Bourbon & Whiskey Reviews Feed

Bourbon Review: Knob Creek Smoked Maple

By Mike Thayer

Knob Creek Smoked Maple
Straight Shot

Blended and flavored whiskeys continue to be red hot in popularity, consumer demand for brown spirits remains on the rise with American Whiskey in particular seeing some phenomenal sales growth.

Regular readers know that I am a fan of flavored whiskey, I've always got a bottle of something in my freezer for a chilled shot or flavored specialty in the liquor cabinet to enjoy on the rocks.  My favorite in all this tasting fun so far, has been Ole Smoky Peanut Butter flavored whiskey.  It's BETTER than Skrewball!

Today's review is a taste of maple!  I was gifted a bottle for Christmas, a very pleasant surprise.

Here's the short description from the Knob Creek website:  We blend this bourbon with natural smoked maple flavors for a unique, smoky sweetness. 

I sampled this whiskey in a straight shot and on the rocks.  In pulling the stopper, you get a nice whiff of maple with a hint of smoke.  At 90 proof, this bourbon is full-bodied, you get the maple at the front but it's not overly sweet and is followed by the smoke and complimentary notes of vanilla and caramel.  It's an excellent, warm, bourbon finish.  I enjoyed it best on the rocks, the ice elevating all the flavor notes in a cleaner sip if you will.

Retailing for about $30, Knob Creek Smoked Maple is a higher quality whiskey than say Jim Beam.  It's slightly sweet but not too maple forward, it's smokey smooth and deserves a spot in your liquor cabinet.  I'm giving it 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars. A great fall/winter sipping whiskey, I'm reserving this for special occasions and it's most definitely a repeat buy.

4 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Related: Drink Review: Jim Beam Maple Whiskey


Drink Review: Wild Turkey American Honey

By Mike Thayer

Wild Turkey American Honey
Rich and flavorful

Here's another fun shot to enjoy over the holidays!

Blended and flavored whiskeys continue to be red hot in popularity, consumer demand for brown spirits remains on the rise with American Whiskey in particular seeing some phenomenal sales growth.

Regular readers know that I am a fan of flavored whiskey, I've always got a bottle of something in my freezer for a chilled shot or flavored specialty in the liquor cabinet to enjoy on the rocks.  My favorite in all this tasting fun so far, has been Ole Smoky Peanut Butter flavored whiskey.  It's BETTER than Skrewball!

Today's review is a taste of honey!

Bottled as a liqueur, here's the description of Wild Turkey American Honey from the bottle:  Exceptionally smooth liqueur blended with pure honey and bourbon whiskey.

With a proof of 71 and aged 4 years, this blend of bourbon and honey has a great, fragrant nose, you get that sweet whiff of honey right away in taking the cap off the bottle.  The mouthfeel is rich and flavorful, delivering the honey in front followed by notes of vanilla from the Wild Turkey finish. 

Costing me about $14 for a 350ml bottle, I'm giving Wild Turkey American Honey 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It's a bit pricey but it's quite delicious especially over ice.  A repeat buy, I also look forward to cooking with this, the blend of bourbon and honey will lend itself well to a number of dishes!

5 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Related: Whiskey Review: Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey

Related: Drink Review: Jim Beam Honey Whiskey


Whiskey Review: Ballotin Peanut Butter Chocolate

By Mike Thayer

Ballotin Peanut Butter Chocolate
It's a Reece's Peanut Butter Cup in a bottle!

Here's a fun shot to enjoy over the holidays!

Blended and flavored whiskeys continue to be red hot in popularity, consumer demand for brown spirits remains on the rise with American Whiskey in particular seeing some phenomenal sales growth.

Regular readers know that I am a fan of flavored whiskey, I've always got a bottle of something in my freezer for a chilled shot or flavored specialty in the liquor cabinet to enjoy on the rocks.  My favorite in all this tasting fun so far, has been Ole Smoky Peanut Butter flavored whiskey.  It's BETTER than Skrewball!

