The combination of whiskey and peanut butter tastes like drinking a boozy dessert. It's certainly sweeter than the traditional product, putting off some discerned whiskey drinkers. Beginners, though, tend to appreciate the delicate sweetness of this type of liquor.
In the last couple of years, many distilleries have come up with their own take on the trendy whiskey flavor. Some sweeter, some richer, and others slightly salty. But with such a selection, how do you know which one to try?
We tested the best options on the market, looking for flavor, sweetness, richness, and overall quality to help you find the best peanut butter whiskey to try in 2023.
1. Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey
Produced by: Skrewball
Skrewball was the brand that kickstarted the whole peanut butter whiskey movement. The idea of marrying one of America's favorite flavors with whiskey was born at their restaurant in Oceanbeach, California. The best-selling cocktail back then was a drink that brought smooth whiskey together with the sweet and creamy taste of peanut butter.
Today, Skrewball is not only the original peanut butter whiskey but also the best-selling brand on the market. And unlike many other products in this category, Skrewball uses genuine peanuts during production, which ultimately shows in the aroma and taste of the final product.
The nose is relatively sugary and combines flavors like peanut butter, cream, and popcorn in an overall sweet and buttery aroma. On the palate, you're greeted by a strong and sweet peanut butter note, boasting a wonderful and natural peanut flavor.
This one is best served neat or on the rocks to not hide its delicate flavor.
2. Ole Smoky Peanut Butter Whiskey
Produced by: Ole Smoky
Ole Smoky is most famous for its Moonshine, but lately, the distillery from Tennessee started offering a large selection of flavored Whiskeys; -And of them is flavored with peanut butter.
The corn whiskey base matures for two years in wooden barrels. This sweetness works perfectly and leads to a whiskey that tastes like peanut butter cookies or shortbreads.
Overall, it is super smooth on the palate, with quite strong notes of peanut and vanilla. You can also taste some oaky notes from the barrel and even hints of licorice.
It's best served on the rocks to help the spirit show its beautiful flavors without being overpowered by other ingredients.
3. Shepherd’s P’Nutty Peanut Butter Whiskey
Produced by: K.D. Distilling Co
When you want a sweeter and more mellow whiskey with a nuanced peanut butter flavor, this one might be for you. K.D. Distilling did a great job crafting a delightfully flavored whiskey that brings back childhood memories.
K.D. Distilling is owned by Buffalo Trace, who sure presents us with a unique take on the popular peanut butter whiskey trend. In total, Buffalo Trace offers three distinct varieties of Peanut Butter Whiskeys - Sheep Dog, Rams Point, and Shepherd’s P’Nutty.
In my opinion, each of the three serves a distinctive audience. Yet, overall, Shepherd's P'Nutty is the star of the show with its well-balanced blend of peanut and caramel flavors that doesn't overpower your palate.
It's best mixed in a cocktail or served over ice.
4. Bird Dog Peanut Butter Whiskey
Produced by: Bird Dog
Bird Dog PB Whiskey is deliciously creamy and smooth, with a base of Bourbon distilled from corn, barley, and rye. After aging in white oak barrels, the whiskey is infused with peanuts and other flavorings to achieve the iconic taste with hints of cream, toffee, and roasted peanuts.
But what truly sets Bird Dog's Whiskey apart is its 40% ABV - higher than most other peanut butter whiskeys, which usually range between 30% and 35% ABV.
As a result, this bottle is not only slightly stronger with more burn than its competitors, but it also brings the product closer to authentic whiskey - a big plus for experienced whiskey drinkers. Nonetheless, it still maintains the sweet and sugary notes of peanut butter you are after.
Sip it neat or add ice, should it be too sweet for your palate. The ice will slightly mute the flavors overall and make them more approachable.
5. Hard Truth Peanut Butter Whiskey
Produced by: Hard Truth Distilling
The dark golden-colored whiskey from Hard Truth is made from a quality straight Bourbon. The refined base also shows in the flavor of the final liquor. The aromas of Hard Truth's PB Whiskey include wooden notes of oak combined with rich and sweet scents of heavy cream and caramel.
After sipping, I got an interesting mix of sweet and salty flavors alongside intense notes of roasted peanuts and honey. Then, the omnipresent creamy, nutty, and oaky flavors pop up, combined with a distinctive salty note. This beautiful change in flavor from sweet to salty enhances the peanut butter character.
This whiskey has a relatively dark color and mature flavor that makes this product stand out from other peanut butter-flavored whiskeys.
Serve it on the rocks or incorporate its sweet and salty flavor in a cocktail.
6. Two Trees Peanut Butter Whiskey
Produced by: Two Trees distillery
Like Ole Smokey, Two Trees produces a variety of flavored whiskeys. They have nine different flavors, and Peanut Butter Whiskey is one of them.
What sets Two Trees apart is its innovative process when it comes to actual production. Instead of aging their Whiskeys in wooden barrels, they mimic the process in just one day with artificial aging. That produces a dry and mature whiskey with notes of vanilla, oak, peanut butter, brown sugar, and caramel.
Furthermore, they don't distill their whiskey themselves but only toast and char wood which they then use for treating the spirit. The resulting product is more on the dry and mature side. -More like a whiskey with notes of peanut butter than a peanut butter whiskey liqueur.
You can taste classic aromas like vanilla and oak, but you also get sweetness from peanut butter, brown sugar, and caramel. Drink it neat or mixed in a cocktail.
7. Barrel & Banter Peanut Butter Whiskey
Produced by: Barrel & Banter
The taste of this peanut whiskey has a more pronounced whiskey note and is significantly less sweet compared to other products in this category. There's still sweetness on the front with nutty and creamy vanilla notes. But overall, it has far more traditional oaky notes than other peanut-flavored whiskeys.
