Peanut butter whiskey is having a moment, and it seems like everyone is trying to get in on the action. But while most companies seem to be at least attempting to put their own distinct flavor or mark on the product, Skatterbrain Peanut Butter Whiskey seems to be an exercise in trying to figure out how close they can get to the original without getting sued.
Peanut butter whiskey is a rapidly growing segment of the whiskey market. Kicked off by the Skrewball brand in 2018, it is basically a liqueur that uses whiskey as its base with added peanut flavoring of some sort.
In a rather blatant attempt to capture some of the market share of that new segment, Skatterbrain is a brand of whiskey produced by Universal Products (which is a subsidiary of the United States Distilled Products corporation).
Founded in 1981, USDP is a bottling company that imports and sources spirits from other distilleries, creates its own brands, and sells them primarily in the midwest United States.
For the record, I do my research for all the whiskey I review on this site. I’m no Sherlock Holmes, but with some minor sleuthing and basic googling I can usually find the product information for everything I review. For this, however… I have almost nothing.
We do know that, much like other versions of peanut butter whiskey, this uses a whiskey base with added sweetness and peanut flavors. Caramel coloring is also added to the whiskey to give it the right shade of amber brown.
According to online sources, the whiskey for this product comes from Canada — but whether the flavoring is added prior to importation or added by USDP is unknown. The spirit is bottled in Minnesota and shipped out for distribution.
And that is all we know.
Like I said, this is a pretty naked attempt to horn in on the Skrewball’s market. Heck, even the first two letters of the brand are the same.
The bottle is a standard format, with a round body, tapered shoulder, and medium length neck. The bottle is capped off with a metal screw-on top. It is also almost identical to Skrewball, except the cap is black.
Also almost identical to Skrewball is the label. It features a white background with an animal mascot (an elephant in this case), and black lettering with at least one stylized letter.
You know that meme about “yeah, you can copy my homework, but change some things so it doesn’t look like you cheated?” Yeah, they didn’t change nearly enough.
So, normally with a peanut butter whiskey you at least have the pleasant nutty flavor of peanut butter to accompany your poor decisions. But in this case, rather than being a “large and in charge” aspect, the peanut butter is only a minor component. The biggest scent I get is medicinal alcohol coming off the glass, with only a minorly nutty aroma backing it up. There’s also a good bit of raw sugar smell here, so that should be fun.
And sure enough…. yep, the flavor is exactly what was advertised in the aroma. It’s significantly sweeter than you’d expect, like licking the icing off a glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut. Which I should be thankful of, I suppose, as that covers up a large portion of the bitter alcohol flavor. It still peeks its head out at the end, but for the most part what you taste is just sugar and peanut.
Not even good peanut, though. It’s just like someone stuck a peanut inside a heap of sugar frosting. There isn’t anything buttery about it, and certainly not much to write home about.
At this point, the peanut butter flavor is vanishing into the background. I can still identify it, but I’m more likely to describe this as “peanut sugar frosting” flavored than peanut butter. The sugar flavor is very much in the forefront, and the peanut is a poor shadow of what it was only a few moments ago.
This is truly disappointing specifically for this whiskey, as typically it would be served chilled from the freezer. If chilling it removes all the peanut flavor, then what are you drinking at that point? Although, I suppose this would theoretically be a good choice for someone who doesn’t like peanut butter all that much. But then that would beg the question: why would you specifically be drinking this if you didn’t like peanut butter?
Cocktail (Old Fashioned)
The peanut flavor is pretty much completely disappeared at this point, and all that is left is sugary alcohol and angostura bitters.
To be fair, I don’t hate this. It’s probably as close to a proper old fashioned as you can get with a peanut butter whiskey. But is it really a peanut butter whiskey if all the peanut butter aspects run and hide from a couple cubes of ice?
Oh, and of course, don’t add any extra sugar. There’s more than enough here to go around.
On the one hand, this is an okay mule. There’s some good ginger flavor, the sugar content balances out the bitterness nicely, and it isn’t offensive. But there’s just absolutely no other flavor here to compete with that ginger beer.
This is about as bland and uninteresting as plain noodles with butter. There’s no flavor, no personality. Just sugary sweetness and an alarmingly low alcohol content for a whiskey.
I don’t particularly like peanut butter whiskey as a category. But even just among that small subset of whiskey, I don’t like this peanut butter whiskey. It isn’t the worst thing I’ve ever had… but that’s kind of like saying my latest car accident isn’t the worst I’ve ever had.
The issue here is that there just isn’t enough peanut flavor to maintain that pronounced peanut-y note in different settings. Every other peanut butter whiskey (for better or, more often than not, worse) maintains that level of saturation, but here it’s barely noticeable even when taken neat.
I can’t completely write it off, because at least it doesn’t actively assault my taste buds. But that’s the highest praise I can give it.
|Skatterbrain Peanut Butter Whiskey|
Classification: Flavored Whiskey
Special Type: Peanut Butter Whiskey
Aging: No Age Statement (NAS)
Proof: 35% ABV
Price: $18.99 / 750 ml
Overall Rating: 2/5
The biggest disappointment is a whiskey that is boring and uninteresting — and that’s exactly what this is.