And BONUS:  Peanut butter flavored whiskeys lend themselves to some great chilled shot mixology:  A half shot of peanut butter and a half shot of Chambord raspberry liquer makes a wonderful PB&J shot.  Mix peanut butter and a banana liquer for an "Elvis" (his favorite sandwich was a fried peanut butter and banana).  And also quite good, mix the peanut butter and a chocolate liquer for a "Reece's Peanut Butter Cup."

But wait a minute!...  Ballotin got smart and put those "Reece's" flavors in ONE bottle!  No mixology required!  And it's DAMN good!  This is smoother than what you can create on your own in a mixed shot, as the chocolate and peanut butter flavors are all natural flavors blended in before bottling this whiskey at 60 proof.  These aren't harsh liquers added after the fact like some bottlers do.  What you get with Ballotin is a flavored blend that's perfectly balanced.  There's nothing harsh, nothing overpowering and more importantly it's not overly sweet.  You get the aroma of peanut butter with a hint of chocolate in the nose.  In the taste, It's Reece's, but with a hint of Butterfinger which is a good thing!  And the most important characteristic in a good flavored whiskey is a warm whiskey finish and this delivers just that.

Costing me about $29 for a 750ml bottle, I'm giving Ballotin Peanut Butter Chocolate Whiskey 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It's a delicious flavored whiskey, enjoyable no matter the pour be it a straight shot, a chilled shot, served neat or on the rocks.  A bit pricey, it's still a repeat buy, this is something you'll want to have on hand, especially during the holidays.

5 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends...


Whiskey Review: Ole Smoky Salted Watermelon Whiskey

By Mike Thayer

Ole Smoky Salted Watermelon Whiskey
Watermelon and Whiskey is a good pairing

Blended and flavored whiskeys continue to be red hot in popularity, consumer demand for brown spirits remains on the rise with American Whiskey in particular seeing some phenomenal sales growth.

Regular readers know that I am a fan of flavored whiskey, I've always got a bottle of something in my freezer for a chilled shot or flavored specialty in the liquor cabinet to enjoy on the rocks.  My favorite in all this tasting fun so far, has been Ole Smoky Peanut Butter flavored whiskey.  It's BETTER than Skrewball!

Given how much I enjoyed the Ole Smoky Peanut Butter, I decided to give another one of their flavored whiskeys a try.

Today's tasting:  Ole Smoky Salted Watermelon

If a shot of whiskey can be refreshing, this is it!

You get the whiff of watermelon in the nose, the hint of salt kisses the tongue along with the fruity note and then there's the warm whiskey finish.  It's slightly sweet, not overpowering at all and it's balanced by that salt.  It's smooth and yes, refreshing! 

As always, I tried this whiskey neat, on the rocks and in a chilled shot. It's very good any way served. It would also lend itself well to mixology, adding a splash of ginger ale comes to mind.  A friend of mine recommended mixing it with lemonade which sounds real good. 

Costing me $19.99, Ole Smoky Salted Watermelon is definitely a repeat buy and gets 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars. 

4 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends...


Drink Review: Ole Smoky Peanut Butter Whiskey

By Mike Thayer

Ole Smoky Peanut Butter Whiskey
A chilled shot, is a great shot

Blended and flavored whiskeys continue to be red hot in popularity, consumer demand for brown spirits remains on the rise with American Whiskey in particular seeing some phenomenal sales growth.

Regular readers know that I am a fan of flavored whiskey, I've always got a bottle of something in my freezer for a chilled shot or flavored specialty in the liquor cabinet to enjoy on the rocks.  My favorite in all this tasting fun so far, has been Skrewball.

Today's tasting:  Ole Smoky Peanut Butter Whiskey

It's BETTER than Skrewball and BONUS - Cheaper too!

