Jim Beam Black Label Review

Jim Beam Black Label Review

Ah Jim Beam Black Label. Now we’re in daily drinker territory. The Black is aged for twice as long as the Jim Beam White Label and, for me, is where Jim Beam starts getting good. I don’t quite love it like I do Booker’s or Knob Creek, but I definitely like it and for about $20 it’s one hell of a good deal.

The thing I like most about Jim Beam Black is that it’s approachable and appreciable in any situation. It has a feeling to it that makes me want to share it and drink it with my friends. I don’t want to horde it nor do I feel like I need to be really paying attention to fully appreciate it, but I could if I wanted to. Black is where Jim Beam, starts getting that “it” factor.

Overall Jim Beam Black is just a really good “everyday” bourbon, but it’s not a sit-at-home-and-slowly-savor-it kind of bourbon. It’s a take-it-to-a-gathering-of-people-for-sipping-shooting-and-making-cocktails kind of bourbon. A have-a-glass-or-two-while-grilling-and-watching-the-fights kind of bourbon. It belongs in any environment where you care less about having great bourbon in your glass and more about not having shitty bourbon in your glass.

Jim Beam Black Label Review

ABV: 43%
Price: $20
Distiller: Jim Beam
Aged: 8 years

Brownish gold

Traditional bourbon nose of caramel, vanilla and spice. Some wood arrives, more than in the white, and it comes across less medicinal and more earthy. Hints of bruleed pastry and a bit of corn and yeast.

Caramel and oak followed by vanilla and a robust Jim Beam spice. Citrus, dark fruit preserves and a bit more of that corn and yeast from the nose round out the palate.

Smooth and drinkable, it’s very approachable.

Watery caramel slowly fades to oak and vanilla.

SCORE: 86/100

Josh Peters

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters

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27 Responses to Jim Beam Black Label Review

  1. R.I.P. Jim Beam Black Label “Double Aged.” Sadly we have no idea what’s going into the new “Extra Aged” Black Label.

  2. Has anyone tried the “new” 6 year one? I’m sure the change did affect the taste, but I am wondering to what extent it did?

    Thanks guys!

  3. I loved the 8 year Black. I felt it was a great bargain for what you got. I picked up a bottle of the new “Extra Aged” a few weeks ago. It is nothing like the 8 year. The EA is harsh. I won’t buy it again. Such a disappointment.

  4. Hey Josh. On February 23, 2015, you said you would soon be doing a SBS of the old and the new “extra aged” Jim Beam Black (what a joke…..we all know the new JBB is now 6 years, not 8) Jim Beam Black. What happened to the SBS? Thanks.

    • Hey Bill,

      I’m still seeing the 8 year on the shelves everywhere here in Los Angeles. Though if any one will have it by now it would be BevMo. I’ll take a look and see if they have the NAS next time I’m in there.

  5. This is my daily drinker right here. I love the top shelf and higher proof stuff from beam but this is often on sale at my local shop for only $17 and to me tastes as good as many $30+ bottles. Great review. Love the site 🙂


  6. So is the “new, extra-aged” JBB the same as the original 8-yr version or the recent “double-aged 8-yr variety?? I have my doubts!! Talked to many who think it’s now 6 yrs. Can’t find the double-aged 8-yr anywhere in NY to do a SBS comparison; only the extra-aged. Called Bev-Mo and they only carry the new, extra-aged. Still waiting for your SBS review. If you’re still seeing the 8-yr everywhere (I assume it must be the double-aged 8-yr variety), would you be willing to pick up a few bottles for me? I’d appreciate it. Bill

    • Hey Bill,

      No it’s definitley not and all my sources also put the new NAS black label at being a 6 year bourbon instead of the 8 year. Next time I’m in Bevmo I’ll see what they have in stock.

  7. I switched from the JBB to the bonded when they dropped the 8 year version. Still wish they had the 8 year and would stop spreading out their product line. But hey they are making the money. I like the bonded version much better than the new extra aged. At least you know what you are getting, and it’s good, so cheers!

    • I haven’t had the extra aged yet, but that would be a good comparison when I pick one up. Waiting on the new bottle design to hit LA. I saw it while in KY recently and it looks pretty cool.

      • This bourbon reminds me of a friend you don’t need to keep in touch with, but when you see each other you don’t feel like you’ve been apart. Comforting and warm, it is my favorite all around bourbon. And I wouldn’t have discovered it without The Whiskey Jug. Thanks Josh. Fortunately I got to stash 7 bottles before the extra aged came out.

  8. i am sipping the jim beam black, extra aged. i think it is a good bourbon, not great,but very drinkable. $23 here in Pennsylvania. i can no longer find the 12 year signature jim beam. i am devastated. can’t believe the extra aged is bourbon of the year! (TV ad).

  9. Hey Josh, you really need to review the JB Extra Aged. Since the original JB Black, and the Double Aged no longer exist, I’m curious how you would rate the current EA bourbon. This reply was prompted as I’m drinking Evan Williams Black; you reviewed this one and its very similar in may ways (the mashbill included) to JBB and the JB Double Oak (both my favorites). Why not take a drive to BevMo, pick up a bottle and let us know. Cheers

  10. Good bourbon, I like it a lot. I would have rated it a bit higher perhaps but nice review. WT 101 is still my go-to whiskey and this is just behind.

  11. Hey Josh,
    I honestly have been looking for this juice since I read your review. I happened to find a bottle on a dusty shelf at a liquor store less than 2 miles from my house. $20 out the door, no tax! I jumped at it as the guy was dusting it off.
    The extra aged has nothing on this stuff. The extra 4 years takes this to another level. So good. Good enough that when you would offer someone Jim Beam and they may turn their nose to it, THIS is the stuff you would like to present them. A BIG step up from white label, and makes extra aged (6yr?) wish it tasted this good.
    Dark, woody rich, almost flan-like taste with a nice Beam spice but so smooth on the finish, it makes you want more. This is just perfect before the step up to Booker’s, if you are a Beam fan, IMO. I really liooked forward to cracking it open, and I was not disappointed . A quality Beam pick!
    Question, though…… How long has the extra aged replaced the 8-year? Just trying to figure how long this beauty was sitting there waiting for a date.
    Thanks again. Cheers!

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