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Welcome to Amazing Tap Handles - The Tap Handle Museum. Here you will find photos of the Museum's collection of beer taps, along with brewery info. Have a look around the Museum, and use the contact form in sidebar to leave me feedback about the site, talk about taps, or if you have a rare tap handle you'd like to sell to the Museum. I'd love to hear from you! Please, no inquires about buying taps - they're not for sale.

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Saturday, December 5, 2015

Tap Handle #546: Sazerac - Fireball Cinnamon Whisky

Tap size:  10.75"
Rarity:  Scarce
Mounting:  standard 3/8" ferrule on 5/16" anchor bolt

Although the vast majority of taps on this site are beer brands, occasionally I will acquire other types of taps, such as hard cider or root beer, which are not uncommon to see on tap in a pizza place, restaurant or bar. Take a moment to think on this: how often do you see a tap featuring spirits (alcohol, not ghosts) at such places? The answer is pretty much never. I suspect these types of taps are made for special occasions, which makes them incredibly rare. This one features the devilish figurehead for Fireball, done in bas-relief style, against a black background. The name appears just below the figure in raised white letters, and under that is a decal of a fireball and the words "Cinnamon Whisky". At the bottom is another decal of the catchphrase "Tastes Like Heaven Burns Like Hell". The front and back are reverse images of each other, and the color scheme is the same as Northwest's Hoppy Bitch and Rapscallion taps. Earlier this year, a few of these Fireball taps hit the secondary market at great prices, considering the scarcity, and they haven't been seen since.

Fun fact: mixing Fireball with Angry Orchard creates a great cinnamon apple drink. Some call it Fiery Orchard; the immature kid in me prefers the name Angry Balls.

Click through to read more about The Sazerac Company, their Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, and to see more photos of this fiery tap...

Sazerac owes its origins to a cocktail that was created by a Creole immigrant named Antoine Peychaud, who operated a pharmacy in the French Quarter in 1838. With his background as an apothecary, he was a natural mixologist, and his friends would gather for late-night revelry at his pharmacy. Peychaud would mix brandy, absinthe and a dash of his secret bitters for his guests. In 1850, Sewell Taylor institutionalized the drink at his Sazerac Coffee House coffee house by using only Sazerac de Forge et Fils brandy, which he imported and sold exclusively. The Sazerac cocktail received its name from this wildly popular coffee house, where it was most often imbibed.

In 1869, Thomas H. Handy purchased the Sazerac Coffee House and began to acquire and market brands of liquor. He bought out the rights to Peychaud's Bitters in 1873. In the 1890s his company began to bottle and market the Sazerac cocktail, now made with rye whiskey instead of brandy. In addition, the company operated the Sazerac Bar on Royal Street. Later, Handy's former secretary, C. J. O'Reilly, chartered the Sazerac Company. During Prohibition, Sazerac operated as a delicatessen and grocery vendor, but after Prohibition ended they returned to distilling an ever-increasing line of fine spirits. Today they are still an independent, American family-owned company, and own many of America's most venerable distilling companies, such as Buffalo Trace Distillery, A. Smith Bowman, Glenmore Distillery, Barton, Fleischmann, Medley and Mr. Boston.

Fireball Whisky was developed in Canada in the mid-1980s, and for a long time was little known outside of Canada. The product was part of a line of flavored schnapps developed by Seagram. The Sazerac Company purchased the brand rights and formula from Seagram in 1989. It was marketed as "Dr. McGillicuddy's Fireball Whisky". The ficticious doctor was Dr. Aloysius Percival McGillicuddy, more commonly referred to as "the shot doctor" who was "born" in the year 1808. In 2007, the product was re-branded as "Fireball Cinnamon Whisky". It became one of the most successful liquor brands in decades. In 2011, Fireball accounted for only $1.9 million in sales in U.S. gas stations, convenience stores, and supermarkets, but by 2013 sales rocketed to $61 million, passing Jameson Irish whiskey and Patrón tequila. The surge in popularity was achieved by using social media, cultivating bartenders, word of mouth, and a relatively small advertising budget. It moved into the top ten most popular liquors, displacing Jose Cuervo tequila and then Jägermeister in popularity.

In early 2012, the Sazerac company sued Hood River Distillers over the allegedly confusing trade name and marketing of its product, SinFire Cinnamon Whisky. In 2014 Fireball whiskey was recalled in Finland, Sweden, and Norway due to excessive levels of propylene glycol. The recalled bottles contained the North American formula, which had looser regulations regarding propylene glycol levels. Fireball put out a FAQ to respond to the issue and reassure their North American market that their formula was safe. Fireball is now widely available in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, and can also be found in Singapore, Israel, Norway, Sweden, Germany, France, Australia, Ireland, and various other countries. 

Fireball Cinnamon Whisky is a cinnamon-flavored, whisky-based liqueur with a foundation of Canadian whisky, and the taste resembles the candy with a similar name, Ferrara Candy Company's "Atomic Fireball". The nose and palate are sweet and spicy. The cinnamon flavor is often used for shooters but can add character to a mixed drink. It is bottled at 33% alcohol by volume (66 U.S. proof).

Since Fireball is not beer, no ratings from Ratebeer or Beer Advocate are provided.

Sazerac Company, Inc
3850 N Causeway Blvd Suite 1695
Metairie, LA 70002

Source Material
Sazerac website


  1. any idea how much one of these is worth? I have one new never used in its original packaging.

  2. Brad, I would say an average price for this tap would be between $55-$65. Never used in the original packaging might bump that up to about $75-$85.