Are you in the Skrewball krew?

Shaun White, center right, stands behind the Skrewball bar to greet fans and hand out shots during the 2022 Winter X Games in Aspen on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022. (Kelsey Brunner/The Aspen Times)

Screwball, noun

1.A baseball pitch that spins and breaks in the opposite direction to a curve.

2.A whimsical, eccentric, or crazy person: Zany

Skrewball, noun

1. A person who follows their own path, is willing to stand up for what they believe in and who has found a “krew” of other like-minded “black sheep” to be a skrewball with.

The second definition is the foundation of Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey, a company born out of humble beginnings that is now one of the fastest-growing super premium liquor brands.

You’ve probably seen this unique whiskey on shelves or in shooter form, maybe you’ve seen the black sheep logo accompanied by the word Skrewball on the side of a liquor delivery truck, or perhaps you encountered the krew and their black sheep “shaggin’ wagon” (straight out of “Dumb and Dumber”) at X Games Aspen 2022.

But regardless of where you’ve encountered it, you’ve probably been curious about the peanut butter whiskey.

It was born out of co-founder Steven Yeng’s love for peanut butter, which stemmed from his time spent in a refugee camp as a kid in Cambodia.

After living in the camp for six years, Yeng said, a couple saw that many of the kids were “all skin and bones” and sponsored them, giving the children baskets of food, and that food was bread and peanut butter.

“There was my love for peanut butter. For me it’s more of a taste of American freedom,” Yeng said.

Once he immigrated to the U.S. he eventually opened a restaurant and bar and started putting peanut butter in everything – yes, even whiskey – and it was a hit.

Yeng and his wife, Brittany, then decided they wanted to start brewing a peanut butter whiskey, but were having trouble getting anyone in the industry to take them seriously.

“Two things happened, either the phone would hang up or the person would laugh their ass off, and be like, ‘Wait, you want to make a peanut butter whiskey? This is the most ridiculous thing we’ve ever heard,'” Steven Yeng said.

So using Brittany’s background in chemistry, the couple started brewing the whiskey in their garage using real peanuts.

A bottle of Skrewball peanut butter whiskey
Courtesy Skrewball Whiskey

“It’s 70 proof. It’s natural cane sugar,” Steven Yeng said, describing the whiskey’s flavor profile. “So you get that American whiskey (taste), natural cane sugar … you get the savoriness to it, you get the saltiness and you also get the creaminess to it, like a creamy peanut butter.”

Skrewball also has that slight warming quality that you expect of a whiskey, making it a nice accessory for Aspen winters, but not the acidic burn that you might find in a low-quality whiskey.

Meeting Steven Yeng at X Games Aspen, I was upfront about the fact that I don’t tend to enjoy peanut butter flavored foods. While I enjoy peanut butter as is, I deviate from popular opinion in that I don’t love Reese’s and would prefer, generally, that peanut butter stay out of my desserts.

However, I always keep an open mind when trying new food or drinks and try to overlook my bias going in for the first sip or bite.

I tried Skrewball three ways: chilled and plain, in a hot chocolate and mixed with Monster Cold Brew. My favorite was the hot chocolate spiked with Skrewball (but to be fair, I don’t like Monster or coffee, so that drink wasn’t going to win me over).

The whiskey surprised me in a good way. It’s warming and savory and the peanut butter flavor tastes real and fresh roasted, not overly sweet and unnatural.

In my opinion, if drinking plain, the liquor is best served chilled, not room temperature. It works well in a hot drink such as the hot chocolate, and I can see it as a welcome alternative to Bailey’s and hot chocolate.

Snowboarder Shaun White, the now five-time Olympian, is also on team Skrewball. He joined the krew on Friday to pour some shots and present a $25,000 check from Skrewball to the nonprofit Stoked Mentoring, Inc.

Professional snowboarder and Olympian Shaun White and Skrewball Whiskey co-owner Steven Yeng present a check for $25,000 to the nonprofit Stoked Mentoring at X Games Aspen on Jan. 21, 2022.
Courtesy Skrewball Whiskey

“The more we succeed, the more we give back and the more we want to give back,” Yeng said.

Yeng and company are always looking for ways to give back, and that’s one of the reasons they were hanging out at X Games Aspen, a perfect place for skrewballs (a term of endearment, Yeng assured me) to gather.