Review: Jim Beam Black Double Aged Bourbon 8 Years Old

Review: Jim Beam Black Double Aged Bourbon 8 Years Old

I’m on record as saying that Jim Beam is one of the most underrated bourbons on the market. It’s not just a quality product, it’s also dirt cheap, and even its higher-end products, like Distillers Series, are crazy inexpensive.

As the label notes, Jim Beam’s new Black Label is “double aged” — double the age of Jim Beam White Label, that is — spending eight years in barrel instead of four.

The result is an intense and surprisingly hot bourbon (though just 86 proof), and after a caramel burst on the nose, it’s hefty with alcohol. Add some water and things open up nicely, showing big wood notes, orange, and a spicy bits of incense. Similar to Beam’s house style, on the whole, but just more of it. Worth a try.

86 proof.

B+ / $20 / 

Jim Beam Black Double Aged Bourbon 8 Years Old




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. cange on August 21, 2010 at 8:24 am

    Oh yeah, this looks good! When the weather turns cooler (right now it’s tequila and rum) this’ll be my first bourbon of the season! If it’s really good, I’ll forgive JB for hiring Kid Rock as their Maytag repairman (what’s the term I’m looking for? Well, you know what I mean) I probably shouldn’t have a 6th glass of Illegal Mescal.

  2. Cocktail Enthusiast on August 21, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    Definitely agree that Jim Beam produces some of the best value bourbons on the market. From standard Beam to Distiller’s Series to the small batch bourbons, all are tasty and fairly priced.

  3. Ryan on August 22, 2010 at 2:18 am

    I tried Beam back in the very early days of my drinking career. Didn’t like it. But offerings like these make me want to give it another shot.

  4. cange on October 1, 2010 at 9:51 am

    Just tried it (half a bottle before typing here) and, I must say, the ‘drinkhacker’ review of it is perfect. ‘Similar to Beam’s house style…just more of it.’ I don’t know how many other reviews of this product there are in cybernet world, but that line from the review above is all you need. It’s like if Cap’n Crunch came out with a slightly crunchier version of itself. (Nevermind. I wouldn’t have thought of that without your, still better, line.)

  5. Christopher Null on October 1, 2010 at 10:01 am

    cange – aw, thanks for the kind notes. That’s why we do it, for the readers!

  6. Franky on October 7, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    I’ve been a long time Beam drinker and Black has always been my favorite. I’m drinking some of it right now as I write this, because I wanted to find a review of this new double aged bottle. Same stuff, new name, but the reason it’s always been a fav is because of the smoothness, flavor, and the heat. You know you’re drinking something hard when you drink this, but it’s enjoyable unlike alot of rock gut swill out there. Alot of folks say “JD” and I shrug with a smile as I sip my Beam. I guess it’s all personal preference. You can pay top dollar for small batch bourbon or you can pay a fair price for a quality bourbon when you buy a bottle of Beam. They may not be the Nike of whiskey, but they’re more like the New Balance. A great (often better) product AND at half the cost of the fancy stuff. There’s a reason Beam has been around all these years and has grown as popular as it has. So long as the Beam distilleries continue to bring us high quality bourbons at a great value, they’ll be here for another hundred years.

  7. Jay on November 11, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Having some now (from a family four pack of minis: Regular beam, double aged, red stag, and the rye. This is my first). Totally agree on the orange notes, very tasty. Not enjoying the aftertaste however. A sort of astringent feeling. Anyway I’m going to try the distillers series next and see how that goes.

  8. Cobb on February 14, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    Jim Beam Black is one of bourbon’s best kept secrets. For the money, you will not find a better bourbon. I put it on par with more expensive small batch whiskeys like knob creek and makers mark. Much better than regular white label, which I admittedly don’t care for. At ~20 a bottle, it’s an awesome value. Is it the best bourbon in existence? No. But it’s pretty damn good and very reasonably priced for what you get. Highly recommended, this is my go-to selection these days. Check it out

  9. Nick on July 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    ^^ Knob Creek is distilled by JB and they also have some ownership over Makers Mark. Get what your saying but bad comparison. As far as JB and excellence go…Booker’s is by far the best Bourbon they make. For everyday purchase and price however, JB Black is slowly becoming one my favorites.

  10. Pete on March 8, 2013 at 3:31 am

    I picked up a bottle in hopes of finding something more affordable than my favorites that I could still enjoy and feel I hit the jackpot with Jim Beam Black. One of my friends at work liked it so much too that he immediately went and bought one.
    Very nice flavor, easy to drink and I think that between Booker’s and Black, I may be having to try more Beam products. I don’t care at all for regular Jim Beam or Devil’s Cut, but Booker’s and Jim Beam Black are on my favorite bourbons list.

  11. Stephen on April 5, 2013 at 1:15 am

    Sounds like a great drop, unfortunately I live in Australia. The Jim Beam Black we get here is a bit different – it’s touted as Triple Aged, clocking in at a whopping 6 years, and is only 40%. I think if we were given the same quality of product received in the US, Jim Beam might have a better reputation over here. I’m guessing this means that US White Label is 4 year aged while we’re drinking it at 2?

    Great site by the way, will come in handy for my planned trip to the US, especially your write-up on the Bourbon Trail!

  12. GERRY on June 25, 2013 at 2:21 pm


  13. Andrew Jones on January 18, 2014 at 1:41 am

    I think if you like this, you’ll also like Evan Williams Single Barrel and Small Batch as well as Buffalo Trace. They all hit similar notes for me, I love them all nearly the same, with Evan Williams Single Barrel edging the rest out just a nudge.

  14. SID on August 14, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    Taste like regular Beam to me. I prefer Devils Cut.

  15. [email protected] on September 11, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    After trying many bourbons over the last 3 years, my favorite WAS Woodford Reserve – Now it’s Jim Beam Black Double Aged (Woodford Double Oak may still be tops with me, though much more expensive).

  16. Vic on December 11, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    I enjoy Jim Beam Black, and agree it’s a good value. Just opened a bottle of double age, got it for my birthday, and found it very smooth straight up. I like it!

  17. J.D. Fields on December 21, 2017 at 7:57 pm

    I just got a bottle of this as an early Christmas gift from my wife. $30 after tax in WV, so a bit on the pricey side, but not terrible for a “good” bourbon.

    I tried it neat the first go-round. My initial impression was that it was remarkably smooth. Other than that, I didn’t detect much of anything in the way of a flavor profile.

    Another couple of jiggers neat a couple of hours later, and this time there was a bit of a burn. Some hints of orange, perhaps, and a sweet, lingering finish.

    On the third attempt, I added about 12 drops of purified water and a tiny chunk of ice about the size of 4 peas frozen together, and BINGO! The caramel I’d been looking for was right out front, as was a nice lingering heat. The aftertaste at this point had a distinctly original Listerine-like funk to it. Halfway through, I suspect I’m tasting a lot of oak, though I’d have to go full-on beaver to confirm the suspicion. Some really nice spiciness starts to show as well.

    So, yeah, I’m happy to have had the opportunity to try it, but the world’s highest-rated bourbon? I would have been happier with Wild Turkey 101, or, better still, 2 bottles of Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond at the same price. Please just don’t tell my wife.

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