What’s up with this vast proliferation of flavored spirits lately? I believe it has to do with penetrating a whole new marketing segment to sell to because the other segments are pretty well saturated and the distillers have nowhere else to go to increase sales. What do I mean by that? Well, the 21-101 age groups, both male and female, are pretty well entrenched with their drinking options. Well, maybe not so much the 21-30 group, as those are very transitional years where palates mature and knowledge of spirits increases and new favorites are ultimately chosen.

However, in the more mature age groups, one segment doesn’t drink at all and won’t change their minds no matter what you offer them at any favorable price point. Another segment is the diehard Scotch or Vodka or Whiskey or whatever drinker that won’t switch no matter what you do. The third group (the one I fall under) is the person who enjoys different spirits at different times of the day and seasons and whenever the mood strikes to drink something different, yet really good, or drink something special that enhances a particular meal.

That newly targeted demographic that I am referring to is that hard to penetrate, fickle and easily influenced under 21 year old segment. I know, I know you’re probably thinking “what in the hell is George thinking – that’s just plain illegal if not evil”. Granted, but who else is going to buy chocolate cake flavored spirits or watermelon or even whipped cream or bubble gum or creamsicle flavored booze? Those spirits are so sweet and/or outright weird that they have to be targeted at young, unsophisticated palates with serious sweet teeth. I’m not saying that these Marionberry and Cherry Bomb whiskeys are targeted at that youngster demographic, but those other flavors certainly must be.


So let’s see how these flavored whiskeys stack up. The Marionberry Whiskey’s nose is jam packed with ripe Marionberry flavor, along with strawberries and blueberries and hardly any alcohol trace at all. Ahh, the whiskey finally shows up on the palate and is laid back and understated but definitely there. The fruit flavors level out and their intensity is on par with the whiskey. I still get the marionberries with a touch of strawberry and blueberry and citrus peel, along with a tart berry taste that makes it all quite interesting. The finish is short and sweet but not too sweet and smooth and fruity. This whiskey is not as sweet as I feared it might be and presents a well balanced profile of whiskey and fruit flavors. I do believe it is a bit more sophisticated than a very young palate might appreciate, and I salute Eastside Distilling for not making it overly sweet. It mellows considerably on the rocks and makes for a decent mixer again featuring that balance between sweet and tart and whiskey. This is a very good flavored whiskey any adult might enjoy.


The Cherry Bomb Whiskey has a nose I would like to say smells like ripe cherries, but I can’t. Somehow the whiskey and the cherry aroma seem to fight each other and they both lose leaving a sort of wanna be whiskey aroma and a cherry aroma that just don’t want to play nice with each other. However, that all changes on the palate when the whiskey and the cherries decide to make my tongue their next best friend. Again, this is not a super sweet teen tempting taste. There are layers of flavor with the whiskey taking center stage and the cherry flavor hovering in the wings but still quite influential. The finish is fruity, featuring the whiskey, without being overly sweet and quite smooth and about medium in length. I might just sip this on the rocks after a meal or even pour a bit on some vanilla ice cream for dessert. This is a very well balanced flavored whiskey that does not compromise the sweetness, the tartness, the whiskey, or the fruitiness but gives them all their glorious moment in the sun to shine.

Marionberry Whiskey sells for between $29.95 to $41.70 per 750 ML bottle and weighs in at 30% ABV. Cherry Bomb Whiskey sells for around $23.95 to $29.95 per 750 ML bottle and it too weighs in at 30% ABV. These prices seem to be all over the place depending on where you look; however, the Eastside Distilling website lists them both for $29.95, so it pays to shop around for these spirits.


By George Brozowski