A premium single barrel version of an old standard.
Notes:This is a new release of Jim Beam in a limited release Single Barrel at 95 proof. This is a bit of a departure for Jim Beam as a brand if not the company. While they have released various higher end, and single barrel brands as a company under different brand names (Knob Creek, Bookers, etc.,) this is the first time the Jim Beam line itself. The Jim Beam line which was mainly a shall we say value brand, has released just released their Signature Craft Series the Spanish Brandy and 12 Year Old Bourbon, a boost to the brand image in and of themselves, and are now releasing a single barrel. We have reviewed a number of their other products in the past but right now we want to concentrate on this entirely new product of theirs and what they intend to do with it.
Important distinctions will be the ability of visitors to be able to bottle their own bottles at the distillery, a bit later the ability to sample and pick their own barrels to bottle, and a forum that is being set up so people can write in and compare their impressions of bottlings from different barrels.
Appearance: Clear honey colored ,on swirling it displays a nice oiliness to the body leaving a medium thick coating on the glass with a clearly defined edge line or meniscus with droplets morphing into slow forming legs.
First Impression: Unmistakable grain, dried fruit, and honey notes show the DNA of a Jim Beam product, not just the distillery and it’s many products but the very specific nose profile unique to the Jim Beam lineage
Taste: A slightly oily, silky entrance with a touch of sweetness and a drying,woody finish of medium finish. Flavors include vanilla,dried apricots,oak char,honey, leather.
Drinks: Makes a great Manhattan, Old Fashioned, and Whiskey Sour. Has the balls of Jim Beam with a bit more finish
Bottle: Nicely done glass bottle that is similar in shape to the signature line to distinguish the from the standard Jim Beam Bottles and give them a luxe look. Label looks a lot like the Jim Beam White Label but smaller with a brown stamp type tag the identifies barrel number and bottled date specifies barrel number so you can write in and/or collect more and different barrels to try out the different ones out there or identify and buy more of your favorite barrels.
Cigars: A good medium bodied cigar with a natural wrapper would do nicely.
Final Thoughts: A nice and much better expression of a Jim Beam product. Very much the difference between a cream versus a homogenized product ( think of milk differences). In the final analysis it still is a Jim Beam – just a more finished version chosen to faithfully reflect all of the Jim Beam characteristics. So, if you like the regular, somewhat lesser Jim Beam expressions you will love this one as the best possible expression of the line while still full of life. The 12 year old is nice but lacks the punch and liveliness of this expression but is mellower and a bit more restrained. If you want a full on Jim Beam experience chose this one.
While not listed on the homepage as yet it will be. In the interim the website has a lot of information on their other offering and an interesting device to compare their bourbons ( in the Jim Beam line only- no mention of their other lines)