Ever do a “Breakfast” or “Pancake” shot? Around here, that’s Jameson Whiskey in a shot glass topped with butterscotch schnapps; you do that shot then follow it with the same amount of orange juice. Tastes just like pancakes and maple syrup! You can even munch on some bacon after too. This is true, I have done it.
However, (for those of you that didn’t go on a rampage burning buildings down over the title of this post in honor of all things Irish and are still reading) even the schnapps and OJ can’t stop the breakfast shot from burning as it goes down. I’m blaming the Jameson, sorry! Luckily I have found something way better with less complication to make. I tried several new whiskeys for the first time this week and top of my list is Jim Beam Maple.
I’m sure you’ll say this is not a competitor for straight Jameson Whiskey, and you would be right. However, let me first tell you that I would pour this all over my body. WHO WANTS BODY SHOTS! Secondly, I will say that with the 70 Proof strength and coming from a legit Bourbon brand, Jim Beam, it has all the pedigree needed to stand up to other whiskeys. Yes, it is more on the level of direct competition to the Crown Royal Maple that came out last year in 2012.
I have been paid zero dollars by either company, FYI, and I need to say how much I dislike the Crown Royal Maple. I don’t want to hurt their feelings and the Crown people can rejoice that my one boss loves it on the rocks. However, I can’t stand the burn and feel that the only “maple” aspect of it is in the scent. Nothing hits my taste buds and makes me desire more, whereas the Jim Beam Maple is a dessert topping to heat up a winter night in a cabin. I’d keep going on but it might get sexual. Let’s move along to another sweet new favorite of mine, Jim Beam Honey.
I’m afraid that a lot of people, who have already tried the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey (which came out in 2011) and the American Honey from Wild Turkey might skip this latecomer. Yeah, guess what? That would BEE a mistake! My one ingredient shot of choice in a bar is American Honey. Chilled or not, it is smoother than the Jack version. I was skeptical of Jim Beam’s because I would normally chose the straight Jack over Jim. I thought the honey versions would follow suit but I was wrong. The Jim Beam Honey is the smoothest of all three says my tongue and throat! It has a lower alcohol content of the lot though, but I would pick it on flavor alone. Side note to JB, I get the marketing campaign of being “worth every sting” but you shouldn’t associate your flavor with any sting when it’s that smooth.
Next up we have Red Stag Hardcore Cider! Red Stag, you had me at Hardcore. Just kidding; I would normally run from this. It’s another Jim Beam product but I find the other Red Stag flavors Black Cherry and Spiced to burn a bit much for me. This one, though, is an awesome choice for the winter months. It does have a heat to it, but not bad at all and the content is bang for your buck strong 40%!
Man up and try something without a sweet flavor you say? Well I did just that and sampled Jacob’s Ghost. I had no idea what it was other than a clearer version of Jim Beam. What I learned is that it is often confused with Moonshine, because shine is not aged. The Ghost actually IS aged though. That misconception among the unlearned of us non-whiskey drinkers is from knowing that when whiskeys are aged in oak and other wood casks it can take on a much darker color.
Another question you might have is what do I drink it with? Well the Jim Beam rep told me it can be a substitute for vodka. I said, hell to the no! I like my vodka. Well, the point is, that white whiskey is a clear spirit that can disappear in your holiday cocktails, to let your mixers stand out. I tried it straight, and it is definitely smoother than a lot of vodkas. This may bridge the gap between the whiskey lovers and vodka lovers!!! I will cross my fingers, but in the meantime, let’s get back to that initial argument I posited. Should you choose Bourbon over Jameson Whiskey? I think you should definitely know the difference first.
That diagram is actually pretty confusing, but just remember that Irish Whiskey is distilled from grain whereas American Bourbon Whiskey is made from corn and came about almost a hundred years after the Irish kind. You should let your tongue do the rest of the deciding, but I hope I was able to give you some great selections to try while your taste buds fight it out! Comment below if you have any opinions on these or other Whiskeys!