Budweiser has been on a roll lately with their excellent Reserve series. Recently Drinkhacker was sent their well-reviewed Harvest Reserve Fall Lager. Their latest, the Reserve Black Lager, is their second collaboration with Jim Beam. Like the Reserve Copper Lager, the Reserve Black Lager sees a period of aging on previously used Jim Beam staves for a dash of sweet, vanilla-like bourbon flavor. Will the addition complement or detract? Let’s taste.
Budweiser Reserve Jim Beam Black Lager is a beer that shows no restraint. The drinker is treated to incredible aromas of dark chocolate, roasted coffee beans, dark caramel and a savory, smoky-sweet quality that can be best described as burnt Texas barbecue sauce. Its flavors are intense, with a distinct roasted quality that demands to be paired with charred steak or ribs. Thankfully this is not a simple beer, with touches of vanilla bean (thank you Jim Beam staves!) and sweet malt to provide counter-point to the roasted barley. An excellent beer by any measure.
A- / $8 per four-pack / budweiser.com