It’s time for batch 2 of Booker’s Bourbon for 2021, a bottling aged 6 years, 5 months, and 0 days. It’s call “Tagalong Batch,” not because of Booker Noe’s affinity for the Girl Scout cookies of the same name, but rather a celebration of how Noe learned the ropes of distilling from his grandfather Jim Beam. It hits the bottle at a fairly typical — yet still scorching — 63.95% abv.
“Tagalong Batch” finds Booker’s showcasing a sweeter style with more fruit than is typical for the brand. A bit tight on the nose thanks to the alcohol, the classic notes of caramel corn and peanut brittle find room for a hint of cherry jam in the mix, making for an attractive spin on an adult PB&J profile.
Peanut notes dominate on the palate, but not in a bad way, again finding solace in the notes of sultry berry that work to perk things up. It’s crazy (but doable) to drink this without water. Naturally, the experience benefits greatly from it, tempering the peanut notes and letting more caramel sweetness come into focus. The fruit fades with water, but it also allows a touch of herbal mint and both red and black pepper notes into the picture in time for the finish.
Is this the most interesting Booker’s release ever? No — but it is a worthwhile one that merits some attention.
B+ / $90 / bookersbourbon.com