It hits all the peanut butter notes that Skrewball does and then some.  It's sweet, it's smooth, the whiskey finish is SO pleasantly warm.  Without question, without hesitation, Ole Smoky Peanut Butter Whiskey is a BETTER shot, it's better straight up, it's better chilled, it's better in mixology.

Try it combined with Chambord for a peanut butter and jelly shot.  AWESOME!  Try it with some Godiva Chocolate Liquor for a Reece's Pieces kind of thing.  And here's a fun one, combined with DeKuyper Creme de Banana, you get "The Elvis"....  a take on his favorite sandwich, the peanut butter and banana....

Costing me $19.99, Ole Smoky Peanut Butter Whiskey is BETTER than Skrewball and costs far less (comparatively, Skrewball costs around $30) and gets 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It is now my GO TO peanut butter flavored whiskey.

5 stars


Whiskey Review: Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey

By Mike Thayer

20210921_182441Blended and flavored whiskeys continue to be red hot in popularity, consumer demand for brown spirits remains on the rise with American Whiskey in particular seeing some phenomenal sales growth.

Regular readers know that I am a fan of flavored whiskey, I've always got a bottle of something in my freezer for a chilled shot or flavored specialty in the liquor cabinet to enjoy on the rocks.  My favorite in all this tasting fun so far, has been Skrewball.

Today's tasting:  Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey

This is a deceptively GOOD whiskey!

Honey is SUCH a nice pairing with whiskey and Jack Daniel's has done things right by NOT making this overly sweet like other makers tend to do when it comes to flavored whiskeys.  The honey is subtle in the nose, there's nothing harsh about this at all and you get the nice Jack Daniel's whiskey finish.  This whiskey is almost, note I wrote 'almost' too smooth.  What a nice combo.

As always, I tried this whiskey neat, on the rocks and in a chilled shot. It's very good any way served.  It would also lend itself well to mixology, adding a splash of ginger ale comes to mind right away....

Costing me about $21 for a 750ml bottle, Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey is definitely a repeat buy and gets 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars!

4 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

 


Drink Review: Jim Beam Orange Whiskey

By Mike Thayer

20210805_084023Blended and flavored whiskeys continue to be red hot in popularity, consumer demand for brown spirits continues to rise with American Whiskey in particular seeing some phenomenal sales growth.

Regular readers know that I am a fan of flavored whiskey, I've always got a bottle of something in my freezer for a chilled shot or flavored specialty in the liquor cabinet to enjoy on the rocks.  My favorite in all this tasting fun so far, has been Skrewball.

Today's tasting:  Jim Beam Orange Whiskey

I've sampled Jim Beam Apple, Jim Beam Red Stag, Jim Beam Honey,  Jim Beam Maple, and Jim Beam Peach.  Of the Jim Beam lot, my favorite so far has been the apple, with the others not really being repeat buys.

The description from the bottle:   Jim Beam Orange contains all the pride of the Beam family's 220-year history with a refreshing take on family tradition.  Our distillers have infused bright, flavorful Orange Liqueur with fine Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey.  The perfect mix of orange and bourbon with hints of vanilla and oak.  Enjoy straight, or mix with soda water or enjoy straight. 

So how good is it you ask?

As usual, I served this up in a straight shot and on the rocks. I have to say based on my reviews of the other Jim Beam flavors, I wasn't expecting much, but the orange is pretty good.  You get a pleasant hint of orange in the nose, it hits you in the swallow but it's not overpowering, with the notes of vanilla and oak on the back end followed nicely by the warmth of the classic Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey finish.  I can see this being the main pour in making an Old Fashioned and I'm looking forward to trying that.  I did try a chilled shot with a squeeze of lime, which I recommend - very nice!  

Jim Beam Peach Whiskey gets 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It's an good flavored whiskey.  Priced at about $17 for a 750ml bottle, Jim Beam Orange is a repeat buy.   

4 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....


