Big House Tupelo Honey is the second of two new whiskeys by Big House, a division of Underdog Spirits. Tupelo Honey begins with Big House Bourbon (which we recently tried and enjoyed) then is blended with honey liqueur.
The most polite way to say this is simply that Tupelo Honey is not made for us. We like whiskey and bourbon (obviously), and we feel that flavored whiskeys are an attempt to expand the market and make whiskey more appealing to non-whiskey drinkers. That being said, we found Tupelo Honey far too sweet and syrupy to enjoy. Oddly, its scent was overpoweringly alcoholic, which is unexpected considering its very low 70 proof. We’d recommend spending your $20 on Big House Bourbon over Tupelo Honey.
Even though this nightcap was on Big House’s tab, we will always review products honestly. Contrary to popular belief, free drinks don’t automatically taste better.
We love hard ciders but rarely find the opportunity to feature them here because they have nothing to do with bourbon. The folks at Crispin must have felt our pain because they released a bourbon barrel-aged blended hard cider. Seeing the words cider, bourbon, and honey on one label was practically swoon-inducing.
The production of the cider is complicated, so we’ll let Crispin explain: “Blended using four unique apple-wines aged in both rye and bourbon American whiskey barrels. Apple-wines fermented with: Irish Stout yeast, Belgian Trappist yeast, Sake yeast, and our original Colfax Classic. The final blend is finished with Tupelo honey aged in bourbon barrels.”
The aroma of the cider is fresh and sweet with a definite whiskey scent. We felt it was a touch under carbonated, but that is really our only complaint. It has a slight sourness that is complemented by the honey. Given that ciders tend to be sweet anyway, we were concerned that the addition of honey would make this one too sweet, but that was not the case at all. This cider is crisp, refreshing, and actually tastes a bit like bourbon! The whiskey flavors come in the transition to the aftertaste.
At 6.9% ABV, this is a great afternoon sipper, though it is more expensive than your average cider. We think this unique product more than warrants the cost (which was $5.95 per 12-ounce bottle in our area).
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It’s no secret that bourbon and honey go well together. They share many of the same types of flavors, like vanilla, spice, and floral. We recently ran across an exceptional honey at our local honey boutique (this is a real place, we promise), and once we tasted it, we knew it had to be paired with bourbon.
The honey is from the Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana, where the hives are kept on a boat in a swamp. The bees have access to a host of interesting plants and transfer these unique flavors to the honey. Also, because of their remote location, the nectar doesn’t have as much exposure to pesticides and other contaminants. The resulting honey is seriously delicious.
¼ cup honey
1 oz. bourbon
Combine the honey and bourbon over low heat until the bourbon is well incorporated. Cool completely before using.
Bourbon honey will be delicious in a number of applications. We tried it first on top of some Scottish shortbread and we’ll also be using it in hot toddies. We can imagine it would make a wonderful accompaniment to pork and chicken, as well as roasted vegetables.