Jim Beam Devil’s Cut Review

Jim Beam Devils Cut Review

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

ABV: 45%
Price: $20
Distiller: Jim Beam
Aged: 6 years

EYE
Deep caramel

NOSE
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.

TASTE
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.

FEEL
Remarkable amount of heat for only being 90 proof and dry as hell.

FINISH
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.

SCORE: 77/100

Jim Beam Rye Review

Jim Beam Rye Review

Jim Beam rye is one of my least favorite ryes. Clocking in with the bare minimum mashbill of 51% rye it feels like a phoned in effort to hop on the rye whiskey band wagon. It doesn’t feel like a fully thought out, realized or appreciated vision and comes across rather lackluster.

There is a whole list of rye whiskeys I would rather have than this one and I could spend a paragraph or two talking about the aspects I don’t like about it, but I hate being negative except when absolutely necessary so I’ll just say this. It makes a great cocktail mixer and, due to it’s comparatively low rye spice, serves as a great introduction to the rye category if you’re just getting into it.

Overall, it just doesn’t hit me like I feel a rye should. Rye should have a presence. It should be bold and in your face with spice and earthy notes that just don’t come across as strongly here and I end up feeling like something is missing. It’s one of those whiskeys that I just can’t get into and with so much good rye hovering around that same $20 mark I just don’t know why I would ever buy a bottle of this again.

Jim Beam Rye Review

ABV: 40%
Price: $19
Distiller: Jim beam
Age: 4 years
Mashbill: 51% rye (the rest is a secret but I’d guess 41-45% corn & 4-8% malt)

EYE
Golden Caramel with hints of red

NOSE
Wow this is a weird rye. Cherry and vanilla upfront with some leather and a pop of rye spice. Delicately blended in are some notes of orange and cinnamon with hints of fruit, honey and potpourri.

TASTE
Caramel, imitation vanilla, and some pepper. The rye spice is rather weak compared to other rye whiskeys, but it definitely comes through and is paired up with some cinnamon, red licorice and a hint of pear.

FEEL
The low ABV and skillful blending makes this incredibly smooth and silken.

FINISH
Medium in length and strangely dry with rye spice and citrus fading to wood.

SCORE: 79/100

McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt Review

McCarthys Oregon Single Malt Review

The McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt is another bottle of whiskey I picked up on my trip to Portland, and man am I glad I did. It’s smoky, it’s sweet, it’s savory, it’s robust it’s… it’s just plain delicious is what it is.

It’s made in the Islay style and if you’re looking for something to compare it to think along the lines of Lagavulin 16. There is such a similar color and character to this whiskey that you could almost be fooled into thinking that you’re actually drinking a young Lag.

Overall this is just plain fantastic. It’s one of my new favorite daily drinkers and shows a maturity and balance much older than it’s mere 3 years of aging would typically produce. It’ has a symphony of savory flavors with a sweet underpinnings and an oily smooth texture that makes this something that is literally a joy to drink.

If you’ve tried the McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt I’d love to see your own thoughts or notes in the comments below.

McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt Review

ABV: 42.5%
Price: $54
Distiller: Clear Creek Distilling / Widmer Brothers
Batch: W13-02
Bottled: 9-16-13

EYE
Golden caramel with hints of orange. Even the color reminds me of a lighter Lagavulin 16.

NOSE
The smoke is very apparent with rich salted butter, vanilla and smoked ham rising up first. Malt, salted caramel and a nice roasty sensation round out the nose.

TASTE
Delightfully smoky. It’s not a peat monster but has more than enough peated character to stand next to the big boys from Islay. Iodine, caramel apple, butterscotch and malt with hints of wood and popcorn make this a very enjoyable dram.

FEEL
Oily and coating it’s smooth and easy to drink with very little burn.

FINISH
Smoked meat fades to a smoky malt and campfire ash that lingers for a nice long finish.

SCORE: 91/100

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