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The Best Flavored Bourbons And Whiskeys To Have Delivered This Weekend

Flavored bourbon (and flavored booze in general) gets a bad wrap from purists. There’s nothing “elevated” about adding sugar-centric flavorings to a premium product. But year-after-year, flavored bourbons, vodkas, and rums end up grabbing a lot of shelf space at the liquor store. That tells you at least two things: 1) someone is buying the stuff, and 2) someone, somewhere is trying to make it better.

While flavored whiskey may feel like a newish invention, it’s been getting bottled as long as we’ve been distilling spirits. Hundreds of years ago, adding fruit and spices to booze was essential to making the stuff drinkable. Then, as we figured out barreling, adding fruits and spices fell off and became more niche. In the modern era, all the major distillers and a vast majority of craft distillers produce a line of flavored products — if for no other reason than to appease drinkers seeking them out.

There’s a lot to like about the ten bottles of flavored bourbons and whiskeys below. For the most part, these are expressions that were cut with an actual product like fresh blackberries or real coffee. We did, you’ll notice, leave off Fireball. While that’s probably the best-known flavored whiskey out there, we’re going to focus on some smaller labels, less-known bottles, and lean away from high fructose corn syrup (though there are a few big names below). For our Fireball review, see here.

Wild Turkey Spiced

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ABV: 43%
Distillery: Wild Turkey Distilling Co., Lawrenceburg, KY (Campari Group)
Average Price: $22.99

The Whiskey:

Instead of Fireball, try this. Wild Turkey Spiced is 43 percent Wild Turkey bourbon mellowed with Caribbean spices. The whole idea of this expression is to lean towards a well-spiced dark rum in bourbon form.

Tasting Notes:

If you like Wild Turkey but want a little touch of spice and sweet added, this is for you. This dram opens up with a clear sense of bourbon vanilla, caramel, and oak. The spice is present and carries through with nods to cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and a clear rye pepperiness. The sweet edge leans more syrupy than bourbon-y.

Knob Creek Smoked Maple Bourbon Whiskey

ABV: 45%
Distillery: Jim Beam Distillery, Clermont, KY (Beam Suntory)
Average Price: $34.99

The Whiskey:

This expression is a nod to master distiller Booker Noe. While Noe helped create bourbon as we know it today, he also loved to make maple syrup and smoke meat. The standard Knob Creek bourbon is cut with “natural” smoked maple flavors that lean into the “smoke” aspects of that.

Tasting Notes:

It’s no surprise that it’s smoke that greets you. Those hints of maple and hickory head towards an earthiness that’s offset by oily vanilla and syrupy maple. The classic bourbon caramel feel comes in late with that syrup sweetness as the smoke lingers like the embers of a dying campfire late at night.

Leopold Bros. Rocky Mountain Blackberry Whiskey

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ABV: 40%
Distillery: Leopold Bros. Distillery, Denver, CO
Average Price: $34.99

The Whiskey:

This small Rocky Mountain distiller does some magical stuff in the flavored booze category. Their sour mash of rye and corn whiskey is cut with fresh blackberry juice from the Rockies. The whiskey then goes into ex-bourbon barrels for final aging with the juice, creating a dark, moody dram.

Tasting Notes:

There’s a citrus rush next to a clear sense of berries and oak upfront. The blackberry brings about a sunny sweetness and earthiness that mingles with notes of dried fruits, vanilla, and caramel as the oak carries on through the palate. The berry and oak merrily continue towards the long, sweet, and warming finish.

Jim Beam Apple Bourbon Whiskey

ABV: 35%
Distillery: Jim Beam Distillery, Clermont, KY (Beam Suntory)
Average Price: $17.30

The Whiskey:

Jim Beam’s Apple blends classic Jim Beam Kentucky straight bourbon with an apple liqueur. The result is a bridge between bourbon and applejack or apple brandy with the essence of green apples front and center.

Tasting Notes:

Green tart apples greet you. There’s a sense of Jim Beam with clear notes of vanilla, caramel, and oak that’s amped up by the crack of a ripe green apple. The oak and bourbon notes lurk in the background as the apple’s sweetness brings about a quick finish.

