Review: Duke & Dame Salted Carmel Flavored Whiskey

By John Dover / September 26, 2021

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Duke & Dame. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Traditionally, flavors in whiskey come from techniques such as crafting a mash bill, barrel aging, blending, and just allowing time to take charge and bring the spirit to maturity. Flavored whiskeys such as Fireball, or the selection of cherry, apple, or honey flavored whiskeys on the market, tend to market themselves to non-whiskey drinkers. Whiskey snobs and aficionados prefer to steer clear of artificially enhanced liquor, leaving it to those that hunt out shots in loud bars and/or to enhance a flamboyant party.

Duke and Dame was started in 2017 as a challenge to create a fun whiskey that would also cater to the discerning palate of more seasoned drinkers. It is a corn-based mash bill that is sourced and blended from two-year aged whiskey, then flavored with their salted caramel flavor to create a smooth drinking experience as fit for a row of shots as an after-dinner desert sipper.

Not being a huge fan of flavored whiskey, I am a hard customer to please when it comes to novelty spirits. So how does this whiskey stand up to a stodgy palate that is preferential to peat and oak?

Duke and Dame Salted Caramel Flavored Whiskey (image via John Dover)

Duke and Dame Salted Caramel Flavored Whiskey (image via John Dover)

Tasting Notes: Salted Carmel Flavored Whiskey

Vital Stats: Corn-bsed mash bill that is blended and bottled at 70 proof and has a price tag of about $32.

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Appearance: Slick and inviting packaging with the clear glass bottle. The whiskey has the color of dry hay.

Nose: Immediately, there is a strong note of caramel. This is accompanied by a hint of popcorn and a strong note of sugar. There is also a bit of melted butter and some citrus undertones.

Palate: This is sweet. Not surprising since they are unapologetic about the flavor profile they have created. There is a bit of orange soda that showcases the citrus notes, but front and center is the butterscotch candy flavor reminiscent of unwrapping that golden wrapper straight out of grandma’s candy jar. The heat is subtle on the front of the palate, but disappears quickly. A bit of buttered popcorn Jelly Belly rounds out the prominent flavors. The sugary aftertaste hangs on a bit longer than I would have liked, and the overall profile does carry a bit of that artificial flavor quality.

The Takeaway

Summary

If there is a dessert whiskey, this is it. There are not a lot of traditional whiskey flavors in here, but it is a fun party drink. I would even be inclined to pour a shot over a small bowl of vanilla ice cream for an adult dessert.

3.0
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