Whiskey based honey liqueurs seem to have become very popular lately, and a while ago I was at the Swedish launch of Jim Beam Honey here in Stockholm. Another top contender on the market is Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, which is their bestselling Old No. 7 mixed with locally sourced honey. In addition to my review I thought it would be interesting to try both Jack and Jim side by side.
Nose: Lots of sweetness – vanilla, caramel, maple syrup comes to mind, as well as sweet corn and oak.
Mouth: An explosion of mellow corn whiskey and honey, hints of vanilla and charred oak before it quickly fades out. It’s pretty well balanced, very sweet of course but hey it’s a liqueur. At 35% ABV it could be a useful cocktail ingredient, if you’re too lazy to mix whiskey and honey yourself that is.
Jack Daniel’s vs Jim Beam
Compared to Jim Beam Honey: It’s both sweeter and lighter, and that makes me prefer Jim Beam Honey which has got a more full bodied bourbon taste and a slightly less pronounced honey flavour. However, Jack Daniel’s might work wonders in cocktails… let’s find out.
I reused Ola Carlson‘s recipe from the Jim Beam Honey event, but with 50% less simple syrup. Whiskey Sour (or maybe it should be called Gold Rush?) (50 ml Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, 25 ml lemon juice, 7 ml simple syrup, 15 ml egg white, 1 dash Angostura Bitters – dry shake, shake with ice, serve up) and it’s a serviceable drink but in my opinion the honey notes don’t really fit in, and taste rather synthetic. I think it’s better off as a modifier than the base spirit of a cocktail.
Nevertheless, after some research I decided to try one more cocktail, a riff on Erick Castro’s Honey Stone Julep (50 ml Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, 25 ml Kings County Bourbon, 15 ml De Kuyper Apricot Brandy, 8 mint leaves – muddle mint and some of the Jack Daniel’s gently, add the rest of the ingredients, pack with crushed ice and garnish with a mint sprig) and once again it’s a meh drink – too bad…
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