MONDAY MORNING REVIEW — Southern Comfort Fiery Pepper


December 5, 2011 — Southern Comfort Fiery Pepper

Earlier this fall, Southern Comfort decided to try and expand it’s market share with another flavor iteration. They already have Southern Comfort and Lime, which looked to snag the market of people too damn lazy to squeeze a lime into their glass. Now they’re capitalizing on the people who are too lazy to put a couple of dashes of Tabasco in their SoCo.Which, we’ll admit, we didn’t realize that that was a thing.

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Now, to give total transparency, I’ve never been a huge of Southern Comfort. I had some close friends in college that were huge friends of it, so I will probably forever associate it’s scent wafting from the lips of college journalists who are celebrating the last night of production for the semester. This was oftentimes at one of the houses closest to campus. Naturally, as it often is with college drinking, I also tend to associate that scent with people who’ve had just a little too much, get too drunk, then order Quiznos and forget.

So, it was with a bit of trepidation that we decided to pick up a bottle for review purposes. Now, apparently we were among the few that enjoyed the New Orleans Absolut, which was black pepper and mango  flavored. So, we’re already fans of pepper flavor. We also make a killer cocktail that features that vodka with Tabasco. So, this isn’t a completely unheard of flavor.

So some basic info:

It’s 70 proof, so it’s sticking with the same power as traditional Southern Comfort.

Another thing that makes us raise our eyebrows — it’s only whiskey flavoring. Not actual whiskey.

So, yeah.

But, you guys want to know how it is.

Nose:

There’s a strong pepper scent and not much else. There’s a bit of a cloying artificial scent to it. Truthfully, it reminds us of Tabasco Cheeze-Its. And we’re not sure those are made anymore. Anyway, the Tabasco is right up front, with that bit of sweetness taking a back seat.

Neat:

The sweet is right up front and then the spice hits you on the lips. That flavor seems a bit artificial, just as it did on the nose. It is pleasant, however.

On the Rocks:

The spice comes up again stronger once it’s cooled. It isn’t nearly as harsh as neat.

Verdict:

It’s an odd mishmash of flavors, with the sweetness of the SoCo coming up right on the back-end of the spiciness. This isn’t really meant to be sipped neat. Even it’s recommended serve-up is cooled and as a shot. But we’re more interested in how it holds up as a base spirit for cocktail mixing. So, how does it stand up while mixed?

The recommended cocktail is a Bloody Mary. However, we’ve never really been much for doing what others tell us. We’ve been analyzing the flavors to come up with a cocktail that we felt would play well off the flavors.

SoCocktail

  • 2 oz Southern Comfort Firey Pepper
  • 1.5 oz cranberry juice
  • 2 dashes Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
  • 1 dash sweet vermouth

Combine ingredients in a rocks glass filled with ice and stir well.

There’s a pleasant burn that goes well with the cranberry. The sweet vermouth will take some of the edge of the Southern Comfort Pepper and you get that pleasant earthy flavor from the Luxardo.

Cheers!

— Mark

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