A fairly foul tasting attempt at a cinnamon whiskey. Somewhat subtle relatively speaking at first, then degrading rapidly towards undrinkability
Notes: An old brand which has had a bit of a recent makeover. It is not bourbon, as even though it is made from the same basic ingredients, it does not use new charred oak barrels but used ones after they were emptied of bourbon. Most bourbon barrels are sold to scotch producers after they are used but we are now seeing them used for the production of ‘American Whiskies’ and occasionally for aging high end beer or other products. Early Times was always a bit of a bargain whiskey This is one of those new whiskies that are flavored to appeal to a younger palette one of their other offerings is Blind Archer , an apple spice flavored whiskey.
Appearance: Pale clear gold color, lighter than a standard whiskey in color on swirling it leaves a suspiciously thick oily coat on the glass which ten breaks into legs and droplets.
First Impression: Cinnamon,but that hot, fireball type of “cinnamon” you get from formic acid rather than anything that you might associate with the tree bark, to the point it made me sneeze. It is rounded out by a vanilla, caramel, spices, and just a hint of light whisky smells buried beneath all the other notes. After a couple of minutes sitting to develop it turns to a nasty hellbroth of a bouquet that actually causes physical discomfort and irritation to nose, not from the cinnamon, but whatever they are using to simulate it.
Taste: Chemical cinnamon and spice, mixed with a fairly weak, watered down whisky. Tastes like a cross between a cinnamon red hot and a piece of cinnamon gum with a touch of whiskey.While not nearly as hot or flavor forward as some cinnamon spiced whiskies, it still is a fairly regrettable whiskey. After a couple minutes of sitting out breathing the tastes turns almost completely to chemicals and almost floor polish, further lowering our opinion. At first we thought it was simply bad but bland, now thoroughly vile spring to mind.
Drinks: A fairly mild product compared to some, it is marginally useful for spicy winter type drinks as a flavoring but too weak to use as a base spirit. It also might have some limited use as a substitute or adjunct for a red vermouth in some drinks.
Bottle: Very much the standard Early Times square bottle (very similar to the Jack Daniels bottle,with a scalloped neck and a screw top closure. Bottle is almost completely covered by a shrink wrap red and tan label with a red neck wrap sporting a silhouette of a fire eater
Other: I really have to wonder given the bland, but quite candified nature of this, what age of drinkers they are trying to target with this stuff. Given the fact that the whiskey is quite hidden by everything else….
Final Thoughts: Fairly expensive for such a low proof, not to mention an uninspiring product. Spend a few more dollars a bottle on a higher proof and real whiskey and infuse or mix the flavors and ingredients yourself – it’s called a cocktail.