Drink Review: Bird Dog Black Cherry Flavored Whiskey

By Mike Thayer

Blended and flavored whiskeys are red hot right now, consumer demand for brown spirits continues to rise with American Whiskey in particular seeing some phenomenal sales growth.

Regular readers know that I am a fan of flavored whiskey, I've always got a bottle of something in my freezer for a chilled shot or a flavored specialty in the liquor cabinet to enjoy on the rocks.  My favorite in all this tasting fun so far, has been Bird Dog Chocolate Flavored Whiskey, an awesome flavor pairing!

20201118_112154Today I'm reviewing another new flavor offering from Bird Dog, a Black Cherry flavored whiskey.

The description from the Bird Dog website: 

Earning top honors from multiple spirit awards, our Bird Dog Black Cherry is the ultimate “cherry on top”. Rich, deep notes of dark fruitiness are enhanced by the signature honey and oak finish of our Kentucky bourbon. Sip it on its own, or mixed up in one of our signature Black Cherry Kentucky Mules.

Potency
80 PROOF / 40% Alc/Vol

Color
Golden-Reddish Amber

Nose
Delightful, dark fruit

Body
Traditional caramel and vanilla notes combine with subtle cherry flavor

Finish
A warm, smooth finish, nicely lingers

Bird Dog flavored whiskeys all hit the 80 proof mark, whereas most other flavored whiskeys which usually come at 70 proof.  What I like about what Bird Dog does with that extra alcohol is that the whiskey doesn't come off as being too sweet with the flavoring, nor is it 'whiskey harsh.' In other words it's balanced rather than being too black cherry forward.  This is an award winning whiskey/flavor pairing and the black cherry notes definitely do come through but it does come off as just a bit medicinal for me, as in a cough drop flavor...  What carries it are the caramel and vanilla notes and the warm, whiskey finish. I also tried this whiskey with the Bird Dog Peanut Butter Flavored Whiskey for a PB&J chilled shot which was pretty darn tasty, as well as pairing the black cherry with the Bird Dog Chocolate for a Chocolate Covered Cherry chilled shot, which was even better!

Priced at about $18 for a 750ml bottle, I'm giving Bird Dog Black Cherry Flavored Whiskey 4 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  For me, it's better used in mixology than it is a stand alone shot or on the rocks drink. 

4 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

 


Peanut Butter Flavored Whiskey Challenge: Bird Dog vs. Skrewball

By Mike Thayer

Blended and flavored whiskeys are red hot right now, consumer demand for brown spirits continues to rise with American Whiskey in particular seeing some phenomenal sales growth.

20201118_112339Regular readers know that I am a fan of flavored whiskey, I've always got a bottle of something in my freezer for a chilled shot or a flavored specialty in the liquor cabinet to enjoy on the rocks.  My favorite in all this tasting fun until recently, has been Skrewball Peanut Butter Flavored Whiskey .  But replacing that was a new flavor offering from Bird Dog and their Chocolate Flavored Whiskey - what a great pairing!  Bird Dog has also released a Peanut Butter Flavored variety, which I've been anxious to compare to Skrewball and it's what I'm reviewing today.

The description from the Bird Dog website: 

Creamy or crunchy?
Whatever your preference, our Peanut Butter Bird Dog goes down smooth. Aromatic vanilla and caramel undertones round out the nutty flavor for a slow, warm finish. Pair with our Strawberry Bird Dog for a PB&J shot straight from the lunchbox.

Potency
80 PROOF / 40% Alc/Vol

Color
Golden-Reddish Amber

Nose
Warm peanuts with a hint of wood char

Body
Uniquely smooth peanut butter flavors are presented with traditional caramel and vanilla notes

Finish
A slow, warm, whiskey fades with sweet caramel

Once again, Bird Dog nails it!