If your palate is well-trained for whiskey tastings, you can notice a unique flavor from the grains used to make the base whiskey. Barrel & Banter pride themselves on using local grains only - for this expression, but also for their other products.
It is best enjoyed neat or on the rocks. That way, you can taste the different flavors and enjoy the smoothness of this sip. However, the discernible whiskey note also makes it an ideal choice for a cocktail. Try it in combination with fruity liqueurs for some nice summer drinks.
8. PB&W Peanut Butter Whiskey
Produced by: Old Elk Distilling
PB&W Peanut Butter Whiskey is one of the early competitors of Skrewball. It's produced by Old Elk Distillery in Fort Springs, Colorado. Interestingly, it's one of the few brands in this category that does not rely on animal-related branding.
According to the brand, the base whiskey used for making PB&W is a premium blend. Unfortunately, they don't provide further information.
Still, the quality shows when tasting PB&W. In the nose, the aroma of PB&W is a complex mix of roasted peanuts, vanilla, caramel, and some sweet whiskey notes. On the palate, I quickly realized the thick and syrupy consistency. Tastewise, it has the typical caramel and vanilla notes, an intense salted peanut butter flavor, and even hints of apples.
This one is best when served in mixed drinks or on the rocks.
9. Rams Point Peanut Butter Whiskey
Produced by: Sazerac
Rams Point is the entry-level product from Buffalo Trace. It sells at only $15 a bottle, which makes it one of the most affordable options for peanut butter-flavored whiskeys.
Compared to other low-budget options like Sheep Dog, it offers a slightly more complex flavor profile. The nose offers some classic vanilla, peanut, and butterscotch notes, but also some more uncommon ones like honey and orange marmalade.
Tastewise, Rams Point can't compete with leading brands like Skrewball or Bird Dog, but that is also not the intention. It is an excellent budget-friendly alternative if you don't want to spend big bucks but still want to indulge in luscious whiskey flavored with peanut butter.
I prefer to serve it over ice. However, it also works great in a sweet cocktail or in shots.
10. SQRRL Peanut Butter Whiskey
Produced by: Beam Suntory
SQRRL is a product of Suntory Beam, not only famous for Japanese whiskey brands but also the Jim Beam brand. With this much expertise, it is no surprise that they also nailed making peanut whiskey.
The amber-colored peanut butter spirit produced in Illinois is less sweet than most alternatives and has a more complex flavor. It has a pleasant balance of classic whiskey flavor paired with the savor of peanut butter, complemented by notes of roasted peanut, butterscotch, and chocolate.
This melange of flavors reminds me of peanut butter cup, making it an ideal serve instead of dessert. Alternatively, you can also use it as an ingredient in a creative cocktail.
11. Sheep Dog Peanut Butter Whiskey
Produced by: Sazerac
Sheep Dog is owned and produced by Sazerac. Of all the products on our list, I found Sheep Dog to be the most savory. It still has enough sweetness to it, just like the other brands. Yet, the flavor and balance of sweet and savory are slightly better.
A touch of salt and peppery notes make it a great option for everyone who isn't a fan of overly sweet-flavored whiskies. You even get a hint of classic whiskey notes in the spirit. Nevertheless, it still is no alternative to actual whiskey and you won't get any notes of wood, smoke, or heat.
The sweetness of this one makes it great on the rocks or in desserts. Try it drizzled over fresh pancakes, waffles, or ice cream.
12. Blind Squirrel Peanut Butter Whiskey
Produced by: Universal Brands
Produced by Universal Brands in Minnesota, Blind Squirrel is one of the more affordable options when it comes to peanut butter whiskey. It's a great entry-level product featuring the expected flavors without breaking the bank.
When tasting it, your nose is confronted with dominant whiskey notes and hints of peanut butter and artificial sweetness in the background. On the palate, this sweetness translates into a saccharin-like taste which is slightly off-putting. But you also get the more common flavors of peanuts, vanilla, cinnamon, and cream.
Overall, it's not the best in the category, but at this low price point, Blind Squirrel is an affordable option for everyone new to Peanut Butter Whiskey. So if you like Skrewball and are looking for a budget-friendly alternative, give this one a go.
Try to use it in creative shot recipes in combination with other liqueurs. Paired with a fruity liqueur, you can create an accessible peanut butter jelly shot.
13. Coastal Creek Peanut Butter Whiskey
Produced by: Total Wine & More
Coastal Creek is an exclusive private-label product produced and sold by Total Wine & More. It's lower in ABV than most other products as it contains only 30% of alcohol while most competitors come up with at least 35%, some even 40%.
The base is a shortly-aged Bourbon, and after production, the flavored whiskey matures for another six months before it's blended, bottled, and labeled.
When tasting Coastal Creek Peanut Butter Whiskey, I immediately perceived a strong peanut butter smell accompanied by hints of vanilla, molasses, and toffee. The palate is rich in peanut flavor with only a subtle hint of Bourbon in the background.
The lower alcohol content makes it great as an alcoholic sauce for desserts such as ice cream.
Adding flavor to such a classy product may seem daunting to seasoned whiskey drinkers. -Especially when the flavoring is as pronounced and sweet as peanut butter. Luckily, there are many options, from strongly sweet to salty to whiskey-forward. Our list contains all the best peanut butter whiskeys to choose from.
It's fun to create peanut butter whiskey cocktails, but some bottles are also great for sipping neat or on the rocks.
And even though the market for this type of whiskey is young, there's already heavy competition. Led by the success of the original inventor, Skrewball, this niche has potential.
Leave a Reply