From one flavored whisky and onto another, this week we’ll be taking a look at Fireball Cinnamon Whisky. The story of Fireball, as it is told by the creators, is as follows:
“Rumor has it that Fireball Whisky was forged sometime in the mid-80s during the coldest winter Canada had ever seen when a mixologist turned mad scientist accidentally created a permanent solution to frostbite. The concoction slowly and quietly made its way around North America for a few years as a secret handshake between veteran bartenders. Fireball took an important turn when several bottles were smuggled to the lower 48 from Canada. Word got out and now we’re just trying to make it fast enough to keep the fire burning.”
They describe the whisky as “a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick to the face if his legs were on fire and tasted like cinnamon,” which would be correct if it weren’t for the fact that Chuck Norris isn’t exactly cool anymore. Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, on the other hand, is. This mysterious whisky was purchased by the Sazerac company from an unknown entity in the early 2000s and, after a short time branded as “Dr. McGillicuddy’s Fireball Whisky,” found its niche as the whisky liqueur we know today. Made from Canadian Whisky and cinnamon flavoring, it’s a drink that couldn’t be more simple in both recipe and intent.
The bottle comes adorned with a label made to look like burnt parchment, with an Olde-style red devil as the centerpiece and a cautionary red cap. Opening the bottle and having a sniff is the easiest way to get acquainted with this liqueur. The nose is full of cinnamon, not unlike Ferrara Candy Company’s “Atomic Fireballs,” yet still contains hints of oak and spice like a whisky-based drink ought to. Having a sip of Fireball will net you an experience exactly as you’d expect. The initial hit is full of candied cinnamon and, as the mouth begins to tingle, you’ll notice hints of burnt oak and a simple sweetness. The finish on this one is long and enduring, leaving the burning flame of cinnamon in your mouth and throat long after the drink has finished warming you to the core.
Fireball Cinnamon Whisky is great as a shot, or as a mixer. Use an ounce of Fireball in your next Irish coffee for a spicy pick-me-up, or mix it with pineapple or coconut rum for a tropical amalgamation you won’t soon forget. For about 17 bucks, this particular liqueur is a bona fide winner.