Imagine for a moment: you’re sitting at the bar of a dusty old saloon on the outskirts of a small Texas town. Cue the Western music as a tumbleweed blows past the swinging door to the rundown establishment. The door creaks as a young but weathered cowboy saunters in and steps up to the bar. “Whiskey, neat,” he grunts through gritted teeth. He wipes his brow and settles onto a stool. This man is worn. This man has seen things. Whiskey cures his aching bones and brings life to his tired heart. He doesn’t just want his whiskey smooth. He wants the best flavored whiskey that money can buy.
Like the young cowboy, many enjoy a good drink after a long day at work. Whatever your beverage of choice may be, there is good news. According to a recent study, drinking moderate amounts of alcohol can reduce stress-related signals, which could cause heart disease. Feel free to enjoy that happy hour with friends. However, the study does not condone excessive drinking.
Drinking moderately can also have positive effects on your heart. One report notes that for older adults, the occasional drink may help people live longer by lowering the risk of developing heart disease. The study found that seniors who drank three to seven drinks per week fared better than those who did not drink at all. Does this mean drink up? Not necessarily. However, it does indicate that enjoying that drink at the end of the day shouldn’t negatively affect your health.
How is whiskey flavored?
For those seeking a spirit that dances on the taste buds, flavored whiskey has become a captivating melody. But what happens behind the scenes to transform classic whiskey into these vibrant flavor landscapes? Buckle up, because we’re diving into the fascinating world of flavored whiskey creation.
The path to crafting these liquid masterpieces can vary, but often features two key approaches: infusion and blending. In infusion, natural fruits, spices, or botanicals are added to the whiskey, either during distillation or after aging. Imagine plump blueberries gently releasing their essence into the spirit, or cinnamon sticks whispering their warmth during the resting process. Each ingredient’s unique character infuses, weaving a tapestry of flavor within the whiskey’s soul.
Blending, on the other hand, takes a different approach. Here, seasoned whiskey makers meticulously combine already-flavored whiskeys or infuse extracts into a base whiskey. Think of it as a conductor harmonizing diverse tones – a touch of smoky mesquite, a whisper of honey sweetness, and a burst of citrusy zest, all brought together with masterful precision.
If your drink of choice is whiskey, you likely care about flavor. While many whiskey drinkers want to stick to the basics, flavored whiskey has entered the whiskey scene and is here to stay. We at StudyFinds read through seven different expert sources to determine the top seven best flavored whiskeys that were recommended most. It’s a new frontier, and it’s time to saddle up and explore. Have a favorite that isn’t listed? Let us know in the comments.
The List: 7 Tasty Flavored Whiskeys, Ranked by Experts
Screwball is the original peanut butter whiskey. “Screwball whiskey hails from Ocean Beach, a neighborhood in the City of San Diego. This peanut butter flavored whiskey might sound strange, but this whiskey tastes just like a peanut butter cup and is good enough to sip for non-whiskey drinkers,” says California Wine Advisory. This flavored whiskey appeared again and again in our research.
It’s an excellent option for a dessert drink. The folks at Of Whiskey and Words explain, “Have you ever had a peanut butter cup cocktail? It is one hell of a way to incorporate whiskey into a dessert drink, and the screwball peanut butter whiskey was made for this cocktail.” Who doesn’t love a good peanut butter cup?
You may not think that whiskey and peanut butter go well together, but according to WikiliQ, “these two blend together quite phenomenally. In fact, they go together so well, they make PB&J jealous.” Apparently peanut butter is the Robin to whiskey’s Batman, a modern day Bonnie and Clyde, so to speak. Make sure to enjoy it responsibly. You don’t want this whiskey stealing all your money.
Even if you don’t like whiskey, your mind may change with this bottle. “I don’t typically like dark liquor of any kind,” says StudyFinds’ Associate Editor, Sophia Naughton. “But this peanut butter whiskey is delicious and easy to sip.”
If you’re looking for a savory sweet drink, Knob Creek Smoked Maple Bourbon might be for you. Men’s Journal says, “This 90 proof whiskey is a blend of bourbon and natural smoked maple flavors. The result is a slightly smoky, sweet whiskey with hints of caramel, vanilla, and subtle oak.” Yum.
The maple flavor is strong, but not overpowering. California Winery Advisor explains, “Knob Creek uses maple syrup in their Smoked Maple Whiskey.” With Knob Creek, drinkers get the authentic maple flavor. Imagine sipping this one by the fire up in Vermont while Bing Crosby sings about his blessings.
Bartender Sly Augustin tells Cool Material that this bottle “uses flavors that compliment rather than obscure the whisky. It still works in a cocktail but can also be sipped or served over ice.” For those who are new to whiskey, Knob Creek is a good choice.
