When whiskey is aged some of the liquid in the barrels is lost to evaporation, this is called the Angel’s Share, but some soaks into the wood and stays there. Beam has coined this the Devil’s Cut; which is where the whiskey gets it name. So how does Jim Beam go about creating their Devil’s Cut?
First they take barrels of whiskey that have been aged for at least 6 years and dump them for blending. They then take those barrels and us a proprietary process involving water, mechanical agitation and heat to basically “sweat” the barrels and extract the bourbon from the wood. then they add the extract back into the previously dumped whiskey and bottle it as Devil’s Cut.
Overall It’s woody as hell and after a bit that’s almost all I can taste. It’s not like the warm woody character of something like a Pappy 23 where the wood is soft and inviting. Here it’s very abrupt, in your face and accompanied by an underlying astringency that builds the more I drink. All this wood and astringency makes it feel unbalanced and is far from being something I would call a daily drinker.
Jim Beam Devil’s Cut Review
Distiller: Jim Beam
Aged: 6 years
Smells like a wood shop, but under that thick layer of lumber lies layers of caramel, dark fruit, Jim Beam spice, molasses, toffee, toasted nut, under ripe citrus and a mild astringency. I know adding the ultra woody extract from the barrels is the whole shtick for this, but I feel like the wood is overpowering something that could otherwise be quite pleasant.
Caramel and wood battle it out with cinnamon chiming in from the sideline. That nutty character from the nose shows up with some dark fruit and leather in tow. Milling about in the background is some vanilla, a bit of yeast and that same astringency from the nose.
Remarkable amount of heat for only being 90 proof and dry as hell.
Wood and caramel dominate the finish with hints of leather, cinnamon and raw sugar cane punctuated with astringent undertones that slowly fades out on a long finish.