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Review: Jim Beam Jacob’s Ghost White Whiskey

jim beam jacob's ghost white whiskey

Is anyone not getting into the white whiskey game? JD, High West, Buffalo Trace… everyone’s got one.

Why not Jim Beam, then?

Jacob’s Ghost — named after the founding father of Jim Beam, Jacob Beam, who distilled his first whiskey in 1795 — is a white whiskey with a twist. Made from the same mashbill as Jim Beam’s white label, this isn’t white dog bottled right off the still. Instead, it’s aged in barrel for a full year, then filtered to get most of the color out of it.

A year in barrel will give a lot of color to a whiskey, and you’ll notice that Jacob’s Ghost is not entirely clear. It’s a very pale yellow — on par with a very light white wine — that really does come across as a bit ghostly.

That year really makes all the difference. The burly petrol notes of true white dog are mellowed out, leaving behind a smoother white whiskey than you might be accustomed to.

The nose offers few clues. Very sweet, it’s got a distinct marshmallow character to it. Touches of oak, but very mild on the nose.

The body follows suit: Big marshmallow notes. Sugar and vanilla all the way, with just a touch of corn — think Fritos — on the finish. Everything you’re expecting in a white whiskey is simply not present here. No roughness, no vegetal notes, no fire water. It’s sweet enough to make you feel like it’s doctored — though I don’t actually believe that.

What Jacob’s Ghost is lacking is complexity. This is a very young, and very sweet whiskey, through and through. I’d wager most tasters would have trouble guessing what this was at all. Is it vodka? White rum? Tequila? Try serving this to your whiskey friends and watch their heads spin.

Fun stuff. I’m into it.

On sale February 2013. 80 proof.

A- / $22 / jimbeam.com [BUY IT NOW FROM DRIZLY]

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Jim Beam Jacob's Ghost White Whiskey



Christopher Null

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

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  1. Anonymous February 27, 2015

    This whiskey intrigues the living hell out of me…. It is quite simply delicious and I LOVE the fading notes of oak in the finish…. Such an oddly beautifully colored off white/yellowish color to this bourbon. The sour mash surprises the living s–t out of you and then sweetly sails in to that woody end of flavor…………. GREAT JOB guys/girls at Jim Beam…. This quite simply F*****G ROCKS my tastebuds….

  2. nicola sellers December 1, 2020

    how do i order this? do you ship to uk


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