Even the reigning king of Tennessee whiskey is getting in on the flavored whiskey action. Of Whiskey and Words says, “Jack Daniel’s is an incredibly smooth whiskey, thanks to its charcoal mellowing process, and the Tennessee Honey version sweetens the experience. The whiskey is praised because it avoids being cloyingly sweet, and instead produces an authentic honey flavor.” Smooth and not too sweet, this whiskey saddles up with Carrie Underwood, hitting all of the right notes.
Oozing with Southern charm, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Of Whiskey and Words continues, “Enjoy this whiskey over ice, in a cocktail, or even in coffee. It also makes a very nice addition to lemonade on a hot summer day.” Take a load off in your front porch rocking chair and wave a howdy to your neighbors across the street. And while it would be polite, you don’t have to share.
Tennessee honey is a tried and true, classic flavor. WikiliQ says, “Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey is something special,” and we have to agree. Go ahead, grab your Honey, and sip on something sweet.
We all need a little royalty in our life, and this particular whiskey is kingly in both stature and taste. Cool Material spoke with bartender, Drew Dalton Russ, who says, “Crown Royal Apple is a great example of a flavored whiskey done right. The sweetness is well balanced by the whiskey’s earthiness and it’s one of the few flavored whiskeys that produces a good mixed cocktail.” If sipping on whiskey isn’t your preference, Crown Royal Apple Whiskey (mixed with some other delicious ingredients) might be a better option for you.
Experts rave about the whiskey’s surprisingly complex flavor. UPROXX explains, “This gets a bump up because this is very complex while still being one note. What I mean by that is that it has so many different apple vibes going on with whisky notes that support that apple vibe that it just works.” Who knew one fruit could produce such nuanced flavor?
Of Whiskey and Words praises Crown Royal Apple Whiskey, saying, “What happens when you infuse Canada’s Crown Royal with sweet gala apples? You get a spirit reminiscent of apple pie, sweet and tart with lots of caramel and spice.” We may not have a monarchy here in the United States, but this whiskey sounds all-American to us.
Cinnamon is a favorite flavor among whiskey drinkers. “Cinnamon seems to be the first choice for flavoring a whiskey, pairing well with the natural flavors, such as vanilla, caramel, or burnt sugar, that is common in whiskey or bourbon,” notes California Winery Advisor. Cinnamon whiskey is produced by quite a few major whiskey distilleries like Jack Daniels and Jim Beam. But Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey is the one that shows up on the most “best of” lists.
College students seem to go wild for Fireball. California Winery Advisor adds, “Fireball shots are in high demand at college parties and bars everywhere, especially during the winter.” The warm cinnamon burns on the way down, warming the belly like Johnny Cash’s ring of fire. We’re pretty sure Johnny would have approved this cinnamon whiskey drink.
The cinnamon flavor is strong. WikiliQ invites us to, “Just imagine what it feels like to stand face-to-face with a fire-breathing dragon who just ate a whisky barrel full of spicy cinnamon. Tastes like heaven, burns like hell.” We’d rather not face a dragon (especially without our own firebolt), but we’ll take their word for it.
Watch out, this whiskey might give you a sugar rush. Some marshmallow whiskeys have a strong artificial flavor taste. Not so with ‘Shmallow Toasted Marshmallow. This marshmallow whiskey is loaded with natural, extremely sweet flavors. UPROXX says, “if you’re looking for a (very) sweet treat whiskey, this will be your jam.”
Bartender, Alicia Leftridge, tells Cool Material, “The rich caramel and toasted, creamy campfire notes ring so pure you feel transported to a crisp evening around the fire with friends.” Bring your guitars and prepare yourself for multiple renditions of “Wonderwall.”
Finally, we have arrived. Whiskey and chocolate, could there be a better combination? Of Whiskey and Words agrees. “Just like coffee, chocolate is a natural pairing for whiskey. If you don’t believe me, check out the number of rye and chocolate tastings available at your local distillery,” they say.
If you’re a dark chocolate fan (and why wouldn’t you be?), we think you’ll especially enjoy this whiskey. Men’s Journal raves, “It starts with the distillery’s moonshine, which gets infused with ground cacao bean husks from Raaka chocolate. The result is a slightly bitter, sweet, dark chocolate-flavored whiskey.” It’s the whiskey Sirius Black wishes he could try.
There’s more to the flavor than chocolate. Of Whiskey and Words notes, “It’s not overly sweet, coming across as less sugary with more dark chocolate and cherry tones. It’s a unique flavored whiskey to try, especially with a little vanilla ice cream on the side.” Chocolate covered cherries with vanilla ice cream? Yes, please.
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