An aged white whiskey that has more barrel flavor than you would expect from something this pale
Notes: This is a new product from Jim Beam, who makes and imports more products than most people can comfortably keep track of. Most famous for their Jim Beam Whiskies, they also have a large portfolio of lesser known products ( or identified as being theirs) such as Knob Creek, Old Crow and Old Granddad.
This whiskey is somewhat of an odd one or anomaly .While there has been a lot of white whiskey released in the last few years, especially by micro distillers and to a lesser degree by the larger distillers, this whiskey is much closer to the white but aged rums that also seem to be on the rise, in form and technique if not taste. In both cases a distiller barrel ages a product then filters out any trace of color and bottles it as a white but aged spirit. The idea they put forward on their website is that it follows or is somewhat of an homage to Jacob Beam and what his whiskey was like ( this was before the benefits of charred barrel aging was widely appreciated ( or indeed that whiskey ever lasted long enough for such things to be noticed)
I’m not entirely sure of what they are trying to accomplish sometimes, but it does seem to produce a mellowed spirit with a much less aged taste as that is also filtered out with the color to some degree. So as such this is NOT your usual white dog “moonshine”, white lightning,what have you.
Appearance: Clear, with the slightest tinge of color, almost like a very light high grade lubricating oil. A whiter shade of pale I guess. On swirling it leaves a thin coat on the glass with tears then thin legs forming along the swirl line, which finally become droplets that cling to the glass.
First Impression: Surprising amount of oak char, tobacco , dark fruits, apricots,vanilla, in short a lot of aged bourbon flavors in a white spirit. It’s downright odd ( in a funny and not bad way) to smell those scents coming from something this light in color
Taste: Somewhat odd mix of tastes that seem a lot lighter than the bouquet would lead you to believe. A very light whiskey taste with a very light body/mouthfeel to it.It almost seems more like a tequila in some (somewhat odd) ways with the bourbon grain flavors intermixed with the oak char and what I presume to be some charcoal filtering also.
Drinks: It seems to work in most drinks but rather light and maybe too tasteless. Reminds me in some ways of some Starka ( aged vodka) that I have had in the past, and as such could be used in the same ways.
Bottle: Pretty much the standard rectangular Jim Beam bottle with the usual wrap around ( three sided) paper label and Jim Beam graphics with the addition of a holographic type portrait of Jacob beam that will follow you with its eyes if you look through the back of the bottle. Black screw cap closure completes the package
Other: First aged white whiskey we have seen. Will there be others?
Final Thoughts: Not really sure what to make of this whiskey. It’s interesting but not compelling.
A one page fact sheet and a few recipes, it is part of the larger Jim Beam webpage – none of which contains a great deal of information.