Brand wars have been around for as long as brands have been a thing. Nintendo and Sega, Nike and Adidas, Pepsi and Coke, Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods — so long as competition exists in the free market, the fans of similar brands will argue in the streets (or, you know, Twitter) over which company truly deserves cultural dominance.
In the world of hard seltzers, there is only one brand that has “Coke”-levels of name recognition: White Claw. But the brand’s biggest competitor, Truly, is nothing to scoff at. In many cases its flavors are just as good as White Claw; in some cases, they’re better. And Truly’s commitment to pushing the envelope and innovating is helping to close the once-wide gap between them.
Since the last time we ranked Truly’s flavors, the brand has thrown their hat into the hard lemonade ring. So today we’re running it back — with all the new flavors included. Here is the definitive ranking of where each flavor of Truly Hard Seltzer stands, from worst to best.
17. Truly Rosé
Every ranking has a bottom, and in this ranking, it’s Truly Rosé. Now I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest rosé fan to begin with, but if you’re curious as to what this tastes like in comparison to actual rosé then the answer is — awful.
Truly Rosé is not good. Period. But I get what they were thinking — they wanted to give us the best of both worlds, everything we love about hard seltzer and pink wine. Not a terrible concept, but it definitely doesn’t work. The fizz of the seltzer overwhelms the fruity notes of the Rosé, resulting in an overly candied flavor that tastes cheap.
The Verdict: Everything you hate about pink wine and hard seltzer — in one convenient can! Skip this one.
16. Truly Raspberry Lime
I don’t know if it was my own expectations that resulted in Raspberry Lime ranking so low in this list, but what I do know is that the combination of raspberry and lime should taste better than this. That’s not to say Raspberry Lime is bad — it isn’t. When you crack open a can you’re greeted with a refreshing blast of fragrant fruity notes that smell way more appetizing than its sister flavor, Truly Lime. But it doesn’t taste better, and it really feels like it should.
Truly has too many flavors — having a Lime and Raspberry Lime flavor is just redundant, especially when they taste this similar — and if we had to lose one we’d choose Truly Raspberry Lime. There’s a tart aftertaste that lingers on the tongue a lot longer than the plain Truly Lime’s flavor. And not in a pleasant way.
The Verdict: Sometimes, less is more, and in the case of Truly, one flavor trumps two. Reach for the Lime instead.
15. Truly Wild Berry
I don’t know what it is about Truly’s berry blends, but they just miss the mark for me. Wild Berry suffers from the same problems as Truly Raspberry Lime, it’s a muddled mess that is less than the sum of its parts. Raspberry, blackberry, and strawberry — how could you go wrong? I couldn’t tell you, but Truly could, and the answer comes in a can.
It’s hard to appreciate the flavors here because they aren’t distinct enough to differentiate, instead what should be a complex and multi-layered blend of flavors ends up tasting like somebody threw a bunch of random fruit into your vodka soda, and then fished it out with their hands when you weren’t looking.
The Verdict: Alcoholic Capri-Sun, only not as good as your nostalgia might lead you to imagine.
14. Truly Mango
Of White Claw’s five flavors, Truly makes four of them and they do them all better with the exception of Truly Mango. During the Great White Claw’s initial release on the market, White Claw Mango was one of the hardest flavors to find, and if you turned to Truly’s version as a substitute you probably wrote the brand off then and there — I don’t blame you. It’s not that this flavor is bad, so much as it just tastes overly artificial — which might lead you to believe that all of Truly’s flavors taste similarly fake.
They don’t, but Truly Mango tastes about as much like actual mangoes as sour peach rings taste like actual peaches — it’s this weird Frankenstein flavor that smells overwhelmingly like what it’s advertised as, but tastes like something fabricated in a lab.
The Verdict: Pales in comparison to White Claw’s Mango flavor but if you don’t mind artificial flavors it makes a fine mixer with vodka or gin.
13. Truly Lime
Lime hard seltzer — it’s just one of those flavors you know you’re going to encounter. It’s the least flashy of the flavors, and probably the most versatile. Use it as a budget margarita mixer, knock it back as a chaser with shots, or crush a few cans on its own.
We’re talking about alcohol and artificial lime flavoring. How can you go wrong?
Where the Raspberry Lime’s flavor is muddled and overly complicated, Truly Lime is crisp, refreshing, and clean with a lime zest that isn’t overly candied or too sour. Think less Bud Light Lime, more lime wedge in a vodka soda.
