It’s incredibly rare for me to review a flavored whiskey here, but I wanted to give it a shot since it seemed like the Traverse City American Cherry Whiskey was something other than just some artificial flavoring dumped into subpar whiskey. It’s made using cherries from their own farm, vs cherry flavoring, and their Traverse City Bourbon, which I reviewed earlier this week along with the rest of their stuff. All of which was at least decent so… yeah, let’s give it a go.
Though, as you’ll see below in the review, I didn’t give it a score. I wrote down my thoughts and made a cocktail with it to see if it would perform like I thought it would. But since it’s flavored I’m not giving it a score.
Traverse City American Cherry Whiskey – Details and Tasting Notes
Region: Michigan, USA
Distiller: Traverse City Whiskey Co.
Mash Bill: At least 51% Corn + Rye + Malted Barley
Cask: New Charred Oak
Maraschino cherries, spice and simple syrup.
Maraschino cherries, vanilla, cola spice, citrus and simple syrup.
Medium -> Metallic cherry.
BALANCE, BODY and FEEL
Not fully balanced, medium body and a touch syrupy.
Traverse City American Cherry Whiskey – Overall
Aroma smells just like a fresh jar of cocktail cherries, some of the sweetness comes down as it opens, but that sweet cocktail cherry overtone stays dominant; Palate has that same cherry profile to it, but it also picks up a vanilla and spice note that merge and remind of Cherry Vanilla Coke; Finish is just pure cherries from a tin.
I would never reach for this as a sipper, it’s far too sweet for me.
Traverse City American Cherry Whiskey – Final Thoughts and Score
It’s clear this is meant to be mixed with and not sipped on. That’s not to say there aren’t people out there who will sip on it and love it, I know people who love sipping on Red Stag, but I’m not one of those people. If I were to pick one of their products to sip on it would be the Traverse City Barrel Proof Bourbon.
I love they used cherries from their farm, that’s awesome and a great selling point, but I’m not able to make it through a single glass of the Traverse City American Cherry Whiskey. It’s cloyingly sweet and I have 0 sweet tooth – my last cavity was 32 years ago. So neat drinking, no. But cocktails? Absolutely.
While prepping the review last week, I decided to use the Traverse City American Cherry Whiskey to make a Kiss-In-The-Dark cocktail. A classic, prohibition-era, equal-parts cocktail that’s quick and simple. The traditional recipe calls for cherry brandy, making this feel like the perfect swap… and it was.
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*Disclosure: The sample for this cherry spirit review was graciously sent to me by the company without obligation. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
Traverse City American Cherry Whiskey Review
As a mixer, this works well in cocktails or, heck, even coke. Probably makes a killer cherry coke, but as a sipper… nope. The cherry overwhelms.