Flavored liquors have become the hot item the past few years for those who drink alcohol in Iowa. Alcoholic Beverages Division spokesperson, Tonya Dusold, says manufacturers are continuing to move into new areas when it comes to adding flavors to alcohol.

“Traditionally what we’ve seen with flavors is its in vodka and those clear spirits. And what the explosion of growth, four out of my five most growing product categories, are those aged categories like whiskey and brandy — everything from cherry and honey — those are up 22 to 35-percent,” Dusold says.

Dusold says the companies are not only adding flavors to traditional drinks, they are seeking to break tradition with those who consume their products. “Traditionally those whiskey categories, scotch, aged categories are male consumers, but they are reaching out to female consumers with their new flavors like honey and cherry and cinnamon,” Dusold says.

“And that’s where that new growth is coming from.” While the flavored hard liquors are seeing increased sales, wine and beer aren’t seeing much movement.

“Overall wine and with Iowa native wine, we’re projecting to be pretty close to the same as last year — looking at about $7.2-million generated through wine tax — which is a little tiny bit up from the year previously,” according to Dusold. “Beer had been fairly level for a number of years, but what we’re projecting is beer being down as much as 13-percent for this past fiscal year.”

The current fiscal year ended on June 30th and once all the figures are in, Dusold expects overall liquor sales to be up 4.5%.