The Jim Beam Harvest Collection is a limited release of six bourbons, each with a unique mashbill. All of the bourbons are at least 11yrs old and bottled at 90 proof. The collection offers a chance to experience the different flavors imparted by the use of a specific grain. The grains used are Triticale, Rye, Rolled Oats, Six Row Barley, Red Wheat, and Brown Rice. Rather than post separate reviews for each bourbon, I've chosen to compile the collection in a single review. Although some recipes are better than others, the collection is best sampled as a whole.
Nose: slight spice and rye notes. It manages to straddle a wheat and rye profile.
Taste: vanilla and light baking spice.
Finish: Slightly warming and some residual cinnamon spice.
Balance: overall an interesting sip, but lacks complexity. This would benefit from more oak influence. 80/100
Nose: Big rye spice and some barrel notes.
Taste: More rye and wood spice. Moderately complex.
Finish: Lingering rye and spice.
Balance: Enjoyable rye with a decent flavor profile. 82/100
Nose: Rye but not rye. This must be the oats. It reminds me a bit of beer made with sorghum. Slightly sour and with less pepper spice and more dill than rye.
Taste: Unique. Most definitely bourbon, but there is something new. I'm not sure if I enjoy this, but it isn't bad either. It definitely has an oaty character along with elements from the nose.
Finish: Warming and lingering flavors. There is also a bit of dryness and cola flavors. The finish is the best part of this one.
Balance: I've never had an oat centric bourbon, but I feel like this captures the nuances well. The flavors have transformed into something very different than traditional bourbon. It captures the star ingredient well and in that sense it is a success. 83/100
Six Row Barley
Nose: cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla, wood. Raisins and dates. Outstanding. Strong and multilayered. Sweet, spicy, and complex.
Taste: Wood and Spice forward. Tobacco and light smoke.
Finish: The barley shows up to create a soft and sweet finish with nutty malt character.
Balance: Not cohesive, but an excellent bourbon from start to finish. 86/100
Nose: Wheated bourbon spice, but could use some extra complexity. Very one note.
Taste: A welcome diversion from the nose. Great wheat profile. Spicy, chocolate, and sweet corn sugar.
Finish: Well mannered and smooth with a nice bit of wood and spice. Sweetness follows and lingers until the next sip.
Balance: A better nose would really have made a difference here. I tried adding water to bring it out, but it didn't change much. Still a very enjoyable sipper. 84/100
Nose: I like what brown rice does to this bourbon. Barrel char and baking spices. Something else too, grainy and layered with honey. It reminds me a little of sake.
Taste: Mellow and sweet. Incredibly easy to drink. Good wood flavors and more char notes.
Finish: Spice and warmth.
Balance: A nice all around bourbon. Not overly complex, but good in all the right places. 83/100
Final Thoughts: This collection is greater the sum of its parts. The variety offered in these 6 bourbons is only matched by the much pricier buffalo trace experimental collection. I was able to pick up these six 375ml bottles for around $25 each. The flavors were also brighter and deeper when i first opened them more than a year ago. I have duplicates of all six sealed and look forward to trying them all again in a few years.