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Baker's is a Beam Brands small batch bourbon named after Jim Beam's grandnephew Baker Beam, and is said to be Baker Beam's invention. Beam Brands claims that Baker's uses a special 60 yr old strain of yeast and the standard Beam brand mashbill. Beam small batch bourbons also include Booker's, Basil Hayden's and Knob Creek. Baker's is 7 years old
Nose: fairly strong intensity, a lot of spice, sweet maple, vanilla, caramel, honey
Taste: a pause for 2 or 3 seconds, then an explosion of intense rye spices, mostly pepper, intense oak, sugar maple, oak, vanilla, caramel
Finish: after the explosion of taste, this one hangs around only for a short time before falling to the ground like Ikaros or fireworks. Jim Murray gave Baker's a mediocre grade of 81.5/100 primarily because he disliked the 'finish'
Balance: I see this bourbon as one of the "big statement" whiskeys, like Old Grand-Dad 114, which does not attempt 'balance' or coherent finish. If you can enjoy the extremely amazing palate flavours and don't insist upon a refined concept of 'finish' then you can really love this bourbon. Two years ago, when I had tasted only 6 or 8 bourbons, this was my favourite bourbon. I am a "big flavours" guy: Ardbeg Uigeadail, Aberlour A'bunadh, George T. Stagg, Thomas H. Handy Sazerac Rye, William Larue Weller, Willett and Old Potrero are my favourite whiskies. If you are a 'big flavours' drinker, give Baker's a try. Also, I do in fact very much suspect that the yeast strain used in Baker's has everything to do with its unique taste-- it really doesn't taste to my palate anything like any of the other Beam products. I thought this about the yeast being the unique Baker's flavour factor long before I read that Beam stated this to be the case. I strongly believe that the differences in yeast strains accounts for many of the differences in the flavours of various whiskies. No one likes to talk much about the yeast influences in whiskies-- I suspect because this factor is so difficult to pin down, define and quantify