At 80 proof, the Bird Dog has a bit more kick than the typical flavored whiskeys which usually come at 70 proof.  That extra alcohol means this whiskey doesn't taste too sweet, nor is it harsh.  I'm a HUGE fan of Skrewball Peanut Butter Flavored Whiskey but Bird Dog is on par with Skrewball, with my former favorite getting just an ever so slight edge in flavor. Skrewball is a bit sweeter, but both the Skrewball and Bird dog whiskeys whether in a chilled shot, served on the rocks or neat, have a nice peanut butter nose, you get notes of vanilla and caramel and the finish is very pleasant and warm. 

Why Bird Dog wins the day:  It costs less, quite a bit less!  We're talking about $30 for a bottle of Skrewball vs. about $19 for the Bird Dog.  That's a no brainer for me, saving $11 for a very good peanut butter whiskey that's going to give you everything you're looking for in one whether enjoyed by itself or in mixology. 

Mixology suggestions:  Pairing the combo of the chocolate and peanut butter flavors for a Reece's Peanut Butter Cup shot!   You could pair the peanut butter with the strawberry flavored whiskey as suggested by Bird Dog, but I'm not a fan of the strawberry.  Bird Dog has released a new Black Cherry flavor, I might give that a try for a PB&J shot.

Next Up (after the Black Cherry review):  Bird Dog has released yet another flavor, Jalapeno flavored whiskey!  Oh my!

The Bird Dog line up of flavored whiskeys is pretty impressive and with their Peanut Butter flavored whiskey comparing so favorably to Skrewball's version - which set the bar for that flavor - I'm giving Bird Dog Peanut Butter Flavored Whiskey 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It tastes just about as good as Skrewball for a lot less money!

5 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....


Drink Review: Bird Dog Chocolate Whiskey

By Mike Thayer

Blended and flavored whiskeys are red hot right now, consumer demand for brown spirits continues to rise with American Whiskey in particular seeing some phenomenal sales growth.

Regular readers know that I am a fan of flavored whiskey, I've always got a bottle of something in my freezer for a chilled shot or a flavored specialty in the liquor cabinet to enjoy on the rocks.  My favorite in all this tasting fun so far, has been Skrewball Peanut Butter Flavored Whiskey with Yukon Jack Jacapple coming in a close second.

After today's tasting, that may have changed....

Bird Dog Chocolate Flavored WhiskeyEnter, Bird Dog Chocolate Flavored Whiskey.

Shared with my Lady Friend, this was the best on the rocks flavored whiskey I've ever had....  We sampled it doing shots as well, VERY smooth!

Good whiskey and chocolate is an OUTSTANDING pairing! 

The description from the Bird Dog website: 

Chocoholics rejoice. A comforting fragrance of smooth milk chocolate awakens the senses at first encounter. Notes of rich cocoa highlight the quintessential notes of vanilla and caramel without overpowering the classic bourbon flavor. Swap out dessert for our signature Chocolate Martini, and you’ll wonder why you haven’t been ending your meals this way all along.

Potency: 80 PROOF / 40% Alc/Vol

Color: Golden Amber

Nose: Rich chocolate scents with the hint of bourbon

Body: Smooth, velvety chocolate flavors infuse with natural bourbon notes of vanilla and caramel

Finish: Light chocolate touches layer into a gentle cocoa and warm finish

That is absolutely, 100% correct!

At 80 proof, the Bird Dog has a bit more kick than the typical flavored whiskeys which usually come at 70 proof.  That extra alcohol means this whiskey doesn't taste too sweet, nor is it harsh.  Bird Dog did it right, a nice balance of the chocolate followed by a nice, warm, bourbon finish.   Bird Dog has introduced a number of new flavored whiskeys, to include a peanut butter flavored version which I'm anxious to try and compare to Skrewball.  And then there's the combo of the chocolate and peanut butter flavors for a Reece's Peanut Butter Cup shot! 

Priced at about $22 for a 750ml bottle, it costs a little more than your average flavored whiskey, but it's WELL worth it.  I'm giving Bird Dog Chocolate Flavored Whiskey 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It's my new favorite!  What a fantastic flavor pairing!

5 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends.....