Jim Beam Devil's Cut
The Poor Man's 20 Year Old Bourbon
14th May 2011
Best price to buy online:
Tasting Notes by Victor
Fred Noe, master distiller at Jim Beam, states that Beam's very recently released Devil's Cut bourbon is a 45% ABV blend of Beam standard mashbill 6 year old bourbon with "barrel-treated extract" bourbon, i.e. the bourbon 'dregs' which had remained trapped in the barrel wood after the barrel had been dumped. Beam gives no details on its proprietary extraction process.
Nose: very oaky, like 15-25 year old bourbon, sweet, lots of caramel and vanilla, as you would expect, a hint of lemon and orange. This is a very pleasant nose for lovers of the wood flavours.
Taste: like the nose, the palate also tastes like a bourbon aged long in the wood, 15+ years. The body still seems medium to me, but there is a noticeably oily quality that seems to present a lot more than I would expect to encounter in a 6 yo Beam product. Along with the strong wood flavours present in the nose, I do very definitely taste some sweet orange on the palate. The alcohol content is very noticeable here, but not overbearing. This product tastes quite different from Beam White Label, Beam 7 yo White Label, and Beam Black Label. The palate is pleasant, though definitely not refined. The wood adds a lot more bass notes to the flavour here than are present in the Beam White Label versions. Rough and tumble.
Finish: Long finish with the flavours staying quite strongly til the end. Once again, fairly pleasant, though not refined.
Balance: Good job, Fred, and Beam! This is the poor man's 20 year old bourbon. While the USA price point for this whiskey is about $ 25, this whiskey has taste features that would almost never be found in whiskies costing less than twice that amount. On its own, this works pretty well. It is certainly not the connoisseur's choice for refined bourbon, but more like the winemaker's marc, that he enjoys in a hearty way as the side-effect of his major efforts. Among the Beam products I would probably turn to this one only occasionally, but it is fun, and grows on you with repeated acquaintance.