Infusing a drink with a like-minded flavor is nothing new in the beverage business, we see it every day in things like fruit beers, flavored gins, and the finite number of seltzer options out there. In fact, if anything, we tend to get carried away with the act. Just ask Arby’s and its new line of French fry-flavored vodkas.
With a category as broad as whiskey brands, there’s quite a bit of wiggle room in terms of adding other ingredients. That doesn’t mean they all work, but it does mean you have more choices, many of which are downright enjoyable to sip even neat. Whiskey does well with various fruit flavors, not to mention spicy ingredients and even sweet ones like cacao, caramel, and more.
Keeping all that in mind, here are some of the best flavored whiskies to look out for.
It’s not at all surprising that an Oregon distillery would be drawn toward the local marionberry, a cross between two blackberry species. The dark fruit notes do great in a spirit, especially the spicy caramel notes and pronounced pie crust flavors. This is a great addition to tea if you like a hot cocktail or even a hot toddy. Sounds like dessert to us!
With tasty nutty notes to accompany the big peach and citrus zest flavors, this release from flavored whiskey specialist Leopold Brothers is arguably the brand’s best. It’s a fun one to play around with when making classics like an Old Fashioned cocktail or just sip with an ice cube and maybe a dash or two of bitters.
Yeah, it takes some getting used to on the surface, but really, there’s no reason why decent peanut butter flavoring shouldn’t go with whiskey. This is especially so with a sweet whiskey, as this one very much is (menacing label be damned). You don’t need much, as it functions like a syrup, but you’ll immediately be reminded of youthful Halloween days and grow eager to mix with the stuff, throwing in things like espresso. From what we heard, there are several options to make this particularly flavored whiskey into a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup or Reese’s Pieces…
What is it about cinnamon whiskey? It goes down easy, sure, but there’s more to it. The right punch of cinnamon spice adds an extra layer of warmth to wintertime imbibing. We suggest setting yourself up with a short pour neat, and washing it down with a nice holiday beer.
Maple syrup and bourbon adore one another, as this popular Knob Creek release proves. It’s a fun one to try as a splash in something like a Boulevardier cocktail, or just sipped neat during Sunday brunch.
This one immediately reminds of Thanksgiving and roasted goodness. It’s nutty, with a pleasant caramelized backbone. Try it as a post-meal sipper or even mixed in with some vanilla gelato. If you’re not familiar with pralines, get there, as it’s a delightful combo of tasty nut notes stemming from hazelnuts, almonds, and sugar.
This Texas product is a model citizen among the pretty crowded honeyed bourbon circuit. It offers all the best wild honey notes without commanding the whiskey. You still get some nice oak interplay, along with a bit of spice, toffee, and fruit.
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