I’m on record as being a fan of Jim Beam as a totally solid, affordable bourbon, so I had to snag a bottle of Jim Beam Distillers Series — a reserve bottling, if you will — when I heard it was being produced.
This new, limited-edition bottle features a line-art representation of each of the seven generations of the Beam family — from Jacob Beam (1770-1834) to Frederick Booker Noe III (1957-present) — suggesting that there’s a lot of history in this bottle.
There’s certainly a lot of something here. The nose is pungent of wood and charcoal, but the first sip indicates something a little different. Beam Distillers Series is a bourbon in nearly perfect balance. At 90 proof and with seven years of age on it, it’s fine for sipping straight or with a splash of water, not too hot like these 140-proof-plus monsters you see these days, though it still leaves you warm and toasty in the end.
The palate is smooth honey and vanilla, with some toasty and smoky oak backing it up. The finish is smooth and long, with only a touch of burnt/smoke/charcoal to mar an otherwise very lovely experience.
At a paltry $21 a bottle, you are unlikely to find a better whiskey deal this decade. I’m not sure how many bottles of this that Beam has made, but the company says it’s on sale only through the end of the month (I’m sure you’ll find it on shelves after that, but who knows for how long, and how widely). I urge you to buy all you can, immediately.
A- / $21 / jimbeam.com