Fireball Cinnamon Whisky is a mixture of whisky, cinnamon flavoring and sweeteners that is produced by the Sazerac Company. As of 2018, Fireball is among the top selling whisky brands in the United States.Its foundation is Canadian whisky, and the taste otherwise resembles the candy with a similar name, Ferrara Candy Company's "Atomic Fireball" candy. It is bottled at 33% alcohol.
According to the official Fireball website, the product was developed in Canada in the mid-1980s, and for a long time was little known outside of Canada.In addition to the United States and Canada, Fireball is now also available in other countries.
Fireball was originally part of a line of flavored schnapps developed by Seagram in the mid-1980s.The manufacturer's story line is, in part, that it was the product of a Canadian bartender's efforts to warm up from an Arctic blast. The Sazerac Company purchased the brand rights and formula from Seagram in 1989.
It was marketed as "Dr. McGillicuddy's Fireball Whisky". Ostensibly, the named doctor was Dr. Aloysius Percival McGillicuddy, allegedly more commonly referred to as "the shot doctor" who was "born" in the year 1808. Later, in 2007, the product was rebranded as "Fireball Cinnamon Whisky".
An April 2014 article in Bloomberg Business Week said "It's also one of the most successful liquor brands in decades. In 2011, Fireball accounted for a mere $1.9 million in sales in U.S. gas stations, convenience stores, and supermarkets, according to IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm. In 2013, sales leapt to $61 million, passing Jameson Irish whiskey and Patrón tequila."In 2012 and 2013, the product had a surge in popularity, which the company achieved by using social media, cultivating bartenders, word of mouth, and a relatively small advertising budget. It is said that the sharp increase in sales early in its resurgence(late 2011/early 2012) can be attributed to a grass roots effort by Beer Can Alley, a Des Moines, Iowa Country bar. Several national country music acts would perform at the establishment during this time and inspired multiple references in many popular songs In 2013, it became one of the top ten most popular liquors, displacing Jose Cuervo tequila.In 2016, Bloomberg reported that with estimated sales of at least $150 million in 2015, the brand had overtaken Jägermeister in popularity to become the top-selling liqueur in the United States.
The brand's label was designed by Ross Sutherland, who's also designed labels for Black Magic rum, Wheatley Vodka, and some other brands.
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