The Best Flavored Whiskeys To Prepare Your Palate For Fall

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

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

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?”