Big news this week, as industry heavyweight Jack Daniel’s announced Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, a blend of Old No. 7 with cinnamon liqueur. This comes on the heels of Jack Daniel’s wildly successful Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, which opened the brand to a slew of new drinkers and made huge strides for the flavored whiskey category.
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire will compete directly with Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey, which has become a major player in the category and a go-to shot for many young drinkers. Nevermind the fact that it tastes like sweet cinnamon candy more than, say, whiskey.
For now, Tennessee Fire is undergoing a “test launch” and will only be available in three states — Tennessee, Oregon and Pennsylvania. There’s currently no timetable for expansion, but we can assume a lot is riding on this new product. If it proves popular in its test markets, it may expand nationwide.
That alone has to be a scary proposition for Fireball. Although it’s part of Sazerac’s formidable portfolio and has certainly built up brand loyalty (and increased sales) over the years, it’s difficult to compete with the sheer name recognition of Jack Daniel’s. And it’s unlikely your average bar will carry more than one cinnamon whiskey, so it may come down to brand pressure and undercutting price points. Currently, Fireball is a few dollars cheaper, which bodes well for them.
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire will hit those test markets in April. It clocks in at 70 proof and will cost about $22.