By Father John Rayls
Anything from Beam Suntory needs very little introduction. However, this limited release should grab your attention immediately. It’s actually something special. The cost is…well, we’ll get to that. Jim Beam Distiller’s Cut Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Limited Release is worth your money and your attention. I’m not a huge fan of the distillery even though it produces some interesting stuff. Don’t overlook this release. It’s within everyone’s price range, but the flavor profile is exceptional for Jim Beam. It is 5-6 years old, unfiltered (which may be the secret ingredient) and bottled at 100 proof. The non-chill filtering, unlike other Beam products, makes this very unique and allows for an enhanced (potential) flavor profile due to additional fatty acids and other compounds that are not eliminated through the normal filtering process. Many consumers reject non-chill filtered whiskeys due to whiskey cloudiness that might be present in temperature extremes both warm and cold. If you happen to see a slight haze, don’t be concerned. The cloudiness doesn’t affect flavor but does affect appearance. Marketing has pre-disposed us to clear whiskey consumption. Consumed neat, there generally is no cloudiness, but ice or storing it in the freezer may bring a slight cloudiness. Jim Beam has stepped up its game and has issued a major challenge to all other distillers. If cloudiness is an issue for you, try it neat. You may be greatly surprised at its drinkability and flavor.
The bottle has an elegant appearance with both a transparent label and a black with gold and red lettering one complete with a sturdy black screw on cap. This bourbon has a beautiful dark reddish brown coloring with attention grabbing dark copper highlights. The legs begin with a plethora of thin, reluctant rivulets surrounding the glass. They slowly merge into thick legs suspended and frozen in place refusing to drain. The nose is medium in intensity but readily available. Charred oak is primary with leather and caramel and light vanilla supporting the aromas and some distant fruitiness (cherries).
The flavor profile was spot on with a combination of big charred oak, leather, light caramel and tobacco. The mouthfeel was slightly oily with primarily a mid-mouth experience both upper and lower. The finish was long, but didn’t interfere with the palate experience. The charred oak continued with an introduction of black pepper. It soon transitioned into white pepper, but it never became overpowering. The heat was just enough to get your attention and to maintain it while providing a definitely dry experience. The finish simply refused to quit and stayed mid-mouth.
Jim Beam Distiller’s Cut Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is an interesting and attention grabbing Kentucky bourbon. Don’t let any prejudices keep you from giving this a try. Prepare yourself for this price announcement: suggested retail is about $23.00 but can be found for under $19.00. This is a major find with big flavor and unbelievable price. Remember, this is a limited release from Jim Beam and you should go and buy several bottles right away. You won ‘t be disappointed.