We’ve brought together the definitive guide to flavoured Whiskies so you know what’s good and how to enjoy them.
So what are they?Flavoured Whiskies. Essentially, Whiskies that have had some sort of flavouring added to either enhance the flavours already in the malt, or to add a new flavour.
You’ve most likely to have come across a Whisky based Liqueur at some point, and these are the perfect jumping off point to explain a flavoured Whisky. Liqueurs are drinks that are a specific flavour and use a certain spirit as the base.
Flavoured Whiskies are Whiskies that have had flavours and sugar added to bring out a new flavour but still have the ABV of a Whisky, which will usually be 40% or above.
A (very) brief historyIt would be hard to pinpoint the first ever flavoured Whisky (I tried Google but to no avail). However, there are plenty about, and plenty that are very popular. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to talk about flavoured Whiskies, which will include some spirits that are technically Liqueurs.
Southern Comfort is probably the most famous flavoured Whiskies and it dates back to 1874 in New Orleans. After that, there is Glayva, which is a Scotch Liqueur that was first made in 1947. There are probably some in between, especially during the roaring 20s when cocktails became a thing.
In the past decade, flavoured drinks have really taken off. There is more of a tradition of staying in and enjoying a drink. With that, people have been buying flavoured drinks to have a fuller experience of staying in. Cocktails have also become more popular in the last decade and flavoured spirits really allow mixologists to do some interesting things with cocktails.
How do I drink them?Well, fairly easily, really. You can enjoy them neat and really get to know the flavours, or enjoying them in a cocktail.
NeatPour it in a glass. Add some ice if you want. Enjoy.
It really is that simple. This is a great way to drink flavoured Whiskies. Whisky is a very complicated drink and flavoured Whiskies add another element to consider.
Drinking flavoured Whiskies neat means you can consider the flavours individually. This is the perfect way to do a tasting and explore how the added flavours help or hinder the other notes in the malt.
In a cocktailChoose a cocktail. Add your Whisky. Enjoy.
There are so many different cocktails out there and adding flavoured Whisky will really help the taste to be livelier. This is a very personal option, meaning you can choose whatever you enjoy the most and just go with it.
Think of what else you’re adding into your cocktail and how the flavours all mix together. What is the flavoured Whisky doing? Can you still taste the Whisky notes?
Really you can do this with many traditional Whisky based cocktails to add a little more flavour, or you can do it with a specific cocktail. Would honey flavoured Whisky make an Old Fashioned even better? Probably.
Whisky Sours, Sazerac, Irish Coffee, Manhattan, Mint Julep. Whatever your cocktail of choice, try a flavoured Whisky in it.
Which ones should I try?There are so many different flavoured Whiskies out there: Southern Comfort has been around for a long time and is popular for a reason. Wild Turkey have a spiced Kentucky Bourbon, and were one of the first distillers to create a Liqueur with their Wild Turkey Honey.
Jack Daniels also have a honeyed Whisky, as do Bushmills, which will be a treat for any Scotch enthusiasts out there.
Maple is also a popular flavour for Whiskies and Jim Beam, Knob Creek and Crown Royal are known for theirs. Red Stag by Jim Beam do a whole series of flavoured Whiskies including Black Cherry and Honey Tea.
And look out for some of the spicier ones including the brutally spicy Cinerator, a hot cinnamon flavoured Whiskey from Heaven Hill or Tennessee Fire from JD.
So there you have it. Everything you need to know about flavoured Whiskies and how to enjoy them. The only thing left to do, is crack one open.
What do you think of flavoured Whiskies? Start the conversation in the comments!