Review: Jim Beam Black Kentucky Striaght Bourbon Whiskey / by Jason Hambrey

Jim Beam Black.jpg
6 years; Charred Virgin Oak
~75% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Malted Barley
Distiller Jim Beam (Clermont, Kentucky)

This whiskey is branded to be “triple aged”, as it is aged three times the minimum requirement for bourbon, carrying a 6 year old age statement (though it used to be 8 years here). Similar to Canadian Club Reserve, which also carries similar branding and bottling (owned, of course, by the same company).

Review (2014)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: 2013

Nose: Apple, apricot, peaches, corn husks, marmelade, with some spicy rye kick too. It has, as with the white label, the feel of buttery corn and dusty rye on the nose. Dried fruits, a bit of ash, and the heavy buttery, vanilla-like character of a barrel-aged chardonnay.

Taste: This has a nice, slightly silky mouthfeel. It has a fair bit of buttery corn presence, and quite buttery as well – with orange and lemon coming through (with accompanying acidity) mid palate, and a good kick of vanilla. Rye and a good bit of oak control the end, and for quite nice effect. Quite enjoyable.

Finish: A slightly acidic finish which makes me want to suck on all the flavour in my mouth, and reach for another sip. Very nice vanilla, mossy oak, buttery corn, dried cherries, and dried corn husks. The oak stays around for quite a while – it is very nice.

Much deeper, with nicer feel and more complexity than the white label. deeper, longer, more delicious than white label. It has come along with the extra years in the barrel – the oak is more mossy and less fresh, the fruits are a bit more intense – like the shift from fresh to dried fruits, and the tannins have slightly more grip.

Recommended (81% of whiskies I’ve reviewed to date get this recommendation or higher).

Value: High. Especially with the 8 year year old version you used to be a able to get, this is a good bourbon at a great price.