We were recently contacted by the 3 Howls folks about creating three original cocktails with one of their spirits. Given that we are big fans of theirs and already own several of their products, we said sure! We always love a challenge. The trick was to decide which one of their spirits we wanted to use as the base. We find their hopped whiskey to be very interesting and unique, so we decided to use that as our starting point. Read on to find out what we came up with.
The hops bring a lovely aromatic, citrus-y character to this whiskey, so we started experimenting with ingredients that we felt would pair nicely with that. We did discover in the process that sparkling wine was not a good pairing; it really brings out the very skunky hop notes (you know what we mean. 😉 ) which were quite overpowering.
For the first drink, we used Lillet to balance the whisky’s flavor and then lemon bitters and tarragon to pull out the hops.
- 2 oz 3 Howls Hopped Whiskey
- 1/2 oz Lillet blanc
- 1 dash lemon bitters
- 1/2 dropper of tarragon tincture (we used the one from Drink Addition)
Stir with ice. Strain into a glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.
- Nose: Citrus-y, resiny hops. Lemon, grapefruit, tarragon. Mild malty oak smell. Hops really dominate. Nice and bright.
- Palate: Slightly sweet oxidized wine and grapefruit on the front. Mid-palate combines citrus and resin from the hops with tarragon, underpinned by rich malty notes from the whiskey. Finish is a bit more bitter, with spice, toasty notes from the barrel and some lemon peel. As it warms up, you get nutty flavors on the finish in combination with the toasty notes. Bright, approachable cocktail for what is essentially a glass of booze. Makes a nice martini alternative.
Next up, we wanted something sweet-sour with broader appeal. In this one, the honey and lime balance each other while the orange bitters pairs well with the hops.
- 1 3/4 oz 3 Howls Hopped Whiskey
- 1 1/2 oz orange juice
- 1/2 oz lime juice
- 1 tsp honey (adjust for sweetness as necessary depending on your lime juice and orange juice)
- 1 dash orange bitters
Shake with ice. Strain into a glass. Enjoy!
- Nose: Orange peel, light honey. Pine notes from the hops. Cooked orange with bitter notes, like marmalade.
- Palate: Orange bitters and a little bit of hops on the front. Reminiscent of spiced marmalade. More hops with pine notes along with malt from the whiskey on the mid-palate. Finish is honey sweetness counterbalanced with some nice sharp lime notes. Nicely balanced. Acid from the lime creates a really nice back bone. Goes down way too easily 😉
For the final cocktail, we wanted to include some liqueurs. The nutty sweetness of the amaretto pulls out the darker oak-y flavors in the whiskey, while the resin notes in the Fernet combine well with the hops.
- 2 oz 3 Howls Hopped Whiskey
- 1/3 oz amaretto
- 1 bar spoon fernet
- couple drops Angostura
Stir with ice. Strain into a glass. Cheers!
- Nose: Musky barrel funk. Bitter almond but also creamy almond like praline. Menthol and myrrh.
- Palate: Starts with sweet almond and a little bit of mint. Hops and menthol on the mid-palate. Finish is really interesting, bringing out the darker notes of the whiskey – oak and malt with dark toasty notes like coffee on the end. Menthol and black licorice aftertaste.
Thanks to 3 Howls for giving us a good reason to experiment with their tasty hopped whiskey. We really enjoyed finding combinations that offered depth and balance while not overpowering the delicate flavor and aroma of the hops. If you are fortunate enough to get your hands on a bottle, we hope you’ll try (and enjoy!) our offerings.