Fierce. That’s one of the first words I’d probably use to describe wolves. So perhaps it’s no coincidence that adjective pretty aptly describes the last whiskey I tried, Little Wolf. This one isn’t for pups, and trust me, that’s for the best.

See, a disturbing trend has been creeping through the spirits world over the past few years. Whiskey brands, in a shameless attempt to widen their “share of throat,” have started watering down their offerings. That’s why you’re seeing so many bottles flavored with things like cinnamon (I blame Fireball), maple, apple, chocolate and peach. Fucking peach. It’s a damn disgrace.

Little Wolf, on the other hand, runs directly counter to this nonsense. The first offering from Three Kings Spirits, a Brooklyn-based label founded by tattoo artist Alex McWatt and media guru Jon Bier, clocks in at a truly badass 90 proof, or 45 percent alcohol. These guys worked with master distillers in Bardstown, Kentucky to craft a classic American whiskey that truly doesn’t mess around.

Pour it in a glass and take a whiff. You’ll pick up dried cherries, honey, oak and wheat. Then give it a taste and savor the rich mix of fruitiness, tobacco and woody char. No question, this is a man’s drink. We’ll forgive you for adding a drop or two of water or a big, fat, slow-melting ice cube. You can even mix it up in a classic cocktail like an Old Fashioned.

See, a bold and uncompromising spirit like this one can deliver in all sorts of contexts while still maintaining its own identity. And isn’t that what we all want… as opposed to some candy-coated b.s.? For the sake of humanity itself, I sure hope so.

Bottoms up.