“C’mon, baby, light my fire.” José Feliciano
Jack Daniel's is on fire. Tennessee Fire.
The newly burgeoning category of “Flavored Whiskey” received a major boost this month when Jack Daniel's, the icon of American whiskey, announced the release of its long-awaited cinnamon-flavored whiskey, Jack Daniel's Tennessee Fire.
Flavored whiskey isn’t new; it’s been around since---well, since people first started making whiskey, really. But recently the category has taken on a life of its own. Several new brands were created, and some more established players started flirting with the category. First it seemed to be honey---then when market giant Jack Daniel's entered the field with its phenomenally successful Tennessee Honey, producers began looking into other flavors that would catch the consumer imagination.
Maple and caramel and others didn’t quite make it. Perhaps too sweet and sticky; perhaps not enough broad market taste appeal. But the old favorite from childhood, hot cinnamon, seemed to be the one, no doubt helped by the childhood associations with Hot Tamales, Red Hots and Atomic Fireballs, those candies which were deliciously sweet and hot and spicy and hovering right on the edge between pleasure and pain.
Just as it did with the whiskey and honey category, Jack Daniel's patiently waited, slowly developing its version of this popular flavored whiskey until they could satisfy both their traditional, fiercely loyal base and attract new consumers as well.
This month, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire will debut in three states only: Oregon, Pennsylvania, and, of course, in its home state of Tennessee.
If you were a childhood fan of those Atomic Fireballs---or still indulge in them somewhat secretively as an adult (you know who you are, you big grownup kid)---then you’re going to love Tennessee Fire! The intense smell of spicy cinnamon and whiskey comes right out of the glass to attack your nose, enters soft and sweet, then hits your mouth with that atomic blast of cinnamon fire that almost immediately rounds out with the oaky vanilla smoothness of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee sippin’ whiskey. It’s great at room temperature, but even better as an icy chilled shot.
Even as hot (pun intended) as the flavored whiskey market is, the entry of Jack Daniels’ Tennessee Fire into the category elevates it to totally new levels. And just as Tennessee Honey captured the public’s imagination and interest with runaway sales, Tennessee Fire is expected to do the same.