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Jim Beam is the bestselling bourbon brand in the world - and is now owned by Fortune Brands, which also operates Maker's Mark. It started in the 18th century with Jacob Boehm, and the bourbon's namesake was Jacob's great-grandson. The Beam family connection still continues to this day - Booker Noe being Jim's grandson and pioneer of "small batch bourbon." Other Jim Beam brands include Baker's, Booker's, Basil Hayden, Knob Creek, etc.
Devil's Cut is actually a great marketing gimmick - playing off of the term "The Angel's Share", Devil's Cut uses the bourbon that has soaked into the oak during aging. Exactly how that is extracted, and how much of that is used, is anyone's guess. But it is fun to contemplate while sipping this interesting (but not quite successful) bourbon.
The colour is not as dark as you might think - a medium amber with straw highlights. On the nose, you get a burst of oak - lots of oak - with vanilla, cherry compote, brown sugar and dates, yet at the same time it seems a wee bit thin. Water brings out more of the corn and rye grains, which really adds to it.
The palate is again, very oaky - even slightly mouthdrying. Actually, the notes are very much what was apparent on the nose - lots of vanilla, dark fruit, deep brown sugar. Water adds a little cinnamon and cayenne but also thins out the other notes a little, unfortunately.
The finish is long and, well, very oaky (are you seeing a theme here?) but it does develop. However, the mouthdrying effects really take hold here, which I find a little unpleasant. Overall, this is an interesting bourbon in that this method has not, to my knowledge, been tried before. But I don't think it quite works as the oaky notes dominate the spirit far too much. It really works in a bourbon and coke, though, giving it an edgy, sharp flavour. Jim Murray rates this relatively high (89) but not once in his notes does he mention oak, which I find bizarre.