Everything You Need To Know About Peanut Butter Whiskey

Peanut butter whiskey is an up and coming liquor. First spotted back in the 1960s, when Continental Distilling in Linfield, Pennsylvania released Peanut Lolita, the idea quickly fizzled due to the grainy texture of the product (via Washington Post). Now, many years later, a number of brands have come out with their own versions of the product, with Skrewball, one of the most well-known makers of peanut butter whiskey, recently being named as one of the fastest-growing liquors in the United States (via Forbes). In fact, the brand grew by a whopping 1,976% in just two years.

Although the first tastes of peanut butter whiskey were thought to contain an overwhelming taste of whiskey and peanut butter, along with some not-so-ideal and not-so-welcomed grit, Skrewball and a number of other brands seem to have developed recipes that are far more enjoyable for buyers — and ones that could stand the test of time.

Is there peanut butter in peanut butter whiskey?

From blue raspberry vodka to peach schnapps, many liquors are made with artificial flavors. Peanut butter whiskey, on the other hand, is made, by some brands, with real peanuts, peanut oil, or ingredients that contain traces of them, Bartendr shares. 

Years ago, at OB Noodle House Bar 1502, the San Diego restaurant of Skrewball co-founder Steve Yeng, peanut butter whiskey, an unofficial menu item at the time, was made by mixing Jameson with peanut butter. As Yeng's wife and co-founder, Brittany Yeng, explained to National Peanut Board, Steve created the drink purely because he was a big fan of peanut butter and wanted to share his concoction with his customers. The recipe has become more refined since then, with other brands adapting it to suit a range of tastes. Ole Smoky's, for example, goes heavy on the peanut oil, Sheep Dog makes theirs more syruppy, and Skatterbrain's is noticeably sweeter than the rest (per Bartendr).

What does peanut butter whiskey taste like?

If you expected peanut butter whiskey to taste like, well, peanut butter and whiskey, you'll probably be pleasantly surprised by the flavor of peanut butter whiskey. A Couple Cooks compares it to Baileys but with a bold, peanuty aftertaste. Because of the underlying caramel, vanilla, and coffee flavors, it tastes sweeter than normal whiskey, but not overwhelmingly sugary.

If you're not a huge fan of whiskey to begin with, the good news is peanut butter whiskey might be the exception. It actually doesn't taste much like whiskey or bourbon, but more like "drinking a liquid peanut butter cup with a hint of that whiskey bite." Skrewball co-founder Brittany Yeng told National Peanut Board that for as many whiskey purists that snub the drink, there are more than enough whiskey converts to make up for it. In her experience, those who like sweeter alcohol like dessert wine, as well as anyone who thought they didn't like whiskey, usually end up enjoying peanut butter whiskey.

How much alcohol is in peanut butter whiskey?

As any whiskey connoisseur can tell you, depending on the alcohol percentage, not all whiskey is technically whiskey. Whisky Magazine explains that in the same way Champagne can only be sold under the name Champagne if it's produced in the Champagne region of France, whiskey that's bottled below 40% ABV can't be considered Scotch whisky, at least according to the standards set by the European Union (EU).

Peanut butter whiskey instead is bottled at a slightly lower 30 to 35%, making it around 70 proof instead of 80 proof like traditional whiskey. Based on Bartendr's roundup of the most common peanut butter whiskey brands, it's unlikely you'll have any luck finding ones higher than 35%.

Despite the fact that some may say its ABV doesn't make it authentic enough, peanut butter whiskey makes no claims of being Scotch whisky, and isn't even produced in the EU. Either way, if the rave reviews of Skrewball on Total Wine are anything to go by, the taste of the drink alone is worthy of praise, regardless of its alcohol by volume percentage.

How to serve peanut butter whiskey

The best way to consume whiskey, according to the Huffington Post is neat, just straight whiskey at room temperature. It's common to also drink it on the rocks, or even with a bit of water to release some of its aromatics and underlying flavors. While you could just as easily do the same with peanut butter whiskey, the Skrewball website says it's also enjoyable in a mixed drink. Cocktails with chocolate, coffee, or anything that you'd normally add Baileys to, for example an espresso martini, a white Russian, or even a spiked hot chocolate, taste great with a splash of peanut butter whiskey.

For minimal effort with maximum flavor, Homebody Eats recommends drinking it in shot form by mixing Skrewball with alcohols like RumChata, vanilla vodka, and caramel liqueur to bring out the richness and complement the peanut buttery flavor. For one-ingredient mixers, the website suggests coffee, Coca-Cola, apple cider, berry-flavored seltzer, and chocolate milk.

Where to buy peanut butter whiskey

A scroll through the customer reviews on the TripAdvisor page for OB Noodle House Bar 1502 should be enough to convince you that the best place to get peanut butter whiskey is directly from the bar where the Skrewball version of the liquor was invented. After all, what could be better than the original recipe of such a popular brand? But if you're unable to take a quick pit stop to San Diego, and not everyone can, you can get peanut butter whiskey at practically any liquor store in the U.S. Alternatively, you can always purchase it online or for delivery through an alcohol retailer like Total Wine, which currently seems to have the largest selection of peanut butter whiskey.

What are some popular brands of peanut butter whiskey?

If you're having trouble picking a brand, the original, Skrewball, may be a good place to start, but considering peanut butter whiskey is one of the most popular liquors in the U.S., it seems you can't go wrong with whatever you choose. According to Bartendr, Sheep Dog Peanut Butter Whiskey, Sqrrl Peanut Butter Whiskey, Ole Smoky Peanut Butter Whiskey, Hard Truth Peanut Butter Whiskey, and Skatterbrain Peanut Butter Whiskey are six of the best.

In addition, if you happen to be allergic to peanuts and still want to see what the hype is all about, Drug Genius confirms that Sqrrl Peanut Butter Whiskey is allergen-free, as is Sheep Dog's, according to Hunter and Bligh. Really there's no excuse not to try it.