Call me a bourbon purist, call me insane, call me whatever you want, but infused bourbons are a miserable idea. Yes, I love bourbon on it’s own. I drink it for the great mix of spice, vanilla, and oak. I love how the grains sing and create their masterpiece. Why ruin it?
The reason, an inferior product. Bourbon has become a phenomenon over the past few years. Bourbon has increased over 10% each year for the last three years. That is a huge boost in additional drinkers that distillers would have a hard time to predict. Most of the better bourbons are a minimum of 8 years aged. So, in 2002 they would have needed to predict this huge increase(much larger than any other sector of spirits). This will catch up and supply will meet demand in another year or so. For now, their solution seems to be take a 2 year old bourbon that has not had the time to develop it’s amazing bourbon flavor and add flavor to compensate.
Ya, things like bourbon infused with Cider, Cherry, Maple, etc will also help break into the female market. To me it really just cheapens the brand a bit. You will not see me with a mixed drink, never mind an infused bourbon.
As long as additional high end bourbons are still released I will not complain too much. But, if a day comes where half the new bourbons released in a year are infused… I would be scared of where my favorite beverage is trending. Today, just don’t try and pour me a glass saying “Hey Stan, I knew you like bourbon. I got you this!”