Last week, I reviewed Jim Beam Honey Tea, which was kindly sent over by Seva (of Seva’s Sunday). This followed Jim Beam’s release of a cherry bourbon (Red Stag or Red Stag Black Cherry) and was close on the heels of their honey bourbon (Jim Beam Honey). Today, we are looking a companion release to Honey Tea: Red Stag Spiced.
Like Honey Tea, this is based on Jim Beam White Label and bottled at a very respectable 40% ABV and is flavoured with spices (the primary spice being cinnamon. Interestingly, Evan Williams recently released a Cinnamon Whisky Liqueur in the UK, which we reviewed here.
What did it taste like?
Nose: Like the Honey Tea, I was once again pleased to find the characteristically sweet (light caramel) and woody (vanilla oak) Jim Beam nose on this flavoured whiskey. This time, however, it was accompanied by the warmth of the kind of “red” cinnamon that you get in cinnamon candy; it also reminded me of aniseed balls. There were also some other spices in the mix, reminding me of spiced biscuits.
Taste: Exceptionally sweet and syrupy to start, followed by strong warmth from the cinnamon, which – again – came across as that more raw, “red” cinnamon flavour. I thought that the cinnamon was more gentle than the Evan Williams Cinnamon, but some of this may have been the additional sweetness.
The spicy warmth was met by a good warmth from the bourbon. The more traditional bourbon notes are definitely there (easier to find if you are familiar with Jim Beam), but the spice really does take centre stage.
Finish: There almost seemed to be two finishes to this (!): the first was very sugary, but this faded into a much drier one, more in line with cinnamon sticks or powder. Pleasantly, the warmth of the whisky continued after everything else had disappeared.
I thought this was another good addition to Jim Beam’s range of flavoured bourbons and was surprised to find that I actually preferred it to the Honey Tea. DTS – a big fan of cinnamon – enjoyed it, too, and noted that it had very good Autumn/Winter cocktail potential, which I thoroughly agree with. It could put a fantastic twist on any cocktail that needs some bourbon along with sugar; I’m looking forward to experimenting with toddies, an Old Fashioned and possibly a Manhattan when we can get hold of a full-size bottle.