Weekend Sip: When booze meets a bite of the apple: Jack Daniel’s launches a new flavor

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The bottle: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple, $26.99 for 750 ml bottle (other sizes available)

The back story: It’s the time of year for all things apple. And apparently, that extends to a classic American whiskey.

Jack Daniel’s, the Tennessee sip beloved around the world, has just come out with an apple version, following the success of its two previous flavor offerings, Tennessee Honey and Tennessee Fire. The brand, owned by the Brown-Forman Corporation BF.B, +0.61%  , a spirits conglomerate, says the newest release speaks to the appeal of apple — “one of the world’s most recognizable and loved flavors,” a brand representative notes — so the fit with the whiskey is “both strong and natural.”

It also makes business sense. In recent years, the flavored whiskey category has exploded and allowed the spirits market to reach consumers who might otherwise gravitate to lighter sips, such as vodka. Look at the success of Fireball, a cinnamon-flavored offering that has become among the top-three selling whiskies in the U.S., according to one report. (The original Jack Daniel’s — that is, the unflavored kind — holds the top spot.)

Plus, the Jack Daniel’s team says it has already built a loyal following for its Honey and Fire versions, selling 2.4 million cases of the flavored products globally.

What we think about it: We can be a bit cynical about all these flavored releases. Whiskey is supposed to taste like, well, whiskey, not a slice of your favorite pie. But we dare say that Jack Daniel’s, the Tennessee whiskey that is akin to bourbon, has gotten it generally right with its apple release. The flavor tastes as if it was carefully blended into the spirit as opposed to simply being dumped into it — you get bright apple notes, but you also get a mouthful of good ol’ Jack.

How to enjoy it: This is ready to sip on its own — meaning neat or over ice. But if cocktails are in order, the Jack Daniel’s team says you can use this in many a drink — say, a Jack Apple Spritz with Prosecco and soda water.

Shares of Brown-Forman have been up 32% year-to-date, while the Dow Jones Industrial DJIA, +1.42%  as seen a 15% gain and the S&P 500 Index SPX, +1.46%   has been up 18% during the same period.

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