Might recommend it if you have a cold or cough but otherwise no. Kind of a Redneck Drambuie.
Notes: This whiskey is part of what seems to be a new trend – flavored whiskies. With the seemingly daily addition of some new (and usually ghastly) flavored vodka it seems the whiskey industry wants to dip their toes in these waters ( or maybe I should say abyss).
While there have always been a few flavored whiskies or whisky liqueuers around ( Drambuie, Rock and Rye, Southern Comfort, Wild Turkey Honey, etc.,) there were few new entries in this field till the abortive attempts by Phillips Union ( a cherry, a vanilla, and a light whiskey – all of which they compared to vodkas) a few years ago and further back a Rebel Yell Cinnamon that unlike it’s title slipped quietly into oblivion . The category nows seems to be growing again, albeit very slowly and tentatively. Wild Turkey did a remake of their bourbon honey liqueur complete with new packaging a little while back, and now we see that Jim Beam has entered the fray with this new honey tea flavored bourbon and their Red Stag Spiced with Cinnamon .
Appearance: Clear wheat gold, a bit lighter in color than we would possibly expect, slightly more viscous than their usual production.On swirling edgeline is a bit thicker than their usual also with a few legs slowly forming after a bit of a wait.
First Impression: Starts of with the usual Jim Beam bourbon bouquet, then after swirling and waiting a bit it hits a bit more alcohol/spirit forward with notes of honey and sweetener of some sort and value hints of tea – that are somewhat elusive.
Taste: A somewhat syrupy entry of a rather indistinct blending of honey, bourbon and if we concentrate some sort of tea providing a slight drying of an otherwise sweet bourbon syrup. Cinnamon, cherry, hazelnuts, oak and vanilla overlaid with a honey sugar are the primary flavors I’m getting.The honey is of a rather ambiguous flavor – almost more a sweet syrup than a truly identifiable honey per se. The tea is almost nonexistent or I should say fades away behind the two primary flavors as to be almost a footnote but comes back on the finish drying what would be a very sweet finish. There is also a lingering cheery and nuts blending with the tea flavors.
Drinks: The recipes we have seen were mostly warmed over variations of classics . The drinks themselves were somewhat sweetened,muted versions of the originals, which might actually bode well for the company as that is what the younger crowd might like as they are less challenging.
Bottle: Very much in the style of their traditional Jim Beam clear glass bottles . Graphics on the label are completely different with a Textured yellow label and “red STAG ” with a large rack of antlers, marking it as a radical departure from their usual but there is a under layer on the side of the bottle that has the traditional Jim Beam artwork.The screw on cap and neck color also have a yellow/tan ring with honeycomb graphics and the words “Honey Tea”
Other: It’s interesting to note that nowhere can I find the actual ingredients listed anywhere beyond the fact that it uses Jim Beam bourbon . The age of the bourbon is also not listed. Yes, I know that if a bourbon is less than 3 years old there is to be an age statement but not sure about infused whiskies.
Final Thoughts: While I am not really sure whether this should be classified as either infused whiskey, or possibly look or given its sweetness, I do think it suffers from a rather muddled and indistinct flavoring profile. While not bad it is neither exciting nor particularly distinctive enough to really recommend buying it.