An interesting experiment in salvage.
Notes: While a lot of people are familiar with the ‘Angels Share” ( for those who aren’t – that is the amount of spirit that evaporates during aging – the story being the Angels get to enjoy it).
This on the other hand is the Devil’s Cut – the amount of whiskey that is absorbed by the wood and usually lost/not recovered. The devil’s cut is usually about 2-3 gallons per barrel depending on a number of factors.
people have in the past recovered it but not on a commercial basis – it was considered too labor and time intensive for most distilleries to bother with .
Jim Beam on the other hand has decided this might be an interesting product because of the potential heavy wood influence such extracted whiskey would have (making it seem like an older whiskey without giving the Angels their cut during a long aging) By blending both this whiskey and regular Jim Beam whiskey Devils Cut 90 Proof was born.
Appearance: Quite dark a yellow red/gold – hard to gauge age by color on this one (older whiskey has more of a red shift in the color). Nice edge line on the glass when you swirl it, smooth layer of whisky on swirling, some legs.
First Impression: Lots of oak influence on the whiskey both in color and smell. Dried fruits, pecans, tobacco, vanilla and caramel notes on nosing. Big wood influence mixing with a younger smelling whiskey makes for an aromatic blend.
Taste: Complicated stuff. Viscous mouth feel/entry with sweetness of corn, rye spice, oak and tobacco to it. Vanilla and caramel come out from the oak barrels in a big way . Somme sweetness and some of burn as it goes down and it gets a bit astringent and woody towards the end. Not an easy whiskey to profile as it shows a lot of characteristics of young and old.
Drinks: We tried it in a Manhattan, and it was quite, well, robust springs to mind As to other drinks – good for a highball or other uncomplicated drinks. You will need to experiment and adjust recipes if you are used to using a sweeter, heavier-bodied bourbon.
Cigars: Yes, works well with a milder cigars.
Bottle: Standard square Jim Beam bottle pretty much with black printing with gold oak colored background edges of labeled are die cut to resemble piece of torn parchment. Black neckwrap and screwcap closure.
Final Thoughts: If you like Jack Daniels you will love this whiskey. Think Jack Daniel’s char and oak on steroids. Much more wood influence than a standard Beam product – coupled fair amount of char and a youngish whiskie’s charms. Interesting combination of old whiskey wood characteristics without the tired and flat profile you can get from too long aging. While not necessarily a sipping whiskey, it ‘s got plenty of balls to recommend it as a mixing whiskey – this one won’t fade away on you.