Skip to main content

In a recent article, we gave some insight into the growing popularity of gin. In this week’s newsletter we explore the ever-trending whiskey and the emerging trend of brandy, the ‘last frontier’ of spirits:

Whiskey is a flavour experience like no other, whether you like it or not. There is little that compares to a dram of that silky, amber elixir or the ethereal bouquet that leaves its imprint upon your senses. Likewise, brandy -which Victor Hugo once described as the ‘liquor of the gods’- has acted as the fountainhead of many a human inspiration. Whiskey and brandy have been around for nearly a thousand years. What is the secret to their enduring popularity?

Brandy, cognac, whisky and bourbon flavours

For those who are unfamiliar with the specifics, here is a quick breakdown: Brandies and whiskies go by many names. For instance, Cognac is to brandy what Scotch is to whiskey. They are labels that imply a certain standard: both Cognac and Scotch have traditionally been considered the kings of their spirit category (though this is certainly debateable), with strict regulations on where they are produced, what ingredients are used and how they are blended and aged. These details determine how a brandy or whiskey  can be named. The impact of terroir is said to impart a superior quality to the finished product and a great sense of national pride therefore inspires the art of distillation. In this vein, over the years there has been an ever-deepening tribalization within spirits, a proliferation of labels, each with its own set of criteria: everything from Calvados (apple brandy from Normandy) to bourbon (American corn whiskey) to the more recent Japanese and Tasmanian whiskeys that have been taking the spirits world by storm.

Regardless of your personal preferences, both whiskey and brandy categories have exploded in popularity over the past decade. Bourbon production alone has increased by more than 150% during this period. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. (DISCUS), in 2018, demand for bourbons, ryes and Tennessee whiskeys had soared year over year, with volume rising 5.9% and revenue increasing by 6.6% to $3.6 billion. American rye was the main driver, with sales increasing by an impressive 15.9%. Global demand for Scotch whiskeys, meanwhile, has become so high that it has sparked fears of distillery stock shortages and the potential ‘extinction’ of favourite mature single malts. Similarly, brandies are forecasted to reach 80.76 billion USD in global sales by 2024 from 52.7 billion USD in 2014, on the winds of growing interest and exploration of ‘non-whiskey’ brown spirits. Local craft brandies have begun to emerge, potentially presaging the booms witnessed in craft gins and whiskeys in recent years.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to pinpoint the exact reason for this boom. The rise of both spirits has been alternately attributed to the growth of the premium cocktail market, the return of cocktail culture, the ubiquitous spread of informal restaurants around the world, and a permeating sense of nostalgia and romance for the speakeasies of the Prohibition era, as depicted in the media. Social media, certainly, has reinvigorate the craft cocktail community. Mixology pages with hundreds of thousands of followers regularly feature innovative whiskey- and brandy-based cocktails that push the boundaries to a prime audience.

It is unsurprising, then, that whiskey flavours are broadly used in packaged food products. In 2019, Haagen-Dazs launched a line of spirit-inspired ice creams, including bourbon, Irish cream and whiskey chocolate truffle, showcasing the potential of whiskey flavours in frozen desserts. Irish cream has also found its way into cookies, cakes, syrups, sauces and chocolates. At recent tradeshows, Novotaste showcased a decadent Irish cream flavour in a series of flavoured chocolates and a distinctive bourbon flavour that transformed the typical Old Fashioned Mocktail.

Although whiskey continues to make noise in the flavour world, brandy is suspiciously absent. A search for brandy-flavoured food products yields little. Since brandies commonly have fruity flavours like apple, apricot, cherry and peach among others, the absence of these flavours in product development is striking. Brandy has been referred to as the ‘last frontier of spirits’. It seems like only a matter of time that brandy-flavoured foods reach the shelves. Novotaste’s line of brandy flavours can help you get ahead of the curve.

We have a line of characteristic spirit flavours that are readily tailored to just about any application. Get into contact with us if you would be interested in trying our whiskey, cognac, brandy or bourbon-inspired flavours in your applications. We can also suggest a variety of spirit-inspired creations, such as: grapefruit & thyme brandy, lemon-blood orange & nutmeg whiskey, juniper, lemon & cognac, black cherry, vermouth & cognac, yuzu brandy, cranberry-bourbon applesauce, whiskey-walnut crème brûlée, apricot & ginger brandy, mango & pistachio whiskey, caramel & blueberry bourbon, ginger, lime & orange blossom whiskey.

