Flavored whiskey is nothing new, from fruit-infused moonshine to Fireball’s cinnamon spice. But the latest wave hits differently, channeling specific sense-memory treats—and in some cases, generating big bucks.
Back in the day, most flavored whiskeys were based on flavors found in whiskey, such as vanilla, caramel and cinnamon, or those that complimented whiskey, like honey, apple or cherry. While that hasn’t gone away, explains Adam Rogers, research director for IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, “coming out of the pandemic, newer releases have taken more of an indulgent treat-oneself approach with nuanced flavors such as cookie dough, chocolate, pumpkin spice, peanut butter or combinations of these.”
Skrewball is the latest juggernaut. Steve and Brittany Yeng created the peanut butter whiskey in 2018. It was a hit almost immediately. Pernod Ricard bought the majority of the brand in March 2023 for an unknown sum.
Add to that newcomers like ’Shmallow, a toasted marshmallow-flavored bourbon from Hotel Tango Distillery in Indianapolis; Dough Ball, a cookie-dough flavored whiskey from MPL Brands (introduced in 2021); and Midnight Snack, a…