By Jake Emen
You might be torn on the idea of flavored whiskey, but you can’t deny it has huge momentum behind it right now. People are drinking it, a lot of it, and more producers are looking to capitalize.
Another new entrant to the scene is Wild Turkey’s American Honey Sting, a spicy riff on the existing American Honey. The product is new, but Wild Turkey isn’t new to the honey-bourbon-liqueur game, with a history stretching back in that department to the ’70s. American Honey Sting is a clear competitor for Fireball, so let’s see how it holds up along those lines.
American Honey Sting (35.5% ABV) is a liqueur which blends bourbon with honey and ghost peppers. Simply reading “ghost pepper” is enough to send some people into a spice-fueled frenzy, so it’s touting some serious heat.
On the nose, you’ll find honey, a syrupy sweetness, black pepper, spice, and a bit of a medicinal quality. It has a syrupy mouthfeel. The spice kicks in on the finish. You’ll get some heat, and you’ll feel it moving down through your body after a sip.
Considering the ghost pepper tag, it’s not overly spicy. I’d actually like to see it taken up a notch in that department. If you’re going to advertise ghost pepper, you better bring it. Sometimes it sneaks up on you though, and you do get a legit, lasting spicy note on your palate. On ice, some of the “sting” is lost in each taste, although it still accumulates over the course of enjoying a glass.
Comparatively to Fireball, I like it better. It’s not as “in your face” with its flavoring. Sure, much of the actual bourbon quality is lost, but it’s not completely hidden in the same way as Fireball either.
Obviously it could be taken as a shot, but you don’t need to, either. This could be used in a huge array of cocktails to good effect. Simply switching it in place of your typical whiskey & Coke routine could provide a solid change of pace and a different flavor profile. I tried a cherry soda with American Honey Wild Sting. It was good.
You can get the party started with a 750ml bottle of American Honey Sing for $22.99.