Our Booker’s Bourbon small batch reviews fell a bit behind last winter; today we look at two recent batches of Booker’s, both of which should be readily available on the market. While similar in age and proof, they’re quite different experiences.
Let’s dig in.
Booker’s Bourbon “Pigskin Batch” 2020-03 – Aged 6 years, 7 months, 7 days; named for Booker Noe’s history as a football player and lover of the game. This is a fairly classic and relatively straightforward bottling of Booker’s. Butterscotch and bacon fat vie for supremacy on the nose, with a light pepper note on top. The palate is a classic mix of caramel, vanilla, and hazelnut, balanced with some spice elements, but nothing out of the ordinary. If this whiskey defies expectations at all it’s on the finish, where some greener elements and ample red pepper pop, giving the whiskey a bittersweet quality that ultimately comes across as fairly rustic, even with water. A fair enough bourbon, though. 127.3 proof. B+ [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]
Booker’s Bourbon “Donohoe’s Batch” 2021-01 – Aged 6 years, 11 months, 4 days; named for Mike Donohoe, a former employee of Beam and a friend of Booker Noe. This bourbon is much more austere than 2020-03, somewhat beefier with a bolder wood influence on the nose. Sharp and peppery, the palate is on the aggressive side, though it does eventually reveal many of the same classic bourbon notes present in Pigskin Batch. The chewy finish perks up with an unusual note of coconut, followed by cherries and a freshly herbal note. While it’s a bit rocky at the start, it finishes stronger than Pigskin Batch, ultimately balancing out the calculus. 125.3 proof. B+
each $90 / bookersbourbon.com