Review: GT's Classic Gold Alcoholic Kombucha
Covers Products: Heavenly Hops (3% ABV), New World Noir (3%ABV), Piña Paradise (3% ABV)
Since GT’s was the brand that created the kombucha category in the first place, it seems only appropriate for its Classic Gold to be the first alcoholic kombucha product to be reviewed on BevNET.
The Classic Gold lineup includes three flavors: Heavenly Hops, New World Noir, and Pina Paradise, each of which have 3 percent ABV and are packaged in 16.2 oz amber glass bottles.
From a taste perspective, we’d describe these products as being slightly richer in flavor than GT’s flagship Synergy or Kombucha offerings. There’s a slight note of alcohol at the finish, but fortunately this does not take away from what are three really well formulated products.
First up is New World Noir, which is a fruit-forward kombucha that features a slightly oaky flavor (one of the ingredients is “oak blend,” but it’s not clear what this actually is just from looking at the label). It’s made with aronia berry and blueberry juices and there’s also a touch of vanilla to the finish. It definitely tricks your palate into thinking that you are drinking something that contains wine, but it very much has the bite of kombucha in an otherwise smooth finish.
Second is Heavenly Hops, which was our favorite of the bunch. While this isn’t the first hopped kombucha that we’ve ever sampled, it is quite possibly the best. This one blends seven different hops, peach juice, and a base of raw kombucha, which results in something that tastes somewhat like a beer.
Finally, there’s Pina Paradise, which was inspired by Mexican tepache. It features raw kombucha, cold-pressed pineapple and turmeric juices, habanero pepper, and cinnamon as its primary ingredients. The product is sweet and spicy, with the pepper ultimately winning out as you continue to drink your way through the bottle.
On the outside, these products look very much like GT’s core non-alcoholic packaging -- aside from the amber glass bottle. GT’s has taken to using this bottle for it’s “over 21” products, which, aside from helping to protect the raw kombucha that’s inside,look the part of the beer category (which is how it’s legally classified anyway).
Otherwise, the labels are intuitive, cleanly designed, and easily identifiable as part of the GT’s family.
Overall, GT’s Classic Gold Kombuchas are very well executed products that do a great job of showcasing the company’s capabilities. And, similar to how its non-alcoholic offerings set the bar for that category, these products help set a high standard for other “hard kombucha” offerings.