« Food & Drinks

Glasses Filling with Flavored Whiskeys

by Jeff Flynt

I'm sure you've seen the ads on TV, or while driving on Wisconsin highways. The push to get people who don't drink whiskey to dabble into it is on.

How does one attempt such a plan?

You do so by adding flavors to your Bourbon, American, and Canadian, Irish or Scotch whiskeys. 

The infusion of tastes like honey, cherry, cinnamon, maple syrup, apple and tea into the fermented grain mash is apparently selling well.

According to the New York Times story, flavored whiskeys are the fastest growing segment in the bourbon industry. Jim Beam's Nielsen research found that in 2012 flavored whiskey accounted for nearly 75 percent of growth among all whiskeys, and 42 percent of growth in bourbon. 

But is it a good idea?

That depends upon whom you ask. If it's a non-whiskey drinker, they may give it a shot (pun intended) if they're a fan of the flavor. If its a bartender, the flavors do lend it to be made into interesting cocktails. 

However, if you're someone who appreciates the warm, peaty, malty, grainy, oaky, caramel flavors of a straight whiskey (or with a bit of water/rocks), probably not. You may even be revolted, much like the Scotch Whisky Association.

For the companies which make the product, there may have been moments of apprehension. But the bottom line is that sales look strong. So we can expect to see the flavored whiskey market to grow as other flavors and/or brands jump on board.

My personal hope is that we DON'T see Bushmill's Whipped Irish Cream Whisky.