Flavored Whiskeys Expand the Market

Distillers around the world are sugaring and flavoring whiskeys, though as a New York Times article points out, it’s not entirely a new phenomenon. Wild Turkey Liqueur, a honey-infused bourbon, was introduced in 1976 and reformulated as American Honey in 2006. But cherry-flavored bourbon Red Stag, released by Jim Beam in 2009, really got the ball rolling, and other producers followed suit.

In addition to honey and cherry, whiskey flavors include cinnamon, apple, maple syrup. The field has become so crowded that Washington, D.C., whiskey bar Jack Rose now devotes a section of its menu to 25 flavored whiskeys.

Flavored American whiskeys include Heaven Hill‘s Evan Williams Honey Reserve and Cherry Reserve, and Brown-Forman‘s Early Times Fire Eater (spicy cinnamon) and Blind Archer (apple) and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey. Canada also has a few flavored whiskeys, while Bushmills last year introduced Bushmills Irish Honey, and in April Dewar’s came out with Highlander Honey.

While some are skeptical about the trend, it’s hard to argue with the success: Red Stag sales have risen in double-digit percentages every year since its debut. What’s more, 45% of the Red Stag drinkers of are women. One of the goals of the new flavor expressions is to bring more women-as well as novice drinkers–into the whiskey fold.

Read the full article here.


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