Jack Daniels Brings The Heat Against Fireball With ‘Tennessee Fire’ But Does It Measure Up? – REVIEW
Funny thing happens when your product is making hand-over-fist profits, it changes the entire fucking game. Fireball Whiskey is the hottest liquor in the country and had an astounding $85,985,376 in sales for 2014, up 189.3% over the previous year. Fireball was the 8th most popular spirit brand by volume, with more than 700,000 cases sold at U.S. retail stores in the 52 weeks that ended Nov. 30, 2014. It has quickly leaped ahead of bar staples such as Jameson Irish Whiskey and Patrón tequila in sales.
Louisiana-based Sazerac Corporation controls 80% of the cinnamon-flavored whiskey market, according to analysts at Stifel. However their dominance will face competition from some high-profile distillers.
Jim Beam rolled out their version called “Kentucky Fire” last August in an attempt to tap into the flavored whiskey market which now accounts for appoximately 12% of U.S. whiskey sales. Last March, Jack Daniel’s tested out their cinnamon whiskey in Tennessee, Oregon and Pennsylvania and it was extended into Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, South Carolina and Texas in September of 2014. Finally, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire was made available nationwide in all 50 states last week.
The Brown-Forman Corporation, the Kentucky-based spirits giant that owns Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort and Finlandia to name a few, was hesitant to release another whiskey in fears that it would cannibalize their original Old No. 7 Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. Tennessee Fire is Jack Daniel’s first new flavor since 2011 when they released Tennessee Honey, which is a sales phenom for the company.
Jack Daniel’s is not attempting to woo whiskey snobs with their new flavored whiskey, but rather it hopes to attract millennials who have a sweet palate and can’t get enough of the sugary, yet fiery cinnamon-whiskey.
Tennessee Fire has slightly more alcohol at 70 proof compared to 66-proof with Fireball, but you can’t really taste the difference. Price wise Jack Daniel’s is more expensive at $22.99 for 750ml, about $7 more than Fireball.
Jack Daniel’s labels their newest spicy spirit as “cinnamon liqueur blended with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey.” Like Fireball, Tennessee Fire get’s it’s inspiration from cinnamon candies such as Red Hots, Atomic Fireballs and Hot Tamales.
When you first open the bottle your nose is immediately walloped by overwhelming notes of cinnamon and there really is no hint of oaky scents of whiskey. On first sip a fiery, sugary cinnamon wave floods your taste buds, then dashes of vanilla and caramel seep in. The sweetness is perfectly balanced out by the scorching heat of the liquor. The finish is smooth and singes your throat in a delightful manner with 35% ABV cinnamon fire.
This is definitely the perfect shot when you’re hitting on girls at the bar and want to ensure that your breath will not scare her away. In conclusion, despite Jack Daniel’s late arrival into the candied cinnamon spirit, they have created a liquor smooth enough for sipping and strong enough for a shot.