September, 2011 — Hiram Walker Caramel Apple Liqueur
DISCLOSURE: It is Cocktails, 365′s policy that it always reveal when we receive samples of liquor to review for the Website. As we tell those who offer samples: we will accept the liquor for review, but that does not guarantee a positive review. Pernod-Ricard sent us a bottle of their new liquor to review before it’s release tomorrow. Listed below are the opinions of Cocktails, 365 and no one else. And always, thanks and drink up!
Let’s start off this review with a little bit of history about Hiram Walker.
Hiram Walker (4 July 1816 – 12 January 1899) was an American grocer and distiller, and the eponym of the famous distillery in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Walker was born July 4, 1816 in East Douglas, Massachusetts, and moved to Detroit in the mid-1830s. He purchased land across the river, just east of what was Windsor, Ontario, and established a distillery in 1858 in what was then Walkerville, Ontario, on the banks of the Detroit River. Walker began selling his whiskey as Hiram Walker’s Club Whiskey. It became very popular, angering American distillers, who forced the US Government to pass a law requiring that all foreign whiskeys state their country of origin on the label. This move backfired; Hiram Walker’s Canadian Club Whiskey became more popular following the change.
He established and maintained the company town that sprang up around his distillery. He exercised planning and control over every facet of the town, from public works to religious services to police and fire. At one point, he opened a church for his workers but then quickly closed it when the preacher decided to teach on the “evils of alcohol”.
The Hiram Walker & Sons Distillery remained in the Walker family until 1926 when it was sold to Harry C. Hatch. Canadian Club Whisky is still produced at the distillery site Mr. Walker founded. The company has gone through several versions of ownership and is now owned by French firm Pernod Ricard as a result of that company’s acquisition of Allied Domecq. The direct descendants are of the Franklin MacFie Walker and Elizabeth Talman (Walker) Paterson families.
From the Hiram Walker site:
The line of Hiram Walker products consists of 43 Schnapps, Brandies and Bar Essential Crèmes and Liqueurs. Hiram Walker’s Schnapps line-up includes Peach Schnapps, Peppermint Schnapps, and Butterscotch Schnapps. Our Brandies include Blackberry Brandy and Coffee Brandy, and our Bar Essentials line features Triple Sec, Amaretto, Blue Curacao, Sloe Gin, and Anisette. Our Seasonal Liqueur line includes Pumpkin Spice and New Gingerbread.
Back? Thanks for sticking around! The short description of Hiram Walker is that they’re one of the most ubiquitous purveyors of schnapps, liqueurs, and mixers in the world. Most bars around worth their salt will have at least one of their liqueurs on hand. The liqueur was officially introduced into the lineup at the beginning of September.
The short review? We’re very impressed. But since you stuck around for the history lesson, why don’t you stick around for the long review?
Hiram Walker Caramel Apple Liqueur
First, let’s note that this pleasantly surprised us. We were girding our loins (that’s the proper term, right?) for a cloyingly sweet and harshly artificial flavor. Not from anything Hiram Walker has created, but rather what we’ve come to expect from seemingly flash-in-the-plan flavors in liqueurs. However, long story short: this liqueur kicks serious ass.
Holy autumnal, Batman! The heaviness of the caramel and the crisp scent of the apple are right up front and combine together beautifully. There is a very, very pleasant scent to the liqueur. No harsh artificial scents funking up the nose. It’s already out to a good start.
Caramel right up front, followed up with that same crisp apple flavor, ending with the caramel again. You could drink this neat on a regular basis. At least, we could. It’s like drinking a caramel apple. As strange as that sounds… Moving on…
On the Rocks:
Could this be true? Even better. Now, because it is a liqueur, it’s naturally incredibly sweet. You come to expect that. However, it’s not cloying sweet. It’s not like taking a shot of syrup. Kudos for Hiram Walker for pulling that little trick off. This is very, very good. And we’re looking forward to putting this to work in some of the suggested cocktails Hiram Walker sent along.
Highland Harvest by Tobin Ellis
- 2 oz Glenlivet 12 Year
- .5 oz Hiram walker Apple Liqueur
- 2 dashes orange bitters
Build in a rocks glass with a large ice cube and stir.
Scotch is a tough liquor to make cocktails work. Its distinct smokiness causes all sorts of problems. However, this is one hell of a tasty drink. So, kudos! There’s a beautiful smokiness from the scotch and just an edge of sweetness from the liqueur. Very, very autumnal. We expected to see leaves stall falling after tasting this cocktail.
Irish Applesauce by Tobin Ellis
- 1.5 oz Jameson Irish Whisky
- .5 oz Hiram Walker Caramel Apple Liqueur
- .5 oz ginger liqueur
Combine ingredients in a rocks glass filled with crushed ice. Squeeze half a lemon over the drink and drop into the cocktail.
This cocktail is very bright, with just a hint of heaviness.
- 1 oz Hiram Walker Caramel Apple Liqueur
- 1 oz Jameson Irish Whisky
- Apple cider
Combine heated apple cider with the liqueur and whisky in an Irish coffee mug. Stir well, garnish with a cinnamon stick and then serve.
This drink eats apples and shits fall. Holy crap, this is beautifully fall. Strong apple flavor, with a nice bite from the booze. Love, love, love it.
Final Verdict: Hiram Walker Caramel Apple is a must-have for any bar.