The Verdict: Vodka soda with a twist of lime in a can, but… maybe better?
12. Truly Lemon
My favorite summer treat as a child was the Fla-Vor-ice pop, a plastic tube of ice drowned in sugary food coloring. The Fla-Vor-Ice came in three flavors, Blue (bubblegum), Red (Cherry), and White (Lemon) — the white one was my favorite. If I had one today, I wouldn’t eat it — because I’m an adult and I don’t eat food-coloring on ice out of plastic tubes anymore — but I just might crush it up, toss it in a margarita glass, and pour a Truly Lemon over it.
Point being: Truly Lemon tastes a lot like the White Fla-Vor-Ice, only alcoholic, making it better. Fair warning: if you like your lemon flavor a little more on the natural side, this isn’t that — you’d still be better off squeezing a lemon into some plain hard seltzer.
The Verdict: It’s hard to imagine Truly Lemon as anyone’s favorite, but as far as lemon-flavored hard seltzers go, this one is as solid as they come.
11. Truly Lemonade
So let’s get this straight, Truly has a Raspberry Lime flavor, a Lime flavor, and a Lemon Flavor but now they want to roll up with a Truly Lemonade as well?
Truly, sit down, you’re abusing the citrus!
Truly Lemonade might be one of the most boring flavors Truly has ever made (it’s essentially Mike’s Hard Lemonade, but sweeter) but just because it’s boring, doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste better than all the flavors I just mentioned. It does! The Truly Lemonade pack feels less like an addition to the brand’s flavor line and more like a revamp of some of Truly’s original flavors, and, generally, they’re an improvement!
The Verdict: A great starter flavor, if you’ve never tried Truly and you want to see how it stacks up with other hard seltzers and malt beverages, grab a Truly Lemonade. It’ll get the job done.
10. Truly Orange
Orange is a bit of a rarity in the world of hard seltzers. Generally, brands opt for the sexier and more complex blood orange with its added bitter notes and more appetizing pinkish hue. But Truly tastes best when it keeps things simple and their Orange flavor is further proof of that claim. Subtle bright citrus notes add a hint of sweetness that elevates this flavor just above the Truly Lemon and Lime, offering an after taste that is sweeter than it is sour.
The Verdict: Better than Truly Lemon or Lime because it’s slightly sweeter — but still subtle enough that it doesn’t feel syrupy or overly artificial.
9. Truly Mango Lemonade
With deep and fragrant tones of mango and sweet lemon, Truly Mango Lemonade has a much more pleasant smell than the base Truly Mango flavor. It’s also a lot sweeter, so if you’re reaching for a Truly for the comforting burn of booze, you’re not going to find a lot of that here — the sweetness really tamps down any bite a can has.
Having said that, Truly Mango tastes so damn good you’ll forget you’re even drinking alcohol.
The Verdict: An ideal mixer, Truly Mango Lemonade is going to pair well as an ingredient in a more complex cocktail. On its own, it’s still one of Truly’s best flavors, but if you’re looking for bite and a slight burn, grab… well, pretty much any other flavor.
8. Truly Watermelon Kiwi
Truly’s most refreshing flavor, Watermelon Kiwi tastes like someone melted down a million watermelon Jolly Ranchers, poured them into a punch bowl full of chopped kiwis and then spiked the whole thing with a healthy dose of vodka. Tropical and refreshing, Watermelon Kiwi hits you with sweet flavors upfront before finishing off with tart kiwi notes that linger on the palate in the best way.
The Verdict: On its own, it’s refreshing but the 5% alcohol by volume really leaves something to be desired here. So mix it with some gin and a lime wedge and bump this C-tier hard seltzer up to a cheap but effective cocktail.
7. Truly Passionfruit
Truly Passionfruit tastes more like a tropical fruit cocktail than it does a singular flavor, but that may have to do with the fact that I’ve never eaten a passion fruit in real life and therefore have no frame of reference for what the fruit actually tastes like. Would I dislike this flavor more if I actually knew what a passion fruit tasted like? Maybe. But ignorance is bliss and to this ignorant palate, it tastes pretty damn good.
The Verdict: A fine balance of sweet and tart flavors that tastes unmistakably tropical.
6. Truly Pineapple
One of the things that sets Truly apart from its competition — namely White Claw — is the brand’s tropical offerings, and of the four flavors in the tropical variety pack, Pineapple is the best. Thanks to its slight sour edge, Truly Pineapple is one of the few flavors we’d consider mixing with whiskey.
