Whiskey purists scoff at the idea of flavoring whiskey. But, we’re not in the business of telling people what they are and aren’t allowed to enjoy. This is a no-judgment zone. So, when summer turns to fall, we have no qualms about sipping a fall-flavored whiskey.
And no, we’re not talking about Fireball and its over-the-top cinnamon flavor. We’re talking about whiskeys with (mostly) subtle fall flavors that are perfectly suited for sipping on a chilly autumn evening or mixed into a seasonal cocktail.
Since we’re pretty new to the flavored whiskey game, we decided to go to the professionals for help. That’s why we asked some of our favorite bartenders to tell us their go-to flavored whiskeys for fall mixing and sipping.
Benchmark Brown Sugar
Kyle Strategier, bartender at Soul at the Joseph in Columbus, Ohio
Benchmark Brown Sugar goes great in your iced tea or lemonade. This flavored whiskey is so versatile that I’ve even poured it on pancakes.
Jameson Cold Brew
Rachel Malm, bartender at Camper in Menlo Park, California
When the days grow longer, I usually need to sneak in an additional iced coffee before the main event of the evening. The Cold Brew expression from Jameson is the perfect companion for enjoying the last light of summer.
Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey
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Who’s hooked on @skrewballwhiskey?!😍 🥃 Just discovered this recently and love it! 🥜 . Do you have any recipe recommendations?! I mixed it with Chambord and almond milk! Tastes like a PB&J sandwich! 🥪🍇 . Manicure by @impressmanicure 😍💅🏼 . . . . . . . . . #skrewballwhiskey #skrewballpeanutbutterwhiskey #skrewball #whiskey #chambord #peanutbutterandjelly #peanutbutter #chambordliqueur #impressnails #impressmanicure #impressmoments #pressonnails #mixeddrinks #drinkrecipes #drinkrecipe
Bradley Stephens, bartender at Retro Game Bar PDX in Portland, Oregon
I wanted to hate Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey like that song you hear an entire season at every club, party, and backyard hang. But damn it, it’s actually quite tasty. This should be your dessert shot.
Old Forester Mint Julep
Colby Pitt, bartender at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas
I usually like to be in charge of flavoring my own whiskey through cocktails (and job protection) but if I have to choose, it would be Old Forester Mint Julep flavored whiskey. It’s an outdoor whiskey that is perfect for sipping on while doing yard work.
Hochstadter’s Slow & Low Rock and Rye
John Langan, bartender at Otis Bar La at Grande Orange in Pasadena, California
It’s not a “flavored” whiskey but it’s basically an old fashioned in a bottle. Hochstadter’s Slow and Low is packed with Angostura bitters, orange, and a very (but not cloying) sweet rock candy. Pour over some rocks and try to drink it slowly.
Sapling Maple Rye
Christina Mercado, founder of ShakeStirPour in Newport, Rhode Island
Sapling Maple Rye has been my favorite ever since I stopped by their distillery during a road trip. It keeps the spice and the bite of a great rye whiskey and balances it with the sweetness of fresh maple syrup without being cloyingly sweet or artificial.
Knob Creek Smoked Maple
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These can always be made if interested, dm with any questions. Bourbon is #knobcreek smoked maple, for anyone that wants to try this bourbon it is sweet, not too sweet tough. Tastes and smells like maple syrup which we all like anyway. I’m a regular bourbon guy yet I can have some of this. Pipe is #savinellipipes
Nicholas Wyatt, bartender in Prattville, Alabama
Knob Creek Smoked Maple: At 90 proof, it doesn’t quite let the maple sweetness overpower the damn fine bourbon underneath.
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey
Trevor Wheeler, bartender at The Meeting House in Troy, Michigan
Jack Daniels Honey is perfect for making a wonderfully smooth whiskey sour. Add cinnamon bitters and you have the perfect fall cocktail.
Old Elk PB & W
Samantha Seltzer, beverage manager at Village Whiskey in Philadelphia
Old Elk PB & W (Fort Collins, Colorado). As an alcohol purist, I was incredulous when offered a sip of Old Elk’s P B & W. This whiskey is jovial, reminiscent of eating peanut butter and banana sandwich sitting on the front stoop of your parent’s house. The flavors are really derived from three different peanut flavors.
Hudson Maple Cask Rye
Drew Reid, bartender at W Aspen in Aspen, Colorado
I am not a huge fan of flavored whiskeys. I am a purist in that regard. But a cool product I have had and thoroughly enjoyed is Hudson Whiskey’s Maple Cask Rye. There is a Vermont maple syrup company that ages their syrup in Hudson’s used barrels, then Hudson ages Rye in them afterward. This adds a really cool sweetness and smoothness to the whiskey.
Two James Johnny’s Smoking Gun
Rebecah Hunter, bartender at The Monarch Club in Detroit
Two James Johnny’s Smoking Gun from Detroit, Michigan, is a story of East-Meets-West. This is a whiskey crafted specifically to compliment the “umami” of the rich pork and fish broths of Japanese cuisine. I always think late summer, bonfires, or cool nights warmed up with soup from my heritage.
Ballotin Caramel Turtle Whiskey
Eva Al-Gharaballi, bartender at Datz in St. Petersburg, Florida
When summer begins to fade into fall, I am always eager to start sipping on traditional fall treats. My choice whiskey to kick off the fall season would be Ballotin Caramel Turtle Whiskey. This amber whiskey has flavors of caramel and pecan, with a dark chocolate finish. I would serve this indulgent treat on the rocks alongside a torched cinnamon stick — a dessert made easy.
Jack Danie’s Tennessee Apple
Jeremy Allen, bartender at MiniBar in Los Angeles
I like to troll on Jack Daniel’s a little bit, but I will say the apple whiskey is a good secret ingredient to spin classics for the “make me something” crowd, and it’s always fun to mess with them with the reveal when they say “That’s awesome, what’s in that?”