Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire (35% ABV / 70 Proof, $22) – labeled as a “cinnamon liqueur blended with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey”, Tennessee Fire is first and foremost a cinnamon liqueur. The nose on Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire is sweet candy red hots, atomic fireballs, and Hot Tamales – pure candy in a glass. Underneath the overwhelming candied cinnamon is vanilla and sugar. It takes a herculean effort for the nose to get through all that to any semblance of the whiskey below, which only reads like a faint oak note. It’s lower than a whisper and most people will never be able to get to it. The entry for Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire is sweet and spicy. The candied cinnamon from the nose is right there on the palate. As with the nose, there’s just not much whiskey flavor to be found in the opening. Things get spicier in the midpalate like it would be sucking on an atomic fireball candy. The midpalate is also very sweet, emphasizing just how much sugar and sweeteners have been added to the mix. It’s at the end of the midpalate that we get any sense that there’s whiskey in this liqueur, and here it reads as spicy heat more than any other flavor. It’s like getting a text message from a friend in a sports arena – you know they’re there somewhere, but you’ll be damned if you’re able to spot them. The finish is long and very sweet with the candied cinnamon gently fading on the palate.
How much you’ll enjoy Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire greatly depends on what you are looking for from it. If you are looking for any form of balanced flavored whiskey where you can actually taste the base whiskey, like Knob Creek Smoked Maple, you’ll be seriously disappointed in Tennessee Fire. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire might just as well be labeled “cinnamon liqueur” than anything else. However, if you are looking for a candied sweet shooting liqueur that’s more “masculine” in brand than say Pinnacle Gummy or Smirnoff Fluffed Marshmallow, then you might really enjoy the candied spice of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire. The upside of Tennessee Fire is that the candied cinnamon flavors are well done and there’s no unpleasant lingering aftertaste. Tennessee Fire is eminently shootable but also wickedly sweet.