Virgil Kaine Ginger Infused Bourbon

ABV: 40%
Distillery: Low Country Co., North Charleston, South Carolina
Average Price: $30.99

The Whiskey:

This is another great example of what real spice in bourbon can do. This expression has a base of Virgil Kane’s high-rye whiskey that’s infused with locally grown yellow Hawaiian ginger. The end result is something you didn’t know you needed in your life… but you definitely do.

Tasting Notes:

Naturally, ginger comes through heavily. There’s a sense of fresh ginger juice cut with spicy bourbon. The vanilla, oak, and florals are present but take a backseat to the ginger. There’s a mild fruity sweetness that marries the ginger sharpness — leading towards a long and spicy end.

Old Forester Mint Julep Bourbon Cocktail

ABV: 30%
Distillery: Brown-Forman Distillery, Shively, KY
Average Price: $24.99

The Whiskey:

Old Forester hit the jackpot with this expression. It’s a base of standard Old Forester bourbon cut with sugar and mint to a lower ABV. This is a cocktail in a bottle. Old Forester markets this as a “10-second cocktail” that you simply pour over ice, add fresh mint sprigs to, and enjoy. It’s hard to argue with that efficiency.

Tasting Notes:

Mint is dominating — though there’s still a sense of Old Forester bourbon with notes of vanilla and oak. Those notes carry on through the sip but are fully overshadowed by the real sense of bright mint and bar syrup sweetness on the palate. The expression is never cloyingly sweet though and the sense of sipping a bourbon-based cocktail carries through to the end.

FEW Cold Cut Bourbon

ABV: 46.5%
Distillery: FEW Spirits, Evanston, IL
Average Price: $49.99

The Whiskey:

This one-off release recently won an award for being the best-flavored whiskey in the world. Small batch bourbon is cut down to cask strength by using cold brew coffee mixed with the cutting water. That coffee adds a fascinating depth to the sip that embodies both bourbon and coffee.

Tasting Notes:

Coffee comes through with a nice balance from the oaky spice of the bourbon. The whole sip is underpinned by vanilla, espresso bitterness, caramel, and oak. The sip leans more towards the warmth of the bourbon as it fades away from the bitter coffee notes heading into the finish.

Bird Dog Jalapeno Honey Flavored Whiskey

ABV: 40%
Distillery: Western Spirits, Bowling Green, KY (Sourced)
Average Price: $17.90

The Whiskey:

Bird Dog has a deep roaster of flavored whiskeys. This whiskey starts off as a Kentucky bourbon with a touch of rye and malted barley in the mash bill. After it’s matured, jalapeno and honey are folded into the expression. It sounds a little wild because… it is. Still, this whiskey consistently wins gold medals.

Tasting Notes:

Honey and citrus create a foundation for a sharp green pepper sense. That honey carries on as bourbon vanilla and oak kick in with a mild yet clear chili pepper spice. The heat builds with the honey and oak towards a sharp and long end that lets the chili linger.

Evan Williams Cherry

ABV: 35%
Distillery: Heaven Hills, Bardstown, KY
Average Price: $14.52

The Whiskey:

This expression uses classic Evan Williams Kentucky bourbon in the base. The ABVs are lowered (a bit) and then it’s cut with maraschino cherry “flavor.” That mix of bourbon, cherry, and sweetness make this a solid candidate for and old fashioned base.

Tasting Notes:

You’re met with big notes of cherry next to bourbon vanilla with a nutty flourish. Caramel and the sweet side of the maraschino cherries take over and the oak, vanilla, caramel, and nuttiness take a backseat but remain in play. The sip edges away from the sweet and into a warm, fruity final note.

Rebel Yell Root Beer Whiskey

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ABV: 45.3%
Distillery: Lux Row Distillers, Bardstown, KY
Average Price: $17.99

The Whiskey:

Let’s end back on the spicier side of things. After all, root beer is just a spicy soda. This combines Rebel Yell’s wheated straight bourbon with root beer spices.

Tasting Notes:

The creaminess of the root beer and bourbon vanilla mingle upfront. Those notes carry on as the spiciness of the sip kicks in with a nice cut of caramel and oak. The cream soda nature of the sip balances with the spicy warmth of the bourbon for a sharp and satisfying end.

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