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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Review: Phillips Union Vanilla Whiskey

Phillips Union found a way to create an unholy union of Canadian Rye with Kentucky Bourbon and have it come out smooth without breaking the bank. They then went one step further and added some flavors to the whiskey in order to stand out from the tons of other flavored spirits out there.

Chapter the First: In which we find our young taster looking at the bottle then decides you've already seen it
The bottle looks exactly like the damned picture you see here. Why do people comment on this? Seriously. I should stop but it's so trendy to tell you what I think of the bottle! It looks like a big freakin' bottle of whiskey.

Chapter the Second: In which our hero smells the drink and wonders how they put stripper perfume in there and still be drinkable
As always, I started it off in a glass all by itself. I put in a couple of ice cubes and started sniffing away. The smell of vanilla was so unbelievably strong that I probably could have used it for a linen spray. I'm a vanilla smellin' fool and like it in candles and on girls and other such places that vanilla goes well with. For some reason it was just too strong here. Many whiskeys have a slight vanilla undertone when you smell it. This is not one of those whiskeys.

Chapter the Third: In which Rick makes a big decision after tasting it and finds that it was a good decision
I was pretty tempted not to taste it on the rocks at all as it just seemed too strong. I went ahead and did so anyway and decided I was right. You can definitely taste the vanilla, to a point of it being syrupy, but there's also a strong maple taste in there as well.

I knew that it wasn't going to fly off the shelves as a drink that people drank straight-up, so I decided to mix it in with some cola. This was the perfect pairing for the whiskey and I found myself loving the stuff. Sure, we had a rocky start, but we found a way to make it work.

I thought that this might be the perfect thing to ease in to a Mint Julep as well. So, I mixed the sugar and mint in with some water, muddled, then poured in the Vanilla Whiskey and was very pleased with the result. The perfect drink for a hot and muggy day by the race track.

Chapter the Fourth: In which our exceedingly dashing hero concludes his quest
The Phillips Union Vanilla Whiskey is tasty as a mixer. You're not going to get a whiskey lover to start downing the stuff with his next cigar, but there are thousands of possibilities of what it can be used for in other drinks. They also have a cherry-flavored version which could make for some nice Manhattans.

Is this one of my favorite items that I've reviewed? No way, but it could have a place in the bar and can be very useful to the right amateur bartender. If you're a whiskey lover though, I wouldn't go too near it unless you're feeling very adventurous.

Phillips Union Vanilla Flavored Whiskey - US$19.99

3 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Makes sense in a way--most whiskey is aged in oak, and oak imparts a vanilla flavoring to alcohols aged in it.

Too bad Vanilla Coke isn't still on the market. It was perfect for rum and coke with Captain Morgan, so I imagine it would have worked well with this.

Anonymous said...

i happen to love this stuff. it's excellent with cherry or vanilla coke, or even on the rocks. it's delightful with orange juice.

Rick Dobbs said...

I don't know why you'd add vanilla coke to a vanilla flavored whiskey, but I hear what you're saying. I'm going to try it with straight coke.