Dealing with the Empties: Honey

Honey and Whiskey, these two kids have been getting together more and more for the past few years. Nowadays it’s gotten to where it seems like just about every brand has one. In my mind it seems like Wild Turkey came around first with ‘American Honey’ which all of us found terribly odd save for one of our tasters. Something extremely odd managed to make it into my cabinet the other day however, a product from the honey liqueur Barenjaeger called simply ‘Honey and Bourbon’. Tasting this alongside a notable stateside companion I now Feel compelled to deliver to you a comparison.

Barenjaeger Bourbon and Honey

Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey

Appearance: Light Amber Gold Appearance: Dark Golden Brown
Smell: Bursts of honey that disappear quickly into a weak nosed rubbery honeyed white pepper aroma. Smell: More long lasting flowery honey notes dominate
Taste: A real pop of fresh clover honey flavor like one would expect from a famous honey liqueur. The bourbon provides muted backup and bite, but never becomes a star. Taste: Whiskey forward with some oaky roasted notes and dark caramel. When the honey appears in the middle it is very reminiscent of Orange Blossom honey with a deeper molasses sweetness.
Overall: A Very Honey Forward, natural tasting product, but I’d rather have regular Barenjaeger. Bourbon in this does not show up on any level worth bragging about. Overall: There’s definitely whiskey in this, but sometimes the honey goes away. It’s harder to taste those honey notes and they sometimes imitate other sugar flavors.

And herein lies the rub with most of these products, rather than balance they all tend to veer on one side or the other. Barenjaeger and Bushmills are very honey-centric. While Wild Turkey and Jack Daniels show off their whiskey cred. Meanwhile one is left to wonder, why not just mix honey and whiskey at home?

Barenjaeger, Bushmills, Wild Turkey, Hell even Jack Daniels all make products we’d recommend. But in this age of flavored vodka flippancy this is a trend being used to try and survive. So instead of sending you out to Procure flavored flops we implore you instead. Buy their parent products and test them out. As we have here.

Honey Thrill Me

1 ¾ oz Wild Turkey 101
¾ oz Honey Syrup
¾ oz White Grapefruit Juice
2 oz Dark roast Coffee, Chilled

2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Shake and strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a piece of candied ginger.

This makes a fine after dinner drink but is still tart and bright enough for summer days. Okay whiskey playing nicely with honey and fresh grapefruit. Coffee bitterness rounding out the party. Until next time, You get hammered America!


About JFL

Joey or JFL as he is known by friends is a culinary trained mixologist from the Heart of Dixie Birmingham, Alabama. From a weekly column in the St. Clair News Aegis to his own experiments online JFL never stops doing work on Tiki and Cocktails. When he's not studying all things spirit, wine, and beer he's pursuing his own odd interests such as cartoons, cheesy old horror movies, horror punk, hair metal, and hockey
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