Whisky Connosr

Jim Beam Bonded 100 Proof

Three S&M Bourbons - Part I

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@talexanderReview by @talexander

13th Feb 2018


Jim Beam Bonded 100 Proof
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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I happen to have three bourbons on hand, all bottled in bond, begging to be reviewed. I can't remember if I've written about a bottled-in-bond bourbon before, so forgive me if I'm repeating what that means: a) all the juice comes from one distillery; b) all the juice was distilled within one distilling season; c) the bourbon is at least four years old; and d) it is bottled at 50% ABV (maybe there are more rules, if so let me know which ones I missed). So that's the bondage gear that bottled-in-bond bourbons are restrained by.

Our first one is Jim Beam Bonded, which is quite widely available and at a more than reasonable price for a 50% ABV bourbon. The label advertises it as a "pre-prohibition style of bourbon" and that it is a "perfect mixer in any classic American cocktail" (it was rather tasty in both a Vieux Carre and a Manhattan, I must admit).

The colour is a light maple. On the nose we get charcoal, charred oak, Twizzlers, burnt matchstick and lots of butterscotch. Underneath the butterscotch is heavily buttered popcorn, with peppery spice as the backbone. Baked apple and cinnamon, and some mint wafting through. There's a lightness to this as well with some balsamic and fennel riding a bit higher than the heavier corn / caramel notes. Water does little for the nose or palate, unfortunately. Lots of complexity and balance - the oaky straps are not too tightly bound on this one!

Surprisingly thin on the palate, but with a heavy charred oak character; also more mint, caramel and some cayenne heat. More vanilla on the palate than I got on the nose. Light brown sugar - but a lot of it, it is rather sweet. Tasty but becomes a bit cloying.

The finish is mostly corn, with the oak taking a back seat (a voyeur, if you will) with some bovril and leather eventually pulling up a chair. This is a decent, straightforward bourbon, with all the right notes but it doesn't quite go the extra mile for me. Definitely a step up from the standard Jim Beam White Label though.

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Victor commented

Beam never quite gives any details as to what "Pre-Prohibition style" means, either for this bourbon or for their Green Label 45% ABV "Pre-Prohibition Style" Rye Whiskey. I do not understand why they would make a point out of using this descriptor without explaining what it means.

You hit all of the important rules for Bottled In Bond status. One other requirement is that the whiskeys are stored in US federal government supervised warehouses.

6 years ago 2Who liked this?

talexander commented

Thank you - I knew that about the warehouse, but then again is that different than the usual warehouses? In other words, how are the warehouses with B-I-B barrels in them different from the other bourbon warehouses? Is some Fed hanging out there, quietly lurking between barrels?

6 years ago 0

Victor commented

As far as I know, I don't think that there is a government requirement for regular periodic inspection in most US whiskey warehouses. Some inspections may be done at non-BIB warehouses, but the degree of oversight is much smaller. I think that the US government keeps inventory of all of the specific individual barrels at the BIB warehouses, but not elsewhere.

6 years ago 0