This review comes at a time when American whiskey is on the rise, internationally speaking (we have an on-going American rye whiskey shortage in Europe at the moment), and, along with this, comes the rise of the whiskey liqueur; Heaven Hill make the Evan Williams, Jim Beam make Red Stag, and Jack Daniels have recently entered the fray with their Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey Liqueur*. But today’s focus is the Wild Turkey American Honey Liqueur.
The nose of American Honey is interesting, but slightly subdued when compared to some other honey liqueurs. The main two elements – unsurprisingly – are a sweet honey note and a heaver one of bourbon. DBS, an old-time fan of Wild Turkey bourbon, was very pleasantly surprised by the nose.
Interestingly, where I found “Cats’ Eyes” liquorice allsorts in the Evan Williams liqueur, in American Honey, I found the “sandwich” ones. There was definitely a sweet, liquorice scent in there.
To taste, the liqueur was quite syrupy and rich, with a heavy sweetness right at the beginning that quickly made way for more weighty flavours of bourbon, all smoothly rounded off with a honey finish. There was some warmth, which left my mouth and throat tingling slightly (although there definitely wasn’t any burn).
I think that it’s worth noting DBS’s opinion here, as he’s a long-time fan of Wild Turkey bourbon (whereas I’ve only tried it a few times). He seemed to be fond of American Honey pretty much instantly, with its very definite bourbon base, although he noted that it was quite sweet. Despite this, we both agreed that it wasn’t as sweet as the other honey liqueurs and, therefore, may be a worth a try if you’re a bourbon fan – regardless of whether or not you usually like liqueurs – and fancy trying something a little different. It might also be something to experiment with in sweet, bourbon-based cocktails, omitting any additional sugar or syrup? I will be sure to write up any future experiments and their results.
– Mrs. B.
* Something I’m very keen to try, if you know where I can get some.