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Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Year Old

Average score from 2 reviews and 2 ratings 85

Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Jim Beam
  • ABV: 43.0%
  • Age: 12 year old

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Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Year Old

Nose: Lovely oak and some light spice undertones. The oak is the star of the show and is multidimensional. Barrel char, old wood, and green wood all join together in harmony.

Taste: Again the wood comes forward. In its wake you will find a great bourbon with a flavor profile in line with traditional Jim Beam. Well aged corn sweetens the batch and acts as a good counterpoint to the wood flavors.

Finish: Easy to drink and leaves a nice warming finish. Nothing wrong here, but nothing especially memorable.

Balance: A great example of the effects of barrel aging. The wood strikes a great balance and enhances the flavor profile beyond the standard Jim Bean fare.

Final Thoughts: This bourbon was first released as a limited edition. I'm happy to see that Jim Beam now offers it as a regular release. It is an affordable 12yr bourbon with solid flavor and it gets even better as the bottle opens up. This is something I will always keep in my cabinet, both for my personal enjoyment and to show friends a great example of a wood forward bourbon.


I was fascinated when I saw this Jim Beam 12 yo Signature Craft Bourbon, because Beam had always seemed to sell their whiskey with an age statement under 10 years. I own a bottle of this bourbon, but I am reviewing from a sample from @JeffC. The reviewed bottle has been open for 3 weeks and is 60% full

Nose: a very nice nose, strong intensity, with lots of vanilla, caramel, oak, and oak tannins. This is quite sweet overall, with just a hint of balancing sourness

Taste: this tastes like prototypical Jim Beam, only with stronger oak flavours, and a little extra sweetness. The oak is just at the tolerable upper limit...any more would be too much

Finish: the sweetness on the delivery continues, but the tannins from the oak just seem to build and take over the finish. This finishes oaky, and a little bitter

Balance: this is quite a pleasant bourbon, but this particular batch flirts with too much oak. For me it is just within the acceptable range of oak influence; others may find it already a bit too much. I was skeptical about this one because I consider 43% abv to be generally too low to give a satisfactory concentration of the flavours of bourbon. This Signature Craft 12 yo comes across as a fairly mild and mellow bourbon at 43% abv, but if it had the 50+% abv which I usually prefer, it is probable that that would further concentrