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Jim Beam White Label is the best-selling bourbon in the United States (after recalling the fact that Jack Daniels doesn’t technically qualify as a bourbon), but the Jim Beam mash bill is used for several other brands of whiskey. In particular, Old Taylor, Old Crow, and three of Beam’s “Small Batch” series—Baker’s, Booker’s, and Knob Creek—are also based on this tried and true recipe.
Over the last few months, I have tasted Baker’s, Booker’s, and Knob Creek Single Barrel alone and against one another in order to discover their commonalities and their distinctions. The differences among them are subtle, perhaps more so than I would like; still, each is quite good. I reviewed Baker’s some time ago (connosr.com/reviews/bakers/…), and here I review Booker’s Bourbon.
The nose is full of chocolate, caramel, salt, walnuts, brown sugar, and butter, with touches of cinnamon hearts, popcorn, banana, and yeast. It is simply delectable.
The palate is rich and nutty, again with caramel, milk chocolate, and menthol.
Whereas the emphasis of the nose on Baker’s is its nuttiness and Knob Creek Single Barrel is its dry, dark chocolate character, Booker’s shows a sweeter, more playful array of notes, incorporating chocolate, caramel, and salt with roasted nuts. It’s one hell of a candy bar.