Ok, so I’ve been looking for an inexpensive, high-quality American whiskey to rival my favorite single-malt Scotches, and I think I’m finally on to something here. Red Stag is a fine whiskey product from the makers of Jim Beam Bourbon which has been artisanally infused with the essence of black cherry. Throw away your preconceptions about “Real” whiskey. Forget caramel coloring and cask finishing. Why painstakingly age expensive liquid in secondhand barrels for decades to coax out faint flavors like black cherry when you can just add that flavor straight to the whiskey! These guys at Jim Beam are true visionaries, and should inspire some of the stodgy old Scotch makers should take a few long, hard looks at their so-called “time honored” recipes. This is the future! In a utopia led by the marketing prophets at Jim Beam, we can look forward to a world full of whiskey and whisky that doesn’t just taste like something, but is actually mixed with that flavor! Just think, Glenmorangie Nectar d’Or with the essence of real white grapes and golden raisins! Or maybe a nice fruity Balvenie with actual honey and fruit juice in it! Why detect mere hints of seaweed and smoke in your Laphroaig, when it can arrive in your mouth perfectly blended with pulped seaweed and liquid smoke extract! And now for the tasting notes:
Nose: Like the finest Glenmorangie, the delicate scent of Kentucky clover fields and rich clover honey tempts the nose, and the mild perfume of freshly-fallen black cherries and cherry blossoms fills the air when poured.
Palate: Soft and silky, sweet and pungent. Rivalling the finest single-malt Scotches, this liquid is nuanced and intricate, sweet and savory. This is ambrosia!
Finish: For hours, you are awash in a sea of cherry blossoms and golden waves of grain, which fade ever so gently.
Elegant and sophisticated, yet robust and complex. Truly a masterful dram of epic proportions, and only $15 a bottle at your local Rite-Aid! What a treat.
Truly, this stuff is pretty awful. Here are my real tasting notes:
Nose: Medicinal, rough nasal burn. Maybe a slight hint of cherries, but not definite. Background of cereal grains, but everything is lost in that rough alcohol scent.
Palate: COUGH SYRUP! Oh God, it’s like Benadryl. Super dense cherry syrup flavor (and texture – this is pretty heavy bodied). Sweet like children’s breakfast cereal, complete with the marshmallows. This could be vodka for all the whiskey flavor matters. This isn’t just “infused” with cherry flavor, this is clearly mixed heavily with sugary cherry syrup.
Finish: Unfortunately long, with that medicinal, cherry syrup flavor coating the throat for several minutes.
The one good thing I can say about this, is that despite the very alcoholic nose, the resulting mixture is so sweet that you barely notice the burn, so it’s actually pretty smooth. You could also spring it on your friends as a practical joke, because it looks whiskey-like, and doesn’t betray its true nature in the nose.
Happy April Fool’s Everyone!