Back in May of 2017, Sazerac Co. released its then-recent acquisition Southern Comfort. The New Orleans-based company purchased the brand from Brown-Forman, returning the beverage to its NOLA roots.
Sazerac Co. has made distinct changes to Southern Comfort. The first was reintroducing whiskey back into the recipe, which was slowly phased out by brand’s prior owners. This is going to be very young whiskey. I can’t imagine Sazerac Co. using two, three or even four-year-old whiskey here. But, whiskey is whiskey, and it has to be better, assuming grain neutral spirit was added before. Flavoring and caramel coloring is still added. Secondly, Southern Comfort now comes in three proofs, a new “whiskey-forward” 80 proof version as well as the original 70 and 100 proof releases. The packaging was also updated, highlighting the brand’s New Orleans ties. Southern Comfort is still still similarly priced as before: 70 proof is $15.99, 80 proof is $17.99, and the 100 proof comes in at $19.99.
Unsurprisingly, it still smells like Southern Comfort. Caramel, orange peel, cherry liqueur, spice, and a splash of lime juice. Taste-wise, Southern Comfort features hints of fruit juice (especially lime and cherry), caramel and a touch of cinnamon. The whiskey-based beverage still exists in the sweeter side of the flavor spectrum. The 80 proof version is slightly richer on the palate than the Original, but features some bite on the finish. You can kind of taste the whiskey.
Fans of Southern Comfort should probably reach for the higher proof versions, especially when drinking over ice. The 100 proof seems to be made for a big glass of ice and a citrus twist. But, the new 80 proof addition plays up the whiskey flavor a bit more than the others, and that makes it my favorite of the bunch. Nicely done.
Thanks to Sazerac Co. for the samples. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.