It’s pretty easy to tell the PR people who have read the site from the ones who have not. I suspect that the person who was seemingly desperate to give Mandy a bottle of Jim Beam Kentucky Fire has not read much of her writing (or her emails, in which she kindly explained that she does not drink). Since Mandy's initial "No thank you, as I do not imbibe" email, she has received at least three more offers of the Jim Beam variety, including something called a "Bourbon Gram."
Talk about chasing the most unavailable girl in the room. If this were a John Hughes (RIP) movie, Mandy would be the popular girl that Jimmy Beam desperately wants to take to prom even though they have nothing in common, and I would be young Jim's best friend with short hair who marches to the beat of her own drum yet secretly wants Jim to at least consider her as an option.
I've been here all along Jimmy. It's always been me.
ANYWAY. I told Jim Beam that Mandy just wasn't that into them and I guess they at least partially got the picture because shortly thereafter this arrived:
The packaging is charming. Who doesn't love a box that is shaped like a book with flames on it? The media kit comes with two etched shot glasses, a Jim Beam Kentucky Fire Playbook, a USB stick, a really nice sheet of bubble wrap, and (of course) a bottle of Jim Beam Kentucky Fire.
Let's talk flavor. Before I give you my opinion, I'd like you to take the time to read this descriptive (if somewhat confusing) little blurb from Jim Beam himself:
Jim Beam® Kentucky Fire™ is the third flavored whiskey from the world’s No. 1 bourbon, containing the pride and heritage from the Beam family’s 219-year history. Unlike other cinnamon-flavored liquor, Jim Beam Kentucky Fire is rooted from the bourbon up. Our impassioned distillers have kicked things up a notch by mixing the world’s finest Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey with the flavor of red hot cinnamon liqueur, delivering a fiery, sweet kick. Enjoy as a shot, chilled or on the rocks.
Whoa. "Unlike other cinnamon-flavored liquor," Mr. Beam just threw some major cinnamon-flavored shade, but I’m not sure what “rooted from the bourbon up” means. If one of you can figure it out, please tell me in the comments.
Though I just made a big deal over being the "right girl" for Jimmy, it should be noted that I don't really drink flavored bourbon, because I like the flavor of bourbon. This product is not meant for someone like me, though it's clearly targeted at the Fireball Crowd. The "Fireball Crowd" loves $5 shots of sweet liquors and doing them while unironically listening to that "Shots" song. They also love camping. They used to love Jager.
Though Fireball is suffering a bit of a setback due to a bunch of Finnish people making a fuss over a little propylene glycol, it is still super popular, as I mentioned above, it seems to be even more popular than Jägermeister.
If you love Fireball but gave it up because of the above, maybe give Jim Beam Kentucky Fire a chance. I’m not saying that it doesn't have as much propylene glycol as Fireball because I honestly don't know. When I reached out to Jim Beam for comment, their official stance was "They are not commenting and don’t want to be associated with the story."
All I'm saying is that the Finnish aren't mad about Jim Beam Kentucky Fire.
Propylene glycol or not, this stuff is liquid candy. I found this to be surprisingly sip-able, if a little one-note. The first taste you get is cinnamon, the second taste you get is cinnamon and sugar, and the last taste you get is cinnamon. After the bourbon-liqueur hybrid has made its way down your throat and into your belly, you finally get a slight amount of that sweet, sweet bourbon burn. Honestly, I expected this stuff to be undrinkably sweet, but it’s an okay sipping spirit, especially during these cold winter months.
Full disclosure: I can’t compare this to Fireball because I’ve never had Fireball, but I’ve heard it described as a “liquid cinnamon Jolly Rancher.” (Do they even make cinnamon Jolly Ranchers?) While this stuff is definitely on the sweeter side, it does not possess the syrupy, cloying sweetness of a Jolly Rancher (as long as you sip on it).
Moving on (to shots).
The “playbook” consists of 10 different ways to get #FiredUp, starting with “The Flame-Ingo” and ending with “Kentucky Hot Shots.” I’m not going to execute every single play. One requires a foam finger (which I do not have) and one requires a bunch of other people (I do not have enough friends). Instead, I will stick to the first play in the book.
According to the playbook, "The Flame-Ingo" is performed thusly: "Stand on one leg while drinking your shot of Jim Beam Kentucky Fire."
Oof. You may have noticed that I really stressed the "sip-ability" of this spirit. That is because I do not like it as a shot. When taken in all at once like that, the sweetness is really amplified, and the experience is unpleasant. Standing on one leg neither added nor detracted from the experience, but it did make for a good photo series.
Speaking of shots. Jim Beam also provided a shot recipe "just for xoJane readers."
Cinnamon Lemon Drop - Created by Jon Owens of Overlook NYC
- 0.5 oz. Jim Beam® Kentucky FireTM
- 2-3 thin lemon slices Splash of lemon-lime soda
- 0.5 tsp. cinnamon
- 0.5 tsp. sugar
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake well. Rub lemon along the rim of the shot glass and coat with the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Pour liquid into the shot glass. Enjoy.
The above directions are what was sent to me, but they don't make a ton of sense. First of all, you should never shake a carbonated beverage, unless you don't want it to be carbonated anymore. Second of all, is the cinnamon sugar supposed to go in the shot and on the rim? It's unclear. This is what I did:
Mix the cinnamon and sugar. Rub rim of glass with lemon and coat with mixture. Place lemon slice in shot glass and muddle slightly. Add half ounce of Jim Beam Kentucky Fire. Top with soda. Shoot.
It's not very good. Still too sweet. Maybe it would work if you subbed lemon-lime soda for soda water and added more lemon, but I've already had three shots of this stuff today and I'm not doing it anymore.
I'll bake the rest into a bread pudding or something.