File that title under “No sh*t, Sherlock.” All we have to do is look at Red Stag Black Cherry Bourbon sales or check out the chilled shot machines pouring Fireball and Jack Daniel’s Honey at some of our favorite bars around town. With new products being delivered almost weekly, flavored whiskeys were the fastest-growing spirits category in the U.S. market during the first quarter of 2012 with sales increasing by a whopping 154.8% to 94,000 cases.
But just adding honey or cherry flavor to whiskey doesn’t sell if the base spirit isn’t any good. Red Stag has taken off because original fans of Jim Beam loved their Beam in the first place. When Red Stag first rolled out in 2009, Beam’s legions of supporters took to it quickly. It makes sense considering that Beam and Coke is a staple drink found in red Solo cups around the country, especially in these parts. The combination of sweet and bourbon is already ingrained in the palate of Southern drinkers, so it wasn’t much of a leap to add a little black cherry to the mix.
Jim Beam knows when they’ve got a good thing going and has released two new varieties, Honey Tea and Spiced with Cinnamon. Although they sound like stripper names, these are actually pretty good additions to the Beam stable. If you haven’t tried them yet, seek `em out.
Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, which evolved from Dr. McGillicudy’s Cinnamon Schnapps continues to rule the roost in Music City. Like getting hit in the face with a pillowcase full of Red Hots, Fireball will get you where you want to go in a hurry and leave you with fresh breath in the morning.
With at least five honey-flavored whiskeys on the market and numerous, cherry, caramel and cinnamon varieties available on the shelves of your favorite liquor stores, sweet whiskeys are here to stay. Sweet!