Sunday, January 15, 2012

The next big thing?

Speaking of food-flavored spirits, here's what Gerry Tosh, Global Marketing Manager for Highland Park, told The Whisky Wire he thinks is "the next big thing on the whisky horizon":
I think it will be things like flavours. They do it with Rum, Vodka, Gin and Cognac. At some point somebody will do it properly with Scotch. Will it be big? Not sure but it will maybe give the category of whisky something to fight about.
That future is already here, to some extent, with North American whiskies. Off the top of my head, I know of Spicebox Canadian Spiced Whisky, Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, and Cabin Fever Maple Whisky. For a bigger player, there's Jim Beam's black cherry-infused Red Stag -- with, I hear, more flavors to come.

In a related vein, Evan Williams now makes cherry and honey "Kentucky Liqueurs," and Jack Daniel's has a new Tennessee Honey liqueur (all of these are bottled at 70 proof, like the honey-and-spice-infused Irish Mist in the back of your mother's liquor cabinet).

So far from objecting to making infusions and liqueurs from whiskey, I do it myself. In the past few months I've made a nifty raspberry cordial from Catoctin Creek's unaged rye spirit, and a pumpkin pie spice-infused Wild Turkey for the Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole (and a few cocktails as well). The very first liqueur I made was a cherry wishniak from a base of Old Grand Dad 100.

You'll note, though, that none of the above are Scotch whiskies. I suppose it says more about the limits of my imagination than about the notion of flavored Scotch, but it hadn't occurred to me until I read Gerry Tosh's statement that anyone would even want to try flavoring Scotch.

But if they do, and they're successful, more power to them.

Just not, please, too much more shelf space. I look at the yards and yards of flavored vodkas and rums in the liquor stores, while all the whiskies of the world fit into less space than the vodkas alone, and I think that one thing we don't need is a smaller selection of whiskey-flavored whiskey.

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