Spiced Booze 

Nothing warms the heart like a wintry libations

It's hard to escape the scent of cinnamon pine cones, spiced apple candles and pumpkin spice lattes this time of year. With all these faux-cozy fall flavors filling the air, it's inevitable some of them would settle in booze. We sampled a trio of new liquors infused with spicy fall flavors. Here are our thoughts.

Jack Daniel's Winter Jack, $16.95

Don't let Winter Jack's square, 750-ml bottle fool you. This 15-percent alcohol seasonal release is more like a pre-mixed cocktail than a bottle of whiskey. The only place you get a hint of whiskey warmth is on the nose. Citrus and apple pie flavors wash over the palate and then dissipate quickly, leaving whispers of vanilla and caramel that also don't linger long. A reasonable ski lift-sipper.

Jagermeister Spice, $22.95

This seasonal release has cranked up the cinnamon and vanilla notes, while greatly scaling back Jager's herbaceous, licorice flavors. In the process, the company has also dropped the ABV from 35 percent to 25 percent. Jager Spice emits thick wafts of clove, cinnamon and nutmeg on the nose. On the palate, there are more pie flavors--vanilla, cinnamon, allspice and ginger. Like the original Jagermeister, there is nothing subtle about this sweet, spiced liqueur. Better with tea than as a shot.

Jim Beam Red Stag Hardcore Cider, $19.95

Unlike the previous two spiced concoctions, Red Stag's Hardcore Cider is full-proof hooch, clocking in at 40 percent ABV. Yet somehow, the liquor still manages to be cloyingly sweet, with candied apple martini and green Jolly Rancher on the nose, followed by syrupy, fake apple flavors that cling to the tongue as a bourbon-y heat burns down the back of the throat. Skip this creation and opt for original Jim Beam and an artisanal hard cider instead.

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