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In the hunt for interesting whiskey, we have recently stumbled across Skrewball’s Peanut Butter Whiskey. Peanut butter is a complex flavor, a mix of sweetness and saltiness that’s hard to emulate without coming down too harshly on either side.
It’s a challenge – one that Skrewball have built their entire brand around.
Here’s our review of their attempt at creating peanut butter whiskey. We’ll start with some backstory of the folks who brought this drink into the world, then we have our taste notes and review.
After that, we have a section on ideal pairings for this drink, because spoiler: it goes well in many cocktails and desserts.
We know that many whiskey purists don’t like the idea of flavored whiskey, and we don’t blame them when they can be so difficult to get right, but they can be great ingredients for mixing into other drinks!
Who Are Skrewball?
Let’s start with the company – Skrewball. Who are they? What is their story? Why did they think peanut butter flavored whiskey was a good idea?
Well, the story of Skrewball started in Ocean Beach, California. There, bartender Steven Yeng plied his trade and poured whiskey shots but with a twist… You can probably guess what it is.
Steven served his whiskey shots with a glob of peanut butter to add some flavor. This peanut butter shot was a hit with the crowd, becoming one of the most popular shots they offered.
Sensing that there’s an audience for this drink somewhere, Steven’s wife and business partner Brittany helped him turn the shot into a full-fledged brand.
That’s Skrewball. As for what that even means, it’s apparently somebody who is adventurous and doesn’t follow the cliché lifestyle. A black sheep, which is their logo, a dripping insignia of a black sheep with marbled gold running through it. It looks great.
Their website looks great too, it’s very well made.
So, let’s get into the actual drink and whether it holds up to Skrewball’s great brand-building efforts. I wrote this review after sipping it neat, so keep that in mind, tastes will be muted if you’re drinking it on the rocks.
It’s a whiskey that has an alcohol volume of 35% (70 proof) and, well, it’s also peanut butter flavored, obviously. The flavoring comes from all-natural flavorings, which is cool, as it makes use of sugar cane to achieve a natural sweetness. It’s reasonably priced for the 750 milliliters that you get.
As for how it looks, it’s a deep brown-orange. It isn’t just a vivid, familiar color that you see with some whiskeys out there, it’s also very close to the color of peanut skins. Whether that was intentional, who knows, but it’s a neat detail.
A strong color profile always helps when dealing with flavored whiskeys – it goes better with bold flavors.
Quite predictably, this whiskey has a strong aroma of peanut butter. It’s not just peanut butter – not all peanut butter is made equal, after all – it’s hearty, like baking ingredients that are peanut butter flavored. It smells like the good stuff, not processed garbage.
There are other notes there but many of them are overpowered by the peanut butter and the general aura of sweetness surrounding this drink. Think of sweet, sticky things, like syrups or melted sugar, and you’re on track. There’s also slight pepperiness where the whiskey shows itself.
At this point, I thought the sheer sweetness was a concern.
I take a sip and – there it is – sugar. More sugar than whiskey, though the taste does balance out the more you drink.
Anybody who hates flavored whiskeys probably saw this coming. As we said at the start, it’s a balance between sweetness and saltiness, and flavored whiskeys don’t do nuance well.
Peanut butter is sugary anyway, I get that, but I can also see people getting overwhelmed by how strong it is – whiskey aficionados especially.
That said, somebody who has a sweet tooth and wants a casual, nutty liquor to sip on should find something to latch on in this drink.
While the peanut butter smells great, the taste rings a little artificial. Again, peanut butter is notoriously difficult to get right without throwing a glob of peanut butter in with it, which is how this enterprise started in the first place.
To sum up my tasting experience – it’s sweet, and that’s a plus for many people, but not the earthy peanut butter taste that you may expect. It needs salt if the taste is going to be balanced out and resemble peanut butter.
So, it’s a very sweet drink, and that may be your favorite type of whiskey or your own personal hell. Whichever is the case, stick around, because Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey may still have its uses.
Here are some ideas for cocktails and other ideas that can make use of this whiskey. It brings a lot of sweetness and a peanut butter taste that, if combined with other ingredients, can achieve the balance that I wanted to see in the palate test.
First, let’s get a basic sauce recipe out of the way. By making a sauce from this whiskey, you can get creative and use it in other recipes that you may want to experiment with.
To make a caramel sauce using Skrewball, you need to grab the following:
- ¼ cup of water
- ¼ cup of butter
- ½ cup of heavy whipping cream, room temperature
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons of Skrewball’s peanut butter whiskey
- An extra teaspoon of Skrewball’s peanut butter whiskey
- And a much-needed teaspoon of fine sea salt
From there, all you need to do is heat the sugar and water in a saucepan at medium to high heat. You may be tempted to stir it – don’t. Instead, wait till it turns amber and then remove it from heat. Whisk the heavy whipping cream into it and then add butter, salt, and the whiskey itself.
Pairing With A Stranger In The Alps
If you’re a fan of Skrewball’s peanut butter whiskey and other flavored drinks, you may enjoy some coffee liqueur too. Bringing together coffee liqueur with vodka, the Stranger in the Alps can benefit from a nutty twist to go with the notes of coffee and cream.
This one is pretty simple, you just need the essentials for a Stranger – those being an ounce or two of vodka, ¾ of an ounce of Skrewball, and the same measure of coffee liqueur. Heavy cream is a must too.
Preparation is just filling your glass with ice and then throwing the vodka, Skrewball, and coffee liqueur in there. They should play nice together. Then you put heavy cream in and stir.
Pairing With An Afterschool Special
Maybe you prefer deeper, fruitier tastes instead of coffee. If that’s the case, you can modify an afterschool special with some Skrewball to add some extra sweetness to it.
Starting with some ice in your glass, you need to shake the following ingredients in a shaker with ice:
- 2 ounces of bourbon
- 1 ounce of Skrewball
- 2 dashes of plum bitters
- 1 dash of chocolate bitters
- 1 teaspoon of seedless marionberry jam
If you want to get really fancy, melt peanut butter and dip the rim of your glass into it. Once shaken, you should now have something drinkable. Fine strain it, then pour it over the rocks and enjoy.
Peanut Butter Cup Pudding
The taste of Skrewball peanut butter whiskey may remind you of a certain peanut butter brand famous for its peanut butter cups, though with less salt. You can make a pudding that achieves many of the same flavors using Skrewball.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- ½ cup of granulated sugar
- ¾ of actual peanut butter, preferably smooth
- 1 ½ teaspoon of Skrewball peanut butter whiskey
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 3 whole cups of milk
- You can also add garnish like shaved chocolate, pretzels, or cream
Once you have everything, place the salt, sugar, and cornstarch at medium heat in a saucepan. Whisk in the milk and watch to make sure the sugar is fully dissolved.
Increase heat until you see boiling, then lower it and constantly whisk for approximately two minutes. Stir in the butter, peanut butter, and the whiskey after removing it from heat.
Place the mixture into ramekins or a similar storage device and lay plastic wrap over them, making contact. Leave in the refrigerator for about an hour.
While sickly sweet, artificial peanut butter tastes can drag this whiskey down for some. It’s an acquired taste when you’re taking it neat but, with ingredients, it can be a great team player that can justify its place on the shelf of a baker or a mixologist.
If you do want to get the most out of its taste, we’d advise you to find a way to include salt in your drinking experience to balance its taste profile out.