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Flavored Whiskey


lancastermike
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I was my local PA Wine &Spirits store today and I noticed a great deal more "flavored"whiskey. Cherry, honey, maple, blackberry, caramel and others.

Let me say this to distillers and marketers of whiskey:

STOP IT!!!

I have no beef with there being several million different flavors of vodka. Knock yourselfs out. But stop polluting perfectly good whiskey. Even if it is bad whiskey just leave it alone.

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I couldn't agree more although I still do like my whiskey based liqueurs... Glayva, drambuie , bailey's(although I am more partial to Remy cream or forty creek cream these days)

"Why is the rum always gone?"

Captain Jack Sparrow

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I just tried Maple whiskey over the holidays. It is made in Quebec with real Maple Syrup and I have to say it was a nice flavour. Not sure if the flavours you mentioned will make me want to buy flavoured whiskey since it isn't my favourite to start with.

Maple Whiskey was a nice combo

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As someone that loves a good single malt the concept of a flavoured whisky sounds disgusting. However many liqueurs are just that! My issue is that each individual whisky has such a different taste that there is no need to flavour it - unless it is a cheap nasty tasting blend in which case if it has to be drunk it needs to be drowned by a mixer.

Andrew

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Flavored, meh. Home-infused, yeah!

"The thirst for water is a primitive one. Thirst for wine means culture, and thirst for a cocktail is its highest expression."

Pepe Carvalho, The Buenos Aires Quintet by Manuel Vazquez Montalban

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There is a difference between flavored whiskey, which is usually lower grade whiskey anyway and probably needs to be flavored, and finished whiskey, which is a whiskey that may have been finished in a port, cognac or wine cask or perhaps a different barrel wood than the charred oak barrels straight American whiskey start in.

Some would say that Tennessee whiskey like Jack Daniels and Geo. Dickel are "flavored" whiskey because of the charcoal maple filtering that they go through.

Finishing is a pretty common practice in Irish and Scotch whiskies and recent examples in American whiskey that include the Parker Heritage Collection cognac finished bourbon, Angel's Envy port finished bourbon or Bowman port finished bourbon are all excellent examples.

But flavored stuff is what the "unwashed masses" seem to want (they sell well) and the notion the liquer companies aren't going to provide it, and try to make money in the process, is just wishful thinking.

Some honey flavored American whiskey liqueurs (Wild Turkey I think?) have already been around for quite a while.

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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  • 2 weeks later...

Part of the problem with so-called flavored whiskeys is that they are too sweet. Now it's important to be aware that products like Wild Turkey American Honey is a liqueur and it says so right on the bottle ("liqueur blended with pure honey and bourbon whiskey"). Anyone who thinks it's merely a flavored whiskey is not paying attention. It's more akin to Barenjager. OTOH, Jim Beam Red Stag, for example, is labeled as "bourbon infused with natural flavors" but it's as sweet as cough syrup. I've yet to see a flavored spirit that doesn't have added sugar.

Having said all that, I'm with lancastermike: "STOP IT!" Or better yet, "Stop it, it's disgusting!"

Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

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I had an interesting chat on this subject a couple of months ago with Fred Noe, head distiller at Jim Beam brands regarding their Red Stag line of products. My feeling is that yeah, it's disgusting TO ME who loves her whisky, however if it can get a girl who doesn't drink whisky at all to have a cherry flavored Manhattan she might like, it's baby steps toward turning her into a real drinker. Sometimes folks need to take their training wheels off one wing nut at a time. In the end, I will get them to enjoy a proper cocktail. I'll even get them to the point where they'll trust me to make them something they've never had before. And they'll love it. And my work will be done. :shrug:

Fred thought I had it just right. You think he drinks that stuff? Pfft. Please! He likes his whisky neat or with one cube, or carefully crafted into a classic. But hey. If the kids are buying it and the company is making money, how is that not a win-win? And sooner or later the unwashed masses will mature and so will their palates. And they will know they already like that company's brand portfolio. I'd rather see someone drink Red Stag than vodka soda or Appletinis. At least they're not trying to pretend they aren't drinking... :rolleyes:

Edited by KatieLoeb (log)

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I had an interesting chat on this subject a couple of months ago with Fred Noe, head distiller at Jim Beam brands regarding their Red Stag line of products. My feeling is that yeah, it's disgusting TO ME who loves her whisky, however if it can get a girl who doesn't drink whisky at all to have a cherry flavored Manhattan she might like, it's baby steps toward turning her into a real drinker. Sometimes folks need to take their training wheels off one wing nut at a time. In the end, I will get them to enjoy a proper cocktail. I'll even get them to the point where they'll trust me to make them something they've never had before. And they'll love it. And my work will be done. :shrug:

Fred thought I had it just right. You think he drinks that stuff? Pfft. Please! He likes his whisky neat or with one cube, or carefully crafted into a classic. But hey. If the kids are buying it and the company is making money, how is that not a win-win? And sooner or later the unwashed masses will mature and so will their palates. And they will know they already like that company's brand portfolio. I'd rather see someone drink Red Stag than vodka soda or Appletinis. At least they're not trying to pretend they aren't drinking... :rolleyes:

Seems like adding flavour to the whisky once it's in the glass would be a better way to go. I'm not even a whisky drinker, but pre-flavoured whisky just sounds unpleasant (and I'm speaking as someone for whom it is almost impossible to make a drink that is too sweet/ridiculously flavoured to drink, as long as it's well mixed and balanced).

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Katie - I agree with you. And I agree with Mjx in that such cocktails can be made in the glass, but it's probably not as easy for novice use at home use. I see nothing wrong making accessible products for the novice (but legal-aged) drinker. This is, apparently, a touchy subject, as I discovered elsewhere.

Kindred Cocktails | Craft + Collect + Concoct + Categorize + Community

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Any thoughts on the flavoured Johnny Walker range (e.g. The Spice Road) at airport duty free?

I had a chance to sample it, but I didn't find it overwhelmingly different, just a few extra subtle flavours.

Edited by J_Ozzy (log)
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Hmm, it may be semantics, but I'd be surprised if at least some of the blend elements (spirit components, previous aging barrel contents) weren't spiced / flavoured.

Then again, I'm not very well versed beyond the basic single malt regional profiles, it's certainly possible I've just never run into this type of finished product.

Edited by J_Ozzy (log)
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I really don't think it's flavoured.

From what I can tell, it's blended and finished.

Seems pretty likely this is a blend of single malt and grain whiskey like most (but not all) JW offerings.

JOHNNIE WALKER® LAUNCHES THE SPICE ROAD™, INSPIRED BY TRAVEL AND MADE EXCLUSIVELY FOR TRAVELLERS

“To create the intense spicy flavour profile of JOHNNIE WALKER THE SPICE ROAD, we used well-matured single malts and grains, presenting all their fresh vibrant distillery characters, aged in carefully selected, high quality American oak casks; and of course there is a trace of West Coast smoke in the background – revealing the classic JOHNNIE WALKER signature,” commented Master Blender Jim Beveridge.

If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. ~Mark Twain

Some people are like a Slinky. They are not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs...

~tanstaafl2

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