Monday , 20 November 2017

Home » RESOURCES » Weekend Sip: From Cooperstown, a cinnamon-flavored whiskey called Spitball

Weekend Sip: From Cooperstown, a cinnamon-flavored whiskey called Spitball

The bottle: Spitball Cinnamon Whiskey, $20

The back story: Play ball! Yes, it’s baseball season once again. But for the Cooperstown Distillery, situated in the upstate New York village that’s home to the Baseball Hall of Fame, that means it’s whiskey season, too. The distillery, which is open year-round, is tying the launch of its latest product, Spitball, to the new season.

And a noteworthy product it is: Spitball plays off the craze for flavored whiskey, a defining trend in the spirits business. More specifically, it plays off the craze for cinnamon-flavored whiskey, a category, led by the brand Fireball, that became a $246 million behemoth by 2015, with sales increasing by 90% over the previous year.

Up till now, the Cooperstown Distillery, which opened just a few doors down from the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013, has been content to go about its business quietly, making a variety of spirits (vodka, gin, bourbon) and releasing some of them in its signature baseball-shaped bottles. But with Spitball, it’s hoping to become a more significant player (no pun intended) in the craft distilling world. Cooperstown Distillery founder Gene Marra anticipates his company’s sales will nearly double in 2016 to 5,000 cases, driven in part by Spitball. He says his goal with the new cinnamon-flavored product was “to emulate (Fireball), but not duplicate it.”

Loosely translated: He wanted to up the heat — meaning the cinnamon spice — and downplay the sweetness that makes Fireball a favorite with the newbie drinker crowd. Indeed, Marra says he even gave his spirit a boost of capsaicin, the compound found in chili peppers, for some extra fire. “We wanted it to pop in your mouth,” he says.

All that heat also gives Spitball something of a renegade quality, which no doubt ties into the fact that the spitball is an illegal pitch in baseball. Marra says he eventually hopes to sign on Gaylord Perry, the most famous spitball pitcher of recent memory, as a brand spokesman.

What we think about it: While we are generally dismissive of flavored whiskeys — real whiskey has enough flavor unto itself — we could see a place for Spitball. The cinnamon spice comes through loud and clear, as if you’re “drinking” a stick of Big Red, the cinnamon-flavored gum.

How to enjoy it: Marra says Spitball can be had many ways — neat, on the rocks, even in your coffee. It also lends itself to cocktails — he’s partial to using it in a Manhattan. But his favorite is a drink dubbed the Cinnamon Crunch, which mixes 1 shot of Spitball with two shots of RumChata, a cream liqueur. Apparently, the result tastes like Cap’n Crunch cereal — in liquid form.

More from MarketWatch

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Receive News & Ratings Via Email - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.

Weekend Sip: From Cooperstown, a cinnamon-flavored whiskey called Spitball Reviewed by on . The bottle: Spitball Cinnamon Whiskey, $20 The back story: Play ball! Yes, it’s baseball season once again. But for the Cooperstown Distillery, situated in the The bottle: Spitball Cinnamon Whiskey, $20 The back story: Play ball! Yes, it’s baseball season once again. But for the Cooperstown Distillery, situated in the Rating:
scroll to top