Have you noticed the explosion in flavored whiskey recently? Well I have and I think it’s nauseating.
I’m open-minded when it comes to non-traditional flavor combinations, but this is pushing it. Granted I’m a self-proclaimed cocktail newbie, but this just feels like marketing. I understand that distillers are trying to expand their reach, but really?
My Snapping Point: PIEHOLE Whiskey
Like most unaware cocktail beginners I’ve given little thought to the proliferation of flavored whiskeys like Fireball, Red Stagg (cherry) and Jack Daniels Tennesee Honey, but when I opened an email promoting PIEHOLE Whiskey it just set me off.
Billed as “a blend of whiskey and delicious pie-flavored liqueur,” PIEHOLE uses imagery that attempts to evoke the thinly veiled sexuality of the 1940s pinup girls. And if the quality of the whiskey meets that of the “art” then they’ve sadly missed the mark.
Whiskey Modernists vs Traditionalists
The controversy surrounding flavored whiskeys goes beyond my personal opinion; there’s a clear split between the modern and traditional. Looking to expand the reach of their products, contemporary distillers are introducing flavored whiskey as a “gateway spirit” to attract novice drinkers. And so far they’ve been wildly successful.
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
I can’t begrudge a business for trying to expand its sales, so I guess it comes down to caveat emptor. To me PIEHOLE sounds disgusting and looks to be a ham-handed marketing attempt at using sex to sell. If that’s what consumers want then great, but I’m not buying it.
I guess I’d better just shut up and put my money where my mouth is. What do you think?