Interesting variation from the Jim Beam Family but a bit overshadowed by the wood and lacking some finesse and balance overall.
Notes: The third release in Jim Beams limited edition Signature Series the first releases being almost simultaneous The release of their Spanish Brandy Finished Premium Craft Bourbon and the 12 Year Old Jim Beam both released in very limited quantities last year. This years release is also very limited and will probably be hunted to extinction by collectors in short order.
Made using a straight bourbon aged five years with a finish of whiskey aged in small casks aged four to eight years and blended to profile it is a unique experiment for Jim Beam
Appearance: Clear gold/amber. On swirling it leaves a nice oily coat on the glass with a slow retreat along the edge line with legs forming.
First Impression: Heavy oak notes with caramel/caramelized sugar and oak sugar sap notes with hints of vanilla, barley and rye spice
Taste: Corn, rye, vanilla, with a short burst of sweetness after a dry start going back to heavy oak char and drying finish. Somewhat harsh over wooded or too much char with not enough age to mellow the rough edges – somewhat reminiscent of a charcoal filtering (think Jack Daniels) effect on a standard whiskey rather than adding other aging characteristics by the use of small casks.
Drinks: Jim Beam suggests it is best enjoyed neat. As a teaching or reference tool I tend to agree.
Bottle: The now standard Jim Beam Signature Craft Whiskey Bottle with minor variation to denote it is the 3rd release. Clear old style flask shaped bottle with Jim Beam logo and “Signature Craft” silkscreened onto the bottle with a Blue label with gold lettering describing the contents (Quarter Cask Finished, 86 proof, 3rd release etc.,) with a deckled edge and a black shank wrapped neck capsule with a paper seal.Synthetic cork with black plastic disk topper make for a tight seal ( indeed a bit hard to grip and open – rather narrow topper). Overall a nice presentation
Other: Jim Beam has a wide number of products some of which we have reviewed. They are best known for their signature Jim Beam Bourbons and some of the ready to drink (RTD’s) such as Jim Beam in a can ( actually Jim Beam whiskey and cola to be more exact). They also over the years have purchased other venerable names such as Old Grand Dad, Old Crow, Fighting Cock and several others along with being importers for other spirits such as Courvoisier cognac, El Tesoro tequila, and a host of smaller brands. They have also been notable in the creation of the “Small Batch” bourbon as a product with early examples such as Knob Creek, Basil Hayden, Bookers, etc., ( including Jacobs Well a great bourbon that is lamentably no longer made)
Final Thoughts: An interesting expression of whiskey from the Jim Beam family of whiskies. It is a useful benchmark reference for fans of Jim Beam to see what the addition of small cask aged whiskey has on their products. While I cannot be counted as a hug fan of this new release, it is a useful to see what the addition of small cask whisky can do to a blend. However overall I find the char is overdone and unbalances the whiskey.
This whiskey is actually not listed on this page so far,but should be soon. I also leads you to links to all their other products, recipes and merchandise.