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Jim Beam Black Label

Vanilla soaked oak

1 1470

@casualtortureReview by @casualtorture

18th Oct 2017

0

  • Nose
    17
  • Taste
    19
  • Finish
    15
  • Balance
    19
  • Overall
    70

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Jim Beam black? More like Jim Beam bleck! Ok, ok...all silliness aside, I got this mainly to mix into old fashions and wasn't expecting much. This used to come with an age statement, but now it just reads "extra aged," whatever that means. An extra 2 months? 2 years? Who knows. Lets try it neat and see how we feel.

Nose: Vanilla, caramel, cinnamon. A bit weak but its only 43% so as expected. Vanilla is the dominant player here.

Palate: vanilla, charred oak chips. Very smooth. A bit smokey from the charred oak. Its like you used some oak chips for a bbq then after the bbq you dumped vanilla extract on them.

Finish: Vanilla, a bit of spice, and more charred oak.

Overall: This is much better than I anticipated! I might actually just keep this around to sip on. Its a bit thin and one dimensional, but its decent. It doesnt make me make an awkward face when I drink it like the 40% white label does. I mean its still bottom or mid shelf, but it doesnt suck so therefore it has exceeded my expectations.

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14 comments

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

What a rousing endorsement!

When you live in a country that has access to Beam products like OGD BiB and 114, why Beam Black?

about one year ago 0

@RianC
RianC commented

Interesting. I bought a bottle of the standard white last year (for about £10) so had low expectations but frankly it was off putting and even with days being left with the lid off and poured over ice was still undrinkable for me. Only that and Tullamore Dew have been in that category so far.

No pouring down the sink - always find a welcoming home for something I don't like . . . my Mum!

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

I have had some Jim Beam Black Label which was lacking, as yours was, but most batches/bottles I've encountered have been very good. More than once I have given tastings to several new and intermediate whisky-drinkers including Ardbeg Uigeadail, Aberlour A'bunadh, Redbreast 12, Redbreast 12 CS, Booker's, Pappy Van Winkle 15 yo, George T. Stagg, William Larue Weller, Thomas Handy Rye, etc. and the overall favourite whisk(e)y was Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX, with Jim Beam Black Label being the second favourite, and Bernheim Original Wheat whiskey the third.

So, when I read your review I think, "some more inconsistency with Jim Beam Black Label." Inconsistency is not good, of course. I do understand that your bottle is 100% of your experience of it.

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor better than Booker's? A premium product of the same brand? And Redbreast CS? When good, this must be very good indeed!

about one year ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Nozinan, a lot of people have found it so. When @Dramlette attended a whiskey dinner in 2011 with Fred Noe, Jim Beam Master Distiller, she asked him, "Of all of the Jim Beam line products, which would you be the most unhappy to see discontinued from the line?" His answer was "Jim Beam Black Label". Jim Beam Black Label is the favourite product of the Jim Beam Master Distiller.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@casualtorture
casualtorture commented

@Victor I think inconsistency would almost have to be expected in something as widely produced as this. But I think some of you misunderstood me. I wasn't being sarcastic when I said it's better than expected. Based on how awful the white label is, and this being the next step up from it, I was expecting to score this in the 60-65 range. So low 70s is truly a pleasant surprise.

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor I've never tried it but my own personal favourite (again, the issue of excitement from high quality at a low price)that I would hate to see gone is OGD114.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@casualtorture
casualtorture commented

@Nozinan @Victor OGD 114 is a great example of price influencing score. OGD 114 is a good whiskey (82 is what I gave it I believe) and you're getting a good quality barrel proof bourbon for $25!! That's what makes it so special and it's hard not to score it higher based on that. 82 by itself, but taking price into consideration then heck it's a 90 point bourbon! Thoughts?

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@casualtorture I did in fact give it a 90, looking back.

I gave it that score because (and you can really only know this if it survives in the glass for more than 20 minutes but that's hard because it's so good) it is a fantastic whisky. Price had nothing to do with it. I like it better than quite a few pricier bourbons.

And, it's not barrel proof, "just" 57%.

about one year ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@casualtorture, I wrote the first Old Grand-Dad 114 review on Connosr on 8 January 2011, and my OGD114 review was my very first Connor review. This is one for me for which critical score and enjoyment are two different things. From a critical basis I scored it first at 87 points, then revised that to 88 points...even though I usually enjoy it much more than that. Why? The wood flavours could be better. I have commented more than once that even though on a critic's score OGD114 rates 88 points, it is usually more like a 95 for enjoyment for me. It is a pretty outrageous beverage, in a very good way. For me, that "enjoyment score" has nothing to do with the price, but the price is a nice bonus to the package, and the reason why I have stocked up on it.

To what does the "enjoyment score" pertain? To the intensity and range of flavours.

about one year ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

...about the 57% ABV. Sure, it's standardized and it's just not possible for a large batch whiskey to come out at exactly 57% ABV repeatedly. That said, because this is fairly young whiskey I doubt that the actual proof of each undiluted batch is much higher than 57% ABV. This is just a standardization process used to establish the name and identity of this particular product. For all intents and purposes Old Grand-Dad 114 is approximately barrel strength.

about one year ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor Fair enough. It tastes good just the way it is, barrel proof or not.

about one year ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

I have an idea here, a reason to understand one of the prime reasons why price is not an issue for me with respect to evaluating whiskies: I have bought and opened so many bottles that at any given time I am usually pretty far away from even thinking about the purchase price of this or that whisky. When I look at a line-up of 100 things I might take a sip of tonight, I do not give a millisecond's thought to what each one of them cost. Price becomes a distant memory unassociated with the immediate and very vivid experience of actually smelling and drinking the stuff.

about one year ago 2Who liked this?

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor True. My eagerness to drink from a bottle is in part based on my mood, , the setting, and how easy it will be for me to replace the bottle, not how much it cost.

about one year ago 0

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