Jim Beam Red Stag was released in 2009 and is one product in the Jim Beam whiskey liqueur series. Red Stag is a blend of bourbon and cherry liqueur, with the addition of a little brown sugar and cinnamon. Originally, the product was 40% ABV, but today it is available in a 35% ABV version.
The smell is quite sweet. It has a Jim Beam regular bourbon, but also slightly different nuances, but nothing which can be directly combined to cherry. Cinnamon feels in the background, it’s even more recognizable than a cherry. The taste is clearly sweeter than in bourbon, even a sugary sweet. The taste has a bit of a berry-like flavour, plenty of sugar, a little spiciness and at the end a bunch of Jim Beam regular bourbon. The aftertaste has a sweet artificial flavour, which is probably then the promised cherry aroma. However, the cherry is not easily recognizable and I am not sure if I would have found it if I had not seen the bottle label. So for sure this is not a cherry liqueur. More like candied and slightly flavored bourbon with a touch of cherry flavor added. Although the manufacturer claims that the cherry flavor is natural, it feels more like essence.
When drunk neat, Red Stag is too sweet and has a bunch of artificial flavour. I tried it on several different cocktails, but it didn’t seem to fit right anywhere. There was always a strange side taste on the drinks. I was struggling with this bottle, it stayed open in the bar cabinet for over a year. Occasionally I tried to mix it with something to get rid of it and always some bad savour stayed in my mouth.
Red Stag is a somewhat useless product, you can get a better result if you add a little cherry juice or liqueur to the bourbon. If you now really want to get some cherry-whiskey drink. Red Stag confirms that the big producer flavored whiskeys are just a waste of money.