You know those drinks that you only get a hint of what they when you’re already halfway hammered so you never really get to know their true tastes?
Jack Daniels Honey has been that way for me; it’s been a long cat and mouse chase between myself and the drink. Eventually, I said, F*ck it and bought myself a bottle.
Actually, I didn’t buy it for myself. What happened, a female friend (emphasis on friend) I hadn’t seen in a long time asked if I could visit her a couple weekends ago.
She said she’d missed me and I said I’d missed her too (because that’s the only right response to that) and she said “we should hang out sometime” and I said “Sure” and thought it would be one of those default things people always say but never really mean. Like telling someone you’re leaving for a journey to Timbuktu and then they text back “Safe Journey.” Or having an argument with your girlfriend and she says, “It’s Fine.” You know right away, she gon’ stab you in the eye with a fork when you sleep.
The smell lingers in your mouth for far too long. It doesn’t just pop in and out, it stays there. It comes in and builds a home and tills its own land and waters the garden and retires there in old age; frail and wrinkly.
Anyway, she asked, “What are you doing right now?” and I said “watching a movie in bed. With only my boxers on” and she acted all grossed out and disgusted by that and I said, “Well, you asked.” Then, out of nowhere, she just said, “Come right now, I’m making Chapati.” I sprang out of that bed so hard I almost hit the ceiling. Folks, you don’t ever have to say “Chapati” twice to get me into action.
Before I got to her place, I thought it wasn’t polite to show up empty handed so I called her up and asked what she would want to drink, and she said “anything”. Ladies, you do realize this response is never helpful, right? So I rocked up with a bottle of Jack Daniels Honey.
And boy, what a terrible drink it is. Not even suitable to clean my shoes on one of those rainy seasons.
Bring it to your nose and it smells of honey (a tonne of it) and the occasional dash of lemon. Have a sip and it tastes like cough syrup. It’s thick and strong and goes down the throat with ease; a tad too easily. It kind of feels like a snail slithering (or whatever it is snails for movement) down your throat as it goes down.
Jack Daniels Honey is also sweet, and the smell lingers in your mouth for far too long. It doesn’t just pop in and out, it stays there. It comes in and builds a home and tills its own land and waters the garden and retires there in old age; frail and wrinkly. Think of the stench of Jack Daniels Honey as our mothers cooking Chapati when we were growing up; everybody always knew which household was cooking Chapo, no matter how hard you tried to hide it. You drink this Honey Liqueur today, walk into your boss’ office tomorrow and he’ll tell you, “Damn, playa, you drink all the honey in the damn beehive?”
I don’t think they had people like us in mind when they manufactured this drink; which is why I will not talk smack about it. Jack Daniels Honey Liqueur was made for people who pretend like they can drink whiskey. It was made for those people who take a sip of whiskey and make faces so bad Frankenstein would be proud; these chaps who don’t know the difference between ‘pure distilled’ Indian whiskey and ‘blended’ Scotch whiskey; folk who drink whiskey in glasses meant for beer, yet without a single care in the world.
Jack Daniels Honey was made for people with sweet tooth. And so, if you’re one of those people, I would strongly recommend you buy it. But if you’re a true drinker who prefers whiskey with a little sting here and there, then stay as far from this thing as you possibly can.
I once read a Jackson Biko article in Yummy Magazine titled ‘The Last Era of Whiskey.’ He said the art of drinking whiskey was dying because, now, distillers are – apparently – introducing flavored whiskeys to cater for the “young adults and women.”
In it, he complained, “Now you have whiskey with honey. Honey for chrissake!” Well, why stop there? Why don’t we also add some ginger and lemon into it? Stick an umbrella on it too. If they succeed – and looks like they are going to if a story by Eric Spitznagel in Men’s Health is anything to go by – “women and young adults” will soon be overheard in bars screeching at the barman, “Gimme that strawberry flavored whiskey!”
I tend to agree with Biko, the art of drinking whiskey is dying. And it is dying because there are such things as these in the market; whiskey flavoured with bloody honey.
PS: The opinion expressed here are those of the reviewer and not necessarily those of Nairobi Cool and Gram Media.