Phillips Union Cherry Flavoured Whiskey (Princeton, MN, USA)

  • My Rating: [D+], not recommended.

Cherry Flavoured Whiskey – Phillips Union (Phillips Distilling Company), 35% ABV, 750ml., (Princeton, Minnesota, USA)


My thoughts:

-When I drink whiskey I like it both neat or in a classic cocktail, especially a Manhattan. Here we have a flavoured whiskey that could potentially be decent as a sipper, or perhaps enhance the Manhattan experience. In my experience, ‘flavoured’ spirits can vary from intolerable to pedestal worthy. Let’s jump into it shall we?


from the Phillips website:

“Phillips Union Whiskey is the first-ever blend of Kentucky Bourbon and Canadian Whisky. It’s a smooth, flavorful spirit, without burn or bitterness, that comes in cherry and vanilla flavor, as well as the easy-sipping original.”


  • Style: (flavoured – cherry) Whiskey
  • Taste: Liquor Depot / Edmonton
  • Where I got it : BC Liquor Stores
  • How much: $31.10 CAD – 750ml., October 2009
  • Do I love this enough to drink it again: no
  • Would I recommend this whiskey aficionados: no
  • Would I recommend this in a cocktail: no

Visual: (cellared for 8 years). Pours a very light honey brown, noticeably lighter in colour than other whiskeys.

Nose: medicinal sweet cough syrup cherry, background medium nasal tingly, grain alcohol notes. (lvl-7)-pungency

Attack: incoming sweetness, fruity impression

Mid-palate: (lvl-6-sweetness), cough syrup cherry,

Finish: dull caramel whiskey, medium alcohol heat, light throat warmth, residual ‘cherry’ exhale

Overall smoothness: not good, too sweet and rough in the mids.

Summary: I don’t know where they got this “natural cherry flavour” from but it surely doesn’t taste like any naturally grown cherry that I’ve ever had. The whiskey base is too weak and one-note to hold up to the overbearing cherry. You get a 70% fake cherry and 30% whiskey experience. Thus, as a sipper – No good; Ok, so how about in one of my favs, a Manhattan?

(2:1, 3 dashes Angostura, cocktail cherry garnish)

Notes: In this cocktail I used dry vermouth instead, accounting for the inherent sweetness of Phillips Union Cherry. The result? Still too much of the medicinal cherry sweetness up front, weak whiskey mids and the vermouth kicking in at the finish. The transitions between the layers are too rough, making the experience unelegant, but at least drinkable. I would rather have a higher quality bourbon/whiskey in PU Cherry’s place in order to pump up the caramel and woody notes. Thus, in a cocktail, No good. Bottom line: not recommended.