Bourbon sipped through a cinnamon candy.
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 Honey Tea
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. Very much like it’s brother the Red Stag Honey Tea
First Impression: Starts off with a fair amount of a cinnamon candy smell with the usual Jim Beam bourbon bouquet in the background, which after a bit of swirling and time supplants cinnamon candy smells
Taste: A somewhat syrupy entry for a whiskey and the primary really overriding taste is a cinnamon candy rather than bourbon profile. A rather sweet and not particularly hot or distinctive cinnamon candy, it was somewhat disappointing as I was hoping for an actual cinnamon spice rather than candy taste. While I think a cinnamon whiskey might be interesting for mixologists, I think Beam was shooting for the younger crowd by going with a candy rather than spice profile.
Drinks: I couldn’t find any specific drinks recipes for this whiskey but there are a number of cinnamon liqueur recipes available on the web or you could use it as a substitute for regular whiskey realizing it is quite a bit sweeter and will of course have a candy cinnamon taste. as I said about the Red Stag honey tea whiskey, I think it is targeted for a younger audience who would enjoy more candy flavored cocktails than a older crowd expecting something a bit more grown-up.
Bottle: Very much in the style of their traditional Jim Beam clear glass bottles . Graphics on the label are completely different with a Textured red with tan accents 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 red ring and the words “Spiced with Cinnamon”
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 liqueur given its sweetness, While not bad it is neither exciting nor particularly distinctive enough to really recommend buying it. Well much less aggressive than the Cinnamon Rebel Yell of years past, given its rather candy like nature I can’t really get behind it in terms of seeing it as something that would be a great mixer and is simply too sweet and candy like to be drunk on its own in any quantity, at least by anyone of legal drinking age.