Four Loko may be off shelves, but Colt 45 has cooked up a new line of caffeine-free alcoholic beverages to take its place.

Marketers are gearing up around plans to release a new label called ‘Blast’ with help from rapper Snoop Dogg.  New ads will be featured as part of both television and print campaigns.

The fruity drink contains 12% alcohol by volume, about twice the level of the original version of Colt 45. The Metropoulos, family new owners of Colt 45 acquired the malt-liquor brand as part of their purchase of Pabst Brewing Co.  The company is the fifth largest beer supplier in the U.S. and with the addition of ‘Blast’ it hopes to turn around its declining sales.

The new line is a controversial move for the new owners with the recent uproar over Four Loko and similar drinks in the category.  Many critics say that drinks like Four Loko and blast are targeted towards underage drinkers, but with ‘Blast,’ Colt 45 says it is going after a new target: us.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Colt 45 has long targeted an urban, African-American audience, but Blast is aimed at a broader array of drinkers, including women, said Daren Metropoulos, 27 years old.

‘Blast’ is set to hit stores the first week in April. The drink will be sold in six packs of seven-ounce bottles, as well as in single, 23.5-ounce cans. Flavors include strawberry lemonade and raspberry watermelon, with colors to match. A six-pack will cost about $7.

Colt 45 has said they want to promote more than anything “responsible drinking” but some aren’t so sure.  Paul Scott, an African-American community activist and longtime critic of malt liquor, said the marketing of Blast is “irresponsible” and will have a negative influence on “the young hip-hop generation.”

Tell us what you think Clutchettes: is Colt 45’s ‘Blast’ targeting underage black girls? Does the marketing of the new drink goes too far? Share your thoughts!

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