Request a flavour sample
From the vaults:

Know the Difference between Brandy, Cognac, Whisky and Bourbon

Whisky Flavour Wheels and Colour Charts

The Nosing Wheel

All Things Whisky

Between Science And Art The Role Of The Cask In Whisky Maturation-Stuart Baxter

Food science-related
Food science trends

What Gives Your Favorite Whiskey Its Unique Flavor?

Why Rye? A Journey Of Flavor Generation From Crop To Cask

Flavor Development Episode 4: Defining Sources of Flavor in Whisky (Aldehydes)

Why Does Whiskey Taste Like Whiskey?

In the Land of Peat & Whiskey

Why Whiskey Tastes Better with Water

Understanding what makes Tennessee whiskey unique

The Hunt for Unicorn Bourbon Barrels

Olfaction And The Science Behind Nosing A Whisky

Multisensory whiskey
Multisensory trends

Whiskey In An Immersive, Multi-Sensory Way

Multisensory Whisky Shrine composed of 952 whiskey bottles to taste

Whisky expert explains how the drink tastes often uses more senses than we may think

Mocktails Served Right: Flavor systems can give your mocktails the authenticity they need…and make them taste like the real thing

Prohibition: Flavour solutions for mocktails, alcohol, CBD beverages & various food applications

How to make your products taste & smell like authentic gin

Flavour ideas Inspired by recent international food, beverage & flavour trends

Recent flavour trends

Ethnic, International & fusionFlavour trends
March 20, 2023

Flavor innovations emerge from cultural combinations | Baking Business

Diaspora stories could lead to delightful taste trends in North America this year. Flavors also will play into consumers’ desire for products that are better for them and the planet.…
DairyFlavour trends
March 19, 2023

20 Strange Ice Cream Flavors You Need To Try Before You Die | Mashed

Ice cream is like a blank page for wondrous creativity to occur. There's seemingly no limit as to what ice cream confectioners will add to the cold treat, be it…
DairyFlavour trends
March 17, 2023

Tasting memories: the Spanish ice-creams serving a scoop of nostalgia | The Guardian

Irene Iborra tells tales with ice-cream and with a single lick she can summon up memories that send you spinning back to your childhood days. “When I opened Mamá Heladera…
Coffee and TeaFlavour trends
October 19, 2022

Starbucks’ Just Announced An All New At-Home Holiday Coffee Flavor

Starbucks So what is the new coffee variety competing with the holiday blend's old-fashioned maple and herb flavor and peppermint mocha's bright chocolate and mint taste? Well, if you have…
BakeryFlavour trends
October 19, 2022

Bringing South Asian flavors to the breakfast category | Food Business News

Mumbai native and business consultant Vishal Ramakrishnan created the brand in response to a rise in Eastern wellness ingredients such as turmeric, ghee, ashwagandha and chai in American diets. The…
Flavour trends
October 18, 2022

Mayver’s Releases New Limited Edition Peanut Butter Flavours!

Mayver’s are the Rolls Royce of peanut butter and they’ve just brought out two new limited-edition flavours. Let me introduce you to Manuka Peanut Butter and Berry Peanut Butter. The berry one has…
Beverage trendsCanadaFlavour trends
October 18, 2022

White Claw Surge Is Finally Available In Canada With Three New Flavours

White Claw Surge for sale in Florida. Right: Announcement of the new flavours. Joni Hanebutt | Dreamstime, @whiteclaw | Instagram The Surge line of seltzers introduces four new flavours: Blackberry, Blood Orange,…
Beverage trendsFlavour trends
October 17, 2022

Sorted Drinks launches three new summer flavours

A prebiotic-packed beverage made from 100 per cent natural ingredients, the new flavours of Sorted have been developed as a nod to Australian childhood soft-drink favourites – Coca-Cola, Lemon Squash/Solo…
ChocolateFlavour trends
October 17, 2022

