Jim Beam Six Row Barley Harvest Bourbon is one of the six bourbons Jim Beam released in their Signature Craft Harvest Bourbon Collection. The other 5 being made from soft red wheat, brown rice, triticale, whole rolled oats and a “high rye” which tastes a lot like Old Grand-Dad. Per Jim Beam the bourbons in this collection stem from experiments “with a variety of obscure grains and non-traditional recipes and ultimately settled on a range of harvest grains… to complement the majority grain of corn.”
For this particular experiment they used six row barley which differs from the more common two-row barley in a couple ways. It has a higher protein content which gives it less fermentable sugars which is why it’s often used as animal feed. It also has six rows of seeds on the end of the stalk where as two-row only has… two. A botanist could probably tell you a lot more about the grain, but I’m just interested in how it tastes in the Jim Beam Six Row Barley Harvest Bourbon.
Jim Beam Six Row Barley Harvest Bourbon Info
Region: Kentucky, USA
Distiller: Jim Beam
Mashbill: At least 51% Corn, some Six Row Barley and Malted Barley
Cask: New-Charred Oak
Age: 11 Years
Jim Beam Six Row Barley Harvest Bourbon Review
Caramel, oak, alkaline acidity, artificial fruit, honey, cocoa and a light “lollipop” sweetness. This is definitely not a spicy bourbon, it’s soft, sweet and kind of weak.
Oak, soap, caramel, peanuts, cinnamon, dried dark fruit, powdered sugar and grains with a light citrus. Like the aroma this is not a spicy bourbon and the soft sweetness brings out a soapy character that can sometimes show up in bourbon.
Medium drawl of oak, dried dark fruit, grains and the merest hint of some cinnamon.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Not fully balanced, medium body and a hot as hell!
Jim Beam Six Row Barley Harvest Bourbon is a sweet bourbon that drinks like it’s 150 proof despite being only 90 and borders on being over-oaked. This is one I’m ok with them never making again. When it comes to new-charred oak it seems like all too often the higher barley content a whiskey has the harsher it gets; as if barley acts like a sponge rather than a catalyst.
All-in-all it’s an interesting experiment and I’d say that the Jim Beam Six Row Barley Harvest Bourbon, along with the rest of the collection, is worth at least a taste. Experiments like this are always a fun to taste and see how whiskey can change with the introduction of different grains.
SCORE: 79/100 (C+)
*Disclosure: This Jim Beam Six Row Barley Harvest Bourbon was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
jim beam six row barley harvest bourbon Review - Score Breakdown
- Nose - 79
- Palate - 79
- Finish - 79
- Balance, Body & Feel - 79
Jim Beam Six Row Barley Harvest Bourbon is worth a taste, but not a bottle.