Thursday, October 30, 2014
If You Like Them, Drink Them. Just Know That They Have Nothing Whatsoever To Do With Whiskey
Fireball, a hot cinnamon concoction, is the spirits fad of 2014. Of Canadian origin, it seemingly came from nowhere and has soared to massive popularity. There was a misunderstanding in Finland earlier this week about the product's ingredients, but that means Fireball is now sold in Finland.
Meanwhile, Diageo has just introduced Pie Hole. According to the web site, Pie Hole is "a tempting blend of premium whiskey & delicious pie-flavored liqueur." There are now a million of these products. Diageo's Crown Royal has a new apple flavor. Honey is everywhere. Maple is nearly as ubiquitous. Scotch and Irish whiskey makers are in the act now too.
Clearly, a lot of people like these products. There has always been a market for sweet and fruity (or nutty) drinks. They're made in a lab with, essentially, vodka as a base. Even products like Jack Daniel's Honey and Pie Hole probably contain more vodka (i.e., grain neutral spirit) than they do whiskey. Fireball is 'whisky with natural cinnamon flavor,' but the whisky base is nearly flavorless.
These products are cheap to make. Most of the money is in marketing.
What does whiskey have to do with it? Nothing. Drink these products if you want to, really. It's your mouth. Just don't tell yourself you're drinking whiskey. It's kind of great that whiskey is so popular right now that everybody wants to slap that word on their label. Kind of great, kind of not.
But drink them if you want to, it's fine, it just has nothing whatsoever to do with with whiskey. Whiskey should taste like whiskey. These products don't. Many, like Fireball and Pie Hole, have Canadian whisky as their base. The whiskey flavor in Canadians is light to begin with. Throw in other alcohols, sweeteners and flavorings, and what little whiskey flavor there was disappears immediately. The whiskey is contributing nothing to the drink except its alcohol, which vodka could do just as well.
Seemingly, the main thing it contributes is the word "whiskey."
So drink whatever you want, just don't kid yourself. This stuff is not whiskey.