Cadbury: mystery chocolate bar 1 and 2 flavours revealed

Cadbury revealed on Thursday 13 October that rhubarb & custard was the flavour for Mystery Bar One and blue raspberry slushie was the flavour for Mystery Bar Two. Read more…
Flavour trendsMultisensory
October 17, 2022

Japan Has Bleach Coke

In America we have things like Cherry Coke or Vanilla Coke, in Japan they now have Soul Blast Coke. This is a direct connection to Bleach and its Soul Reapers, though…
Flavour trends
October 17, 2022

Outlaw Launches Alcohol-Inspired, Natural Lip Balms In 5 Deliciously Imaginative Flavors

Outlaw's alcohol-inspired lip balm collection is a grown-up version of an everyday staple, bringing rambunctious flavor and personality to any ordinary daily grind. The lip balms are available in five…
Flavour trendsNOVOflavoursNovotaste
November 29, 2021

2022 Flavour Trends | A Complete Guide | Exclusive NPD Edition

The exclusive NPD edition of Novotaste's 2022 flavour trends, can be obtained by filling out the form below. Enter information in the required fields & we will e-mail you the…
Flavour trendsNOVOflavours
September 29, 2021

Have you ever tried a pineberry, mangoberry or guavaberry?

While developing pineberry flavour profiles, the Novotaste R&D team was inspired to formulate two concept flavours: guavaberry & mangoberry. These creations can be adapted to most applications & their specific…
Flavour trendsNOVOflavours
September 28, 2021

2022 Flavour Trends | A Complete Guide | Condensed Edition

Our extremely popular year-end review of 2022 flavour trends has finally arrived! This publication is unique, as it includes flavour trends from a variety of geographical locations, covers the full…
Flavour trendsNOVOflavours
September 7, 2021

What does a pineberry taste like?

Pineberries actually do exist. They look like albino strawberries or like photoshopped strawberries. They are very rare & the majority of commercially grown fruit are destined for high-end restaurants. As…
Ethnic, International & fusionFlavour trendsNOVOflavours
August 11, 2021

Pandan | The Vanilla of Asia

It’s often said that pandan is to Asia what vanilla is to the Western world. Though it does not taste like vanilla, but it can be used in similar applications…
Flavour trendsNOVOflavours
March 25, 2021

Allergen-free nutty flavour profiles

Allergies are a growing public health concern. The rate of food allergies among children has increased 18% from 1997 to 2007, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…
Flavour trendsNOVOflavours
November 16, 2020

Brandy, cognac, whisky and bourbon inspired flavours for various applications

In a recent article, we gave some insight into the growing popularity of gin. In this week’s newsletter we explore the ever-trending whiskey and the emerging trend of brandy, the…
Flavour trendsNovotasteVegan
October 19, 2020

Have a weekend breakfast experience with a bacon, egg & hash brown flavour | 100% natural, kosher & vegan

Breakfast continues to trend in various forms. In restaurants, it is increasingly being offered throughout the day or specific breakfast items are being incorporated into dishes or as appetizers. This…
Flavour trendsNOVOflavours
October 16, 2020

Natural, vegan & kosher BACON flavours for everything & everyone

“Everything is better with bacon”, remarked Sara Perry in her recipe book of the same name. Whether or not you agree with her statement, there is no denying the raging…
Beverage trendsFlavour trendsNOVOflavoursNovotaste
October 6, 2020

How to make your products taste & smell like authentic gin

Gin is still trending upwards "From gin tastings to gin distillery tours and even gin and tonic tea bags – gin is undeniably popular. The stats don’t lie: In 2017…
Ethnic, International & fusionFlavour trendsNOVOflavours
September 8, 2020

Phở | Vietnam’s most popular flavour

At Novotaste, we understand the critical role of harmony in food science. The delicate yet elaborate interplay of flavouring compounds is undoubtedly an elusive art. Although every path to a…
Flavour trendsNovotaste
August 25, 2020

2021 Flavor Trends | A Comprehensive Overview

Welcome to the Novotaste Flavour Trends Guide to 2021! As a company that interacts and serves every segment of the food industry, Novotaste is constantly exposed to the latest, most…
Flavour trendsNOVOflavoursNovotaste
November 18, 2019

