja Punch flavor that was available in Summer of 2021. Or it could be for curious Baja Blast fans who will buy anything that carries the title of their favorite soft drink. We're betting it's the latter.

How do the new flavors compare to the original?

Given what we've said about the new Baja Blast varieties, you're probably wondering how they compare to the original Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast. Since we tried them all side by side, we can confidently say that the original flavor has been dethroned as our favorite Hard Mtn Dew. And Mango is the new winner! But it was a close call, as the original flavor is still quite good.

This flavored malt beverage is surprisingly faithful to its source material, and will still be the go-to choice for those looking to cherish the tropical zest of classic Baja Blast. And there are likely many people out there that fit this profile. After all, the original Mtn Dew Baja Blast flavor is the only one with a gelato variety. But the alcoholic beverage version doesn't mask the malt alcohol flavor as well as the new variants. And for that reason, we welcome (most of) these new flavors.

All this said, we recognize that this review is ultimately more reflective of personal biases than any objective qualities of these beverages. Therefore, it is totally fine if your opinions on these beverages don't line up with ours. Since the Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast Mix Pack includes the original flavor alongside the three new ones, we invite you to pick one up and rate all the flavors yourself.

Methodology

As previously mentioned, we here at MegaMenu know that taste is a highly subjective quality. So, rather than pass off one author's opinion as peer-reviewed facts, we recognize and embrace the personal biases that are present in any food ranking exercise. Nevertheless, we still consider it important to establish the methodology on which we base our rankings.

We tried the new Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast Variety Pack by sampling the flavors that were provided by a representative from PepsiCo. We were also provided samples of the non-Baja Blast flavors, which we also tried for additional reference points. That said, PepsiCo had no input on the content of this review.

The primary categories by which we judged these flavored malt beverages were their quality, their accuracy to the flavors they were designed after, and how they compared to the original Hard Mtn Dew Baja Blast.