5 Unique Tasting Whiskies from Around the World

If you’re a whisky/whiskey purist you may want to skip this one, though we recommend reading it with an open mind.

While we have some of the finest single malts from Scotland, the richest bourbons from America, and the smoothest blended whiskey from Ireland, sometimes even the most seasoned of whisky/whiskey palates crave something new and unusual.

Flavoured whisky might not be a new concept, but it is one which is slowly gaining traction, so we thought it would be fitting to look at the global flavoured whisky industry in more detail.

What’s the deal with flavoured spirits?

Not too long ago, we saw the world go crazy for gin.

Whereas once upon a time, having a Gordon’s Gin with lemonade rather than Indian tonic water, was about as exciting as gin drinking could get, along came flavoured gin and suddenly the spirit was everywhere. We had blood orange gin, pineapple gin, lavender gin, pink raspberry gin, strawberry balsamic gin, and plenty more besides.

Up next was the turn of rum. While the flavoured rum craze hasn’t been as profound as that associated with gin, independent Cornish rum connoisseurs Dead Man’s Fingers, are certainly trying their hardest to get in on the whole flavoured spirit act. Even Kraken are starting to branch out (we see your cherry and vanilla spiced rum, and yes, it does sound delicious).

Slowly lurking in the background trying to break out is the flavoured whisky/whiskey industry. Whereas we doubt flavoured whisky will ever become “a real thing” there are in fact a wide range of unusually flavoured whiskies out there, just begging to be discovered.

5 unique flavoured whiskies from around the world

Now that we know that there is indeed a huge market for flavoured spirits, in the right context at least, here’s a look at 5 of the most uniquely flavoured whiskies from around the globe.

Piehole Pecan Pie Whiskey

Up first we’re heading to Canada and discovering a creation from global drinks conglomerate Diageo that is, shall we say, controversial at best.

Now, any whisky purists out there, we did warn you about this article, so try not to be too shocked when you learn more about the uniquely sweet whiskey.

This Canadian whiskey is not in fact flavoured with real pecan pie, it is artificially sweetened and flavoured to create an incredibly sweet and rich whisky with plenty of maple syrup, pecan nuts, and whipped vanilla cream undertones.

Photo by Piehole Whiskey

The guys and gals over at Piehole recommend you take this whiskey as a shot. We have to say, it does go very well with ice cream, but calling itself a whiskey is a bit rich. Oh, and if pecan pie doesn’t tickle your fancy, they also do a cherry pie and an apple pie flavoured whiskey as well.

Rogue Chipotle Whiskey

Heading south of the border next, into the USA, we have this smoky and fiery offering from the Rogue Distillery in Newport, Oregon.

Whiskey is a spirit that works very well with spicy, fiery, smoky notes and flavours, so flavouring it with smoked jalapeno peppers is certainly not a bad thing to do, if done right. Well, the Rogue Distillery have certainly done it right.

Rogue have taken dried, smoked Jalapeno chilli peppers and have thrown them with the mash. Just to ensure that the smoky chilli notes are really pronounced, they have then gone ahead and have then gone ahead and have infused the whiskey with even more during the maturation process.

Photo by Total Wine

The end result is a slightly fiery, smoky, tangy, and sweet whiskey that is actually surprisingly smooth.

Boxing Hares Hops Whisky

Though technically UK law requires this to be known as a ‘spirit drink’ rather than a whisky, we all know it’s basically a whisky, so whisky is what we’re going to be calling it.

Again, we have Diageo to thank for this unique dram, as it came about as a result of their Whisky Union project, which was all about promoting unusual and unique whisky-based beverages.

Boxing Hares went ahead and added hops to this whisky. Hops are indeed used in brewing, but they’re usually used for brewing beer, not making whisky. Despite this, the hops really work and add a sort of yeasty, sourdough, bitter ale finish to the whisky which is actually very moreish. If you imagine a whisky and beer hybrid, you wouldn’t be a million miles from what this whisky is.

Photo by Master of Malt

Skrewball Peanut Butter

Regular readers here will know that this isn’t the first time we’ve looked at Skrewball Peanut Butter whiskey. As it is so unique however, we couldn’t possibly leave it off our list today.

This whiskey began its life as a shot created by a Californian couple running their own bar, and went on to become one of the most popular whiskey products in the States, especially amongst the youngsters (‘I like the PlayStation, do you like the PlayStation?’).

Whereas the ‘Young Team’ may be the target demographic for this whiskey drink, more mature whiskey drinkers across Cali have also found themselves secretly enjoying it.

Photo by Skrewball Whiskey

The nutty and salty notes of the peanut butter flavour, coupled with the creaminess, makes for a very unique and moreish whiskey drink that is perhaps best enjoyed as a shot.

Fishky Salted Herring

Make no mistake about it, this “whisky” was not designed to be taken seriously, it was designed largely as a gimmick, though there is actually some logic behind it, which we’ll get to shortly.

Created by German bottler Stupidcask.de, and first released in 2007, these “inventive” Germans took Bruichladdich whisky and then helped to “mature” it by placing it for 3 months in casks.

Now, you might be thinking ‘what’s wrong with that?’ Well, the catch is that these casks used to store salted herrings. That’s right, this whisky has undertones of salted herring fish. The concept isn’t quite as outlandish and leftfield as you might have first thought, however. 

Photo by WhiskyCast

Part of the logic behind this bizarre flavour is that some very early distillers in Scotland, or those distilling illegally, may have used oak herring casks to mature their whisky. This wouldn’t have been deliberate though, it will have been because they were the only casks they had available. Some of the world’s most amazing culinary creations have, however, been the result of a happy accident, so who knows.

Fishky Salted Herring is surprisingly tasty and does not really have any fishy flavours at all. It’s salty more than anything, and has seaweed and peppery notes.

While you may not find any whiskies quite as outrageously flavoured as those we’ve looked at today, if you do make your way over to https://greatdrams.com/ you’ll find a huge selection of top quality whiskies to suit all palates and all budgets.

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My name is Greg, and I’m a brand strategy consultant, writer, speaker, host and judge specialising in premium spirits. My mission is to experience, share and inspire with everything great about whisky, whiskey, gin, beer and fine dining through my writing, my brand building and my whisky tastings.

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