Friday, September 30, 2016

Whiskey Review of Baker's Bourbon - A Jim Beam Small Batch Collection

The Jim Beam Small Batch collection.  We all know it.  We all love it.  I was introduced to this Kentucky fixture as soon as I arrived to Lexington in the late 90s.  There is nothing better for a rookie in the whiskey drinking business than a sample pack of 4 bourbons from a world famous distiller in beautiful packaging!  

There is no need to say this but I am no longer a rookie.  Not only do I drink the brown water with friends, discuss tasting notes with my mom and dad but I also thoroughly enjoy writing about it.  All this “tasting” can sometimes take you away from the standards which enjoy a consistent flavor and a true following of bourbon lovers.  I like to take a step back from the newest-bottles-to-market on occasion and re-visit the classics and marvel at the consistency and beauty of how these whiskies are crafted.  

Today we discuss 25% of the Small Batch Collection – Baker’s.  Named after Baker Beam, the cousin of Booker – the brand’s Master Distiller.  Baker’s remains a standby in the industry while still sporting an age stamp of 7 years and rolling in at a perfect 107 proof.  The mashbill of Baker’s is 73% corn and 13% rye.  

Noted for it’s consistency, smooth & silky texture and full-bodied flavors, Baker’s tastes today as it always has.  On the nose you get strong notes of citrus accented by orange marmalade and lemon.  The aromas quickly lead to hearty flavors of ripe banana and warm buttered bread.  Drinking this bourbon is reminiscent of cracking into a crusty loaf of fresh baked bread straight from the oven. 
The palate develops herbal notes of cardamom and allspice.  As we tasted, we noted flavors of metal (we all taste something different) and a few comments on the smoothness but lacking of the rich flavor of a typical 7 year bourbon. 

Finally, the subtle sweetness of rye, blackberry and black cherry form on the back of the palate leading to a soft, almost mouth numbing finish thanks to the higher proof.  

As you can tell from this article, there are multitudes of flavors at every level of this whiskey- a true mark of a well-crafted spirit.  Each of us found different notes to consider.  This is certainly an easy daily drinker and worth a re-visit if you haven’t had the chance in some time.    

Average Price - $40 - 49.99