Booker’s is my favorite bourbon product that Jim Beam puts out. A small batch cask strength bourbon that comes from barrels that were originally selected by the late Master Distiller Booker Noe (hence the name) it delivers on every level. Before Booker’s was available to the public these bottles were only given out as gifts to friends and family by Noe. It became available to the public in 1992 and bourbon drinkers all over instantly fell in love with this big burly bourbon that is chock full of flavor and kick.
Booker’s is one of the 4 small batch bourbon projects (along with Baker’s, Knob Creek and Basil Hayden) that Beam is involved in and shows just how good the bourbon there at Beam can be. In my opinion this is the most intensely flavorful of the bunch and clocking in between 121 and 130 proof it also packs the biggest punch. With an alcohol content that high it’s definitely one that can use a splash of water to help tame the ethanol and bring out more of the flavors inside.
Overall Booker’s is absolutely wonderful and I go through a bottle about every 1-2 years and each time I pick up a new bottle it’s a familiar yet brand new flavor experience. Just like with the Four Roses Single Barrel it’s the nuances that are exciting to discover with each and every new bottling. Being such an ethanol monster it can be a little rough to drink it neat if you’re not used to cask strength whiskey. However that same aspect means you can add a splash of water, put it on the rocks or even in a cocktail and it doesn’t easily get watered down; continuing to deliver a balanced and bold flavor.
If you’ve had Booker’s Bourbon share your thoughts and notes in the comments below and please include your batch #.
Booker’s Small Batch Bourbon Review
Distiller: Jim Beam
Deep amber with orange accents
This is a great classic bourbon nose. Caramel, vanilla, oak and that wonderful bourbon spice. The rye comes through in a big way along with notes of pepper, cinnamon, mint and cloves. Adding water enhances the vanilla and caramel while bringing out some great dark fruit notes.
Caramel and vanilla with the oak coming in quite muted on the palate. Salty butterscotch, bruleed pastry, rye , pepper, leather, a cooling mint and dark fruit leather round out this complex and amazing flavor profile. A splash of water here tames the alcohol and some fantastic buttery notes emerge along with a bit more of the oak.
Very hot with a lot of burn from the high proof but it still manages to be rounded and balanced making it able to be drank neat.
Caramel, oak and corn that slowly fades to a dusty oak in a very long finish.