Country: United States
Distillery: James B. Beam Distilling Co. Clermont,KY
Bottler: James B. Beam Distilling Co. Clermont,KY
Distillation Date: Unknown
Style: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Bottling Date: Unknown
Alcohol: 121 to 129 proof
Price: ~ $50.00 USD / 750ml
Behind The Booze:
I never thought that I would end up being a guy who drank Bourbon – there isn’t anything against it but being a rum or beer guy most of my life, Bourbon always seemed to be that bottle collecting dust rather than something I would reach for first. After talking to a few people on twitter about different or unique whiskeys out there, someone mentioned that Bookers Bourbon was one of their personal favorites. This uncut, unfiltered, straight from the barrel bourbon is a natural proof bourbon ranging from 121 to 128 and has usually been resting for six to eight years. Now most of the time I don’t drop $50 bucks on something that some random on twitter had mentioned – but with this I figured, what the hell. Am I happy or disappointed with that decision?
The story goes that Booker Noe – Jim Beam’s grandson and master distiller – personally hand selects each barrel that will be used in the production of Bookers Bourbon. They place these barrels in the very center of the rackhouse – the one location where the temperature and humidity combines in the best possible proportions to help with creating some of the ‘best bourbon available.’ 1988 is when Booker Noe introduced his own signature bourbon – the Bookers True Barrel Bourbon which was inspired by a 200-year-old tradition – straight from the barrel, uncut and unfiltered. The reason for this creation was not to hit the shelves and generate profit, but rather as a holiday gift for his special friends. Lets see if the marketing hype and twitter recommendations give way to a great Bourbon or if its all just a great story.
If I were to say that the appearance of this spirit was impressive, it would be an understatement. An enticing deep, dark amber color highlighted by a rim of copper around the edges. When swirled inside the glass, the bourbon gives a light coating to the glass, not nearly as thick as syrup but thicker than many other bourbons I have had. Just looking at this is making me salivate.
Woooo wee! The flavors in this spirit are so concentrated and intense that if you are not expecting it, you may just get burned! First there is a hefty dose of spice accentuated by the obvious alcohol punch and heat. Pepper and rye are the base flavors, with rich caramel, vanilla, and I swear I pull a bitter orange after taste out of most sips. It tastes like a much more refined and impressive version of its small batch cousin from Knob Creek. The first couple times I drank this I added a half ice cube just to water it down a little and cut out some of the alcohol heat it carries but once I got used to it, drinking it straight is just as enjoyable, especially paired with a quality cigar!
This is one of those drinks that once you get to taste it, you are going to be hooked. The price is just enough to keep you from going nuts and going through a bottle a week, but it is also cheap enough where you can go out and pick up a bottle without breaking the bank. At ~ $50.00 a bottle, I feel you are getting much more than you are paying for. I have tried more expensive bourbons and although ‘good’ – they just didn’t do for me the same as Bookers. The heat, the flavor and of course, the alcohol kick it has is always a pleasant after effect. If you have had a chance to try some Bookers yourself please let me know what you though, if you have not yet had the pleasure I highly recommend you go out and pick up a bottle sooner than later!
Step back, relax, and enjoy.