US cinnamon whiskey liqueur comes to the UK

Early Times Fire EaterBacardi Brown-Forman Brands is to launch hot cinnamon-flavoured whiskey liqueur Fire Eater from Kentucky into the UK.

The blend of smooth American whiskey, cinnamon and brown sugar is part of the Early Times whiskey brand, which dates back to 1860 and is now made by Brown-Forman.

Launched in the US in 2012, Fire Eater is bottled at 35% ABV. It will be marketed in the UK as a smooth shot, targeted at people aged 18 to 24 who favour sweeter drinks for late-night occasions.

Through distributor Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands (BBFB), it will be supported by a £1.5million integrated marketing campaign including social media, digital communications and experiential sampling.

The heavyweight on-trade campaign will target selected bars and drinking circuits, driving awareness and trial. It will incorporate the 19th-century circus story evoked by the brand and its packaging design.

The activation will be supported by in-bar price promotions, eye-catching point-of-sale materials and sampling targeting over 150,000 consumers.

Available to selected on-trade outlets from April, Fire Eater has performed “extremely well” in consumer research. The target audience found the vintage circus narrative to be “powerful and inviting”.

Crispin Stephens, American whiskey marketing manager at BBFB, said: “As leaders of the American whiskey category, it is important that we continue to drive innovation and unlock growth opportunities.

“With young adult consumers increasingly seeking new flavours and exciting drinking experiences, we have seen a surge in the popularity of flavoured spirits and growth in the shot category.

“We believe we have recognised a gap in the market and that Fire Eater will enable us to recruit new drinkers to the flavoured whiskey category by tapping into the demand for bold flavours for late-night occasions.”

In 2010, distributor Hi-Spirits launched the Sazerac Company’s Fireball cinnamon whisky liqueur, made with Canadian whisky and cinnamon, in the UK after its success in the US.

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