The Whiskey of the Week is a twofer: Bird Dog Peach Whiskey and Bird Dog Apple Whiskey.
While I was initially a little skeptical of the Peach (it just isn’t one of my favorite flavors), I knew I just had to try the Apple as soon as I saw it.
“Wait a minute, old man!” you say. “I know you’re a drunk,1 but why would you sample the Peach if you were skeptical?”
Good question. Bird Dog Peach was suggested to me via Twitter,2 and as I’m always up for sampling a new kind of booze,3 I thought “What the hell?” and grabbed a bottle. And when I was out looking for it I spotted the Apple. (So, in keeping with what has turned out to be a series of twofers this week, you get two whiskeys to consider.)
So, having now liberally sampled both of these elixirs, here are my observations:
The Peach. The first thing I noticed when I cracked open the bottle was the strong aroma; it reminded me of peach brandy, in fact.
Now as to how it tastes: This whiskey is very sweet. Even cloyingly sweet. That said, I liked the taste. Sweet as it was, the hint of peach flavored the bourbon nicely. If you find it to be too sugary, cutting it with just a little water (about one part in ten) will reduce the sweetness without overly reducing the alcohol content. (Bird Dog flavored whiskeys are a mere 80 proof, 40% ABV.) The Peach is smooth and provides a nice mellow burn as it works its way down your throat. Taking into account its sweetness (either because you get used to it or that’s your preference), it is a fine sipping whiskey.
I wouldn’t mix it with anything, but if you have to I’d suggest 7-up or Sprite rather than Coke. If you have a preference for it, straight soda water might be a good mixer–but I caution against adding too much, lest you dilute its kick. One might even consider cranberry juice, were one in the mood for a morning cocktail…
The bottom line is that I’d recommend it with ice cream before I would with steak. I enjoyed several snifters throughout the week while I was working the rough draft for “Voyage Beyond Fear,”4 and repeatedly found my glass unexpectedly empty.
(“Several snifters” = near empty bottle over the course of three evenings. What can I say? It grew on me.)
The Apple. The aroma is not as strong as with the peach, but you’ll definitely smell apples when you uncork it,
I found that the apple was nowhere near as sweet as the peach, while still being much sweeter than Jim Beam Apple. It had more of a “candy” flavor than I was expecting (which many others have said about Jim Beam’s variant). Like the peach, it was smooth and had a nice burn. My only real objection to the apple was that I’ve had better. (Grandma’s Apple Pie moonshine being the best in show as far as I’m concerned).
As with the peach, I would generally recommend against mixing it. That said…I did try adding a generous splash of cranberry juice to it, and it made for a decent breakfast drink (see note no.1).
Here are a couple reviews from other folks. Bird Dog Peach via The Whiskey Reviewer; Bird Dog Apple via Distiller.
You can pick up a bottle of either at your local liquor outlet for around $20 (prices likely to vary for my British friends).
Bird Dog Peach Whiskey: recommended.
Bird Dog Apple Whiskey: recommended (with the caveat that there are better apple whiskeys available).
In either case, be prepared for a heavy dose of sugar. As I’ve remarked several times, both of these are very sweet.
1 A drunk, remember, not an alcoholic. Alcoholics go to meetings.
2 Hat tip to James (@itsjames_1)
3 Except tequila. Sorry tequila fans, but it all tastes like medicine to me. And vodka is only good for concoctions like Margaritas.
4 Coming this summer! Yes, another shameless plug. You do get that I’m a writer, right?