The pineapple flavoring is very subtle here, so if you’re not a fan of the taste of carbonated water or Truly’s sugar-alcohol base, then steer clear of this flavor. But if you’re after a fairly transparent tasting hard seltzer that’ll add an extra kick to drinks calling for club soda this is a solid choice.
The Verdict: A solid mixer, the pineapple is subtle enough that you can easily sub a can in for any cocktails that call for club soda to add a little extra complexity. The best of Truly’s tropical flavors.
5. Truly Grapefruit
I was especially excited to see how Truly Grapefruit would stack up against White Claw’s Ruby Grapefruit because I gave the latter the bottom spot on Uproxx’s White Claw ranking. I was pleasantly surprised to find that what was one of White Claw’s worst is one of Truly’s best.
What struck me first about White Claw’s Ruby Grapefruit was its intoxicating and natural smell — opening a can smells like someone just cut open a grapefruit. Truly’s version doesn’t quite hit those highs in the aroma department, coming off as much more artificial, but at the end of the day, flavor wins, and Truly Grapefruit is delicious. The bitter and artificial smell is betrayed by a bright, refreshing, and natural flavor that expertly balances the grapefruit notes with the alcohol base — delivering a flavor that remains consistent from start to finish.
The Verdict: One of Truly’s best. Toss this in tequila and with some fresh lime and you got yourself an easy low-calorie Paloma that’ll taste great.
4. Truly Strawberry Lemonade
I was a little taken aback by just how great the experience of drinking Truly Strawberry Lemonade was. Once I popped open a can I was instantly greeted by a fragrant bouquet of strawberry and lemon, which drew me close to the can like Pepé Le Pew to a potential love interest. Weird comparison sure, but that’s all to say that Truly Strawberry Lemonade is enticing and intoxicating (if you drink three cans).
The lemonade here really tamps down the bitterness of Truly’s alcohol base, but doesn’t overwhelm it — much in the same way, the Truly Mango Lemonade flavor does, striking a nice balance.
The Verdict: Smells so good it’ll make you feel like you’re a cartoon, capable of floating via the scent of love.
3. Truly Black Cherry
Black cherry is to the hard seltzer world what cola is to the world of soft drinks, its the one flavor that every hard seltzer brand needs to nail in order to be taken seriously. Truly delivers here. Truly Black Cherry has a deep and dark flavor that recalls a slightly over-ripened cherry during the height of cherry season. It’s bursting with fruit notes, infusing the alcohol base with a taste so rich that one can feels like enough — and that’s really saying something with a 5% alcohol by volume hard seltzer.
The Verdict: This has a slight edge over White Claw’s Black Cherry thanks to its deep and rich flavor. Packs a kick strong enough to be enjoyed alone, and certainly good enough to convince you that Truly makes one of the best tasting hard seltzers out there.
2. Truly Black Cherry Lemonade
Truly Black Cherry Lemonade is a winner. It absolutely makes the base Black Cherry flavor feel redundant — why would anyone opt for the regular Black Cherry over the Lemonade variant? You’d have to truly be a fan of Truly’s alcohol base to not want the Lemonade iteration. And unless you’re a Truly Chemist, you probably don’t love the taste of the alcohol base.
That’s what seems so confusing about the Truly Lemonade line, it makes even Truly’s best flavors feel like a weak first attempt, and leaves us wondering how long those OGs will remain in production.
The Verdict: Make no mistake, Truly Black Cherry Lemonade almost snagged the top spot but our original number 1 is holding steady in first place. The day they make Truly Blueberry Acai Lemonade though? It’s over.
1. Truly Blueberry Acai
Remember when I said Truly’s berry blends miss the mark? Well, that’s not the case with Blueberry Acai. In fact, I think it’s Truly’s best flavor. Similar to the Black Cherry in its deep and dark berry tones, the Blueberry Acai is slightly more complex — delivering a rich taste that reveals itself distinct layers. As it hits your palate, the bright notes of the blueberry are darkened by rounder full-bodied flavor of the açaí, which then gives way to the bitter bite of the sugar-alcohol base.
The result is Truly’s most natural-tasting and complex hard seltzer, perfect on its own or spiked with vodka, gin, or tequila.
The Verdict: Truly’s best. It tastes the least artificial and has a complexity that the Black Cherry lacks. White Claw wishes they had a flavor this good.