However you feel about Fireball, there’s no denying the popularity of the cinnamon-flavored spirit. Popular everywhere from college campuses to dive bars the checkout counter at gas stations, Fireball Cinnamon Whisky has been one of the bestselling liquors in the U.S. for several years. But it’s never been one to get the respect of spirits snobs and whiskey nerds. But now, Fireball is releasing its first-ever barrel-aged whiskey called Dragon Reserve. I got my hands on a bottle ahead of the release to try it and see if the new liquid is indeed taking Fireball to another level or if it’s the same old sweet and spicy spirit, for better or worse.
Previously, Fireball was split mainly into two camps. While marketed as whiskey, both are technically liqueurs given that they contain added sugar and a lower ABV than traditional whiskey. The main product is Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, which is made with actual Canadian whiskey as its spirit base, with additional flavors and sweeteners added. Then there’s the similar-looking Fireball Cinnamon, which contains no whiskey at all and contains half the alcohol of its sibling, allowing it to skirt laws in stores that aren’t allowed to sell spirits.
The new Dragon Reserve is Fireball Cinnamon Whisky that’s been aged in “dragon-charred” barrels — AKA American oak barrels that formerly contained bourbon, actual char level unknown — for “several months.” Given how cheeky Fireball is being about the details surrounding the aging of the product, it’s clear that this isn’t actually being pitched as a premium product. Further proof of that can be seen in the $19.99 SRP, along with a promotional campaign featuring comedic actor Rob Riggle as “honorary master distiller” wearing a smoking jacket and sipping Dragon Reserve from a Glencairn glass. Rather, the new beverage is an example of Fireball — which is owned by Sazerac, the same company that counts Buffalo Trace and Pappy Van Winkle as its subsidiaries — doing something a little extra for fans that are already on board with the fiery booze.
Given its low price tag and improved taste, you’d think Fireball would make Dragon Reserve a permanent addition to its lineup. Instead, the brand is only releasing 618 bottles as a promotion for Father’s Day on 6/18. The bottles will be available for pre-order in select states beginning June 16 at 11 am EST on Fireball’s website.
About Fireball Whisky
Fireball Cinnamon Whisky is a mixture of Canadian whisky, cinnamon flavoring and sweeteners that is produced by the Sazerac Company. Its foundation is Canadian whisky, and the taste otherwise resembles the candy with a similar name, Ferrara Candy Company’s “Atomic Fireball” candy.
For more information please visit https://www.fireballwhisky.com/