Thursday, August 10, 2017

What Fresh Hell Is This?



On Monday, it was "The Death of the Brand Ambassador." Today, it is "Revenge of the Global Partner," reminding us that fanciful titles for paid celebrity spokesfolk are also a hot new thing. Just ask Wild Turkey Creative Director Matthew McConaughey.

McConaughey got his gig about a year ago. Kunis has been global partnering with Jim Beam since 2014. Today she recommends that we drink Jim Beam Vanilla, for when "you love the taste of bourbon but are sometimes looking for something a little different." A mixture of vanilla liqueur with Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, it adds to the Jim Beam flavored portfolio that includes Jim Beam Apple, Jim Beam Kentucky Fire, Jim Beam Honey, and Red Stag by Jim Beam Black Cherry.

Jack Daniel's Honey is the leader in the flavored whiskey segment. It is a mixture of Jack whiskey and honey liqueur. By mixing whiskey with a liqueur you can introduce grain neutral spirit (i.e., vodka) as part of the drink's alcohol content, as neutral spirit is the alcohol component of most liqueurs. A blended whiskey that contains neutral spirit must disclose that fact on the label. Liqueurs are assumed to contain neutral spirit, so a whiskey blended with a liqueur doesn't face that requirement. Jack Honey and Jim Vanilla are classified as 'distilled spirit specialties,' not whiskey.

Neutral spirit costs a lot less to manufacture than whiskey. That makes flavored products more profitable and helps stretch currently tight whiskey stocks. Products classified as 'specialties' can also be sold at a lower proof, 70° (35% ABV) rather than the minimum of 80° (40% ABV) required for whiskey.

But to the typical consumer, it says Jack Daniel's or Jim Beam on the label so it's whiskey, right?

If you hate these products, blame Sazerac's phenomenally successful Fireball, another whiskey/liqueur mixture.

When Jim Beam first got into the flavored whiskey game, they said it would never get as crazy as flavored vodka.

We'll see about that.

8 comments:

cotton 1 said...

I have purchased flavored bourbons and mixed with apple juice and butter adds a nice flavor when mopped on ribs and pulled pork

Anonymous said...

If it will help the real bourbon go further I say go for it, that leaves more straight bourbon for us.

Fox Creek said...

Ha! I can remember when fruit flavored vodka (dyed garish colors) was bottom shelf dirt cheap swill for hobos and rummies. Remember Mr. Boston lemon vodka?

Chuck Cowdery said...

I have a vague memory of cherry vodka from my misspent youth.

Erik Fish said...

Checking the OLCC list of available vodkas, there is horseradish, whipped-cream, bacon, heavy water (I'm sort of hoping that's not the same stuff they use for nuclear reactors), wasabi, cotton candy, peanut butter, and organic cucumber among the flavored types.

I think flavored whiskey has a ways to go :)

Gary A. Turner said...

There's a reason flavored vodka went crazy . . . and no reason to believe it wouldn't happen in this category. But as anon said - more for us if it distracts the squirrels chasing shiny things :)
(note - not hating on squirrels, or those who enjoy those flavored whiskies; folks should drink what they enjoy! Just hoping it means folks who are simply "trend buying" will forget about whiskey for a minute!)

Tommy tom said...

Interesting that in a control state (Ohio) the shelves are full of flavored whiskies, but try to get Eagle Rare, Buffalo Trace, Russell's Reserve etc etc on a consistent basis.

Anonymous said...

I remember when Beanie Babies were supposed to be in short supply, and morons went out and bought them at inflated prices.