Distillery: Jim Beam
Bottler: Original Bottling
Bottled: ca. 2014 (batch B-90-001)
Casks: fresh American white oak barrels
It’s been a while since I last reviewed a bourbon and this bottle is nearly empty, so let’s have a go at it before it’s empty!
The nose opens on the rich side – and the first thing you notice is a note of acetone, something I only find acceptable in bourbons, if it is not too overwhelming, which it is not. Wood smoke (charred oak) with rich, toasted vanilla pods, dark chocolate (chocolate cake topping chocolate), almost burnt toffee, raisins, cracked almond seeds, roasted brazil nuts and fresh oak boards in the background. After a few minutes in, the acetone note has disappeared. A rich, flavourful bourbon nose in the middle of the transformation from young to old whiskey. The palate is surprisingly dry on the arrival, with the alcohol taking a few seconds to kick in, bringing with it a ton of flavours and spices. Dark (90%) chocolate, wood smoke, brazil nuts, almost burnt caramel, extremely dry raisins, There’s definitely rye in the mashbill! With water: Mellowed down (less alcohol), but same style – spicy, with a dark fruit component, nuts, caramel and chocolate. Still on the dry side and the fresh oak is also noticeable in the background. Adding even more water seems to drown it, so be careful there. The medium long finish is spicy, dry upon swallowing, with a mixture of dried raisins, dark bitter chocolate, nuts and a hint of oak following.
Oh boy, this is an intense wee rascal! Full-on, dry, spicy with a balance of light dried fruits (mostly raisins), bitter chocolate and nuts. Not the most complex bourbon nor the longest aged, but I find this a nice, warming and intense experience, perfect for colder, wet and windy autumn evenings. Price is pretty decent too, I purchased this for around 45€ in 2014, which makes it a daily dram bourbon in my book. Miles and leagues better than the standard Jim Beam white label it shares the mashbill with, but it’s matured for much longer and supposedly fermented with a special strain of yeast.
(Nose: 85 Palate: 85 Finish: 86)