Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Years Review

Jim Beam Signature Craft Review

This is Jim Beam? I know it is because the bottle says Jim Beam Signature Craft and I can taste that Jim Beam fingerprint in the liquid that’s in sitting in my glass… but this is not like any Jim Beam I’m used to. It’s changed. It’s better. It’s matured… it’s actually quite good.

Crafted from barrels that have aged for at least 12 years, the corny yeastiness I typically find in Jim Beam has been tamed and I don’t get any of the cloying, bordering on medicinal, notes running underneath. If it weren’t for that all too familiar Jim Beam spice I would have thought this was something else completely different.

Overall I enjoy it and it’s the first Jim Beam branded product that I could call a daily drinker. It’s smooth without being watery; the flavors are supple without getting muddled together and the nose is crisp without being sharply astringent. The balance is a bit off kilter for me but it’s not enough to be distracting and all in all it’s the most enjoyable Jim Beam I’ve had outside of their small batch lines.

Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Years Review

ABV: 43%
Price: $27
Distiller: Jim Beam

EYE
Deep caramel with orange facets

NOSE
This is so far from Jim Beam white and I could nose this all day long. Warm bourbon spice lifts out of the glass followed by a procession of caramel, vanilla, dark fruit (especially cherries) and a complex sweetness that reminds me of Dr. Pepper. Hanging out in the background are some notes of wood and corn with just a hint of yeast faint enough to not be distracting.

TASTE
Rich caramel rolls out of the glass and across the palate and paves the way for vanilla cake, toffee, wood, dark fruit, citrus custard and even a touch of rye. Bringing up the tail end of this troop of flavors are some notes of raw grains that temper the overall sweetness with a touch of earth.

FEEL
Smooth and a little oily.

FINISH
Buttery caramel and wood with a popcorn kicker that hangs around just long enough for a medium finish.

SCORE: 89/100

Josh Peters
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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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4 Responses to Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Years Review

  1. So this is “on sale” for $35 plus tax at my local ABC. Do I pull the trigger at that price? I’m intrigued, but at that price point, it’s close to the Russell’s Reserve Rye, at $39, which might be in my top three.

    • I’d take the RRR over this every day. This is still one of the better Beam products I’ve had, but if I was offered a glass of this or a glass of RRR I’d take the later every time!

  2. I’ve done many SBS of this with the Black (the “old” Black), and after re-reading this review again, I realized why I prefer the Black; while smooth, I find the 12-yr a little watery and as you say, off balance. The aroma and taste of the Black seems more intense. Too bad Beam decided to change it. I wonder if Mila had anything to do with that decision?

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