2020 Flavor Trends: A Comprehensive Overview

The Novotaste comprehensive overview of 2020 flavour trends is a distillation of various sources of information. This includes the analysis of thousands of articles, 2019 NPD launches, current trendy flavours,…
Flavour trendsNOVOflavours
October 29, 2019

Trendy, Deconstructed & Reformulated Christmas Flavour Favourites

For this upcoming Christmas season, the Novotaste flavour team was inspired to do something a little different. Due to the increasing culinary trend of deconstructing recipes or dishes, we decided…
Flavour trendsNOVOflavours
October 24, 2019

Halloween-inspired flavours

To celebrate Halloween, the Novotaste flavour team has created 6 unique flavour profiles described below. Some of these are haunted variations of classic favourites, while others are  original creations. They…
Ethnic, International & fusionFlavour trendsNOVOflavours
October 1, 2019

Saffron flavour pairings

Saffron is known to be the most expensive spice by weight, mainly due to the amount of work involved in its cultivation (see video below). It has been used to…
Flavour trendsNOVOflavours
September 16, 2019

Sneak-peek at 2020 flavor trends

At Novotaste, we pride ourselves in being aware of current & developing flavour trends. Our trends section, showcases a variety of up-to-date articles describing global food, beverage, coffee/tea & flavour…
Essential oilsFlavour trendsHealth and hygieneInterestingNOVOflavours
September 9, 2019

SCIENCE CONFIRMS that smelling LEMON/LAVENDER can make you feel slim & relaxed

A scientific study (reference) found that smelling a lemon scent can help you feel slim. The lemon's aroma was found to boost body image and improved self-esteem. Being exposed to…
Flavour trendsNOVOflavoursNovotaste
August 28, 2019

What is pumpkin spice?

We continue to see new foods, beverages, cosmetics, perfumes & variety of other products that are either flavoured/scented with "pumpkin spices", "pumpkin spice", "pumpkin & spices" or "pumpkin pie". Whats…
Flavour trendsNOVOflavours
July 9, 2019

Lemwi or Kimon?

So what kind of profile do you want for your application? Lemon & kiwi flavour combinations are limitless & can be customized to your exact needs. Kiwifruit is on trend…
Flavour trendsNOVOflavours
April 29, 2019

2019 Trendy Summer Flavours

The Novotaste flavour team recently got inspired by a post describing flavour trends for food & beverage applications. There were 9 general trends that consisted of berry, tropical, green, mushroom,…
Flavour trendsNOVOflavours
April 16, 2019

Bunny on the beach flavour?

Spring is here, snow is finally melting & Easter is approaching. To celebrate this, the Novotaste flavour team has created a variety of flavours inspired by "sex on the beach",…
Flavour trendsNOVOflavoursNovotaste
April 9, 2019

Wine-inspired flavours

For many, there is little more satisfying than the perfect glass of wine. Wines are unique in their diversity, complexity and nuances, intricately drawing character from an array of ingredients,…
FlavourFlavour trendsNOVOflavoursNovotaste
February 15, 2019

Ever taste a pink, orange, purple or blue apple?

Globalisation has made it easier for many of us to enjoy new & exotic fruits. Novotaste can recreate flavour solutions corresponding to these fruits & also formulate flavours representing new…
Flavour trendsNOVOflavoursNovotaste
January 16, 2019

2019 Flavor trends

During the course of the last four months of 2018, we started compiling a list of flavours that were becoming trendy or simply remaining popular. We based ourselves on several…
FlavourFlavour trendsNOVOflavours
September 16, 2018

Raspana or Banberry?

Flavour trendsNOVOflavoursNovotaste
August 29, 2018

Trendy flavors for Christmas

As we edge closer towards next year, the Novotaste team has come up with three categories of flavours for Christmas, New Years & the cold winter months that follow. The…
Flavour trendsNOVOflavours
July 19, 2018

Orple or apange?

So what kind of profile do you want for your application? Apple & orange flavour combinations are limitless & can be customized to your exact needs.
Flavour trendsNOVOflavoursNovotaste
July 16, 2018

A fatty taste WITHOUT fat or calories

When it comes to food and beverage in this modern and innovative era, consumers want it all, don’t they ? Delicious beverages with sweet, bold and well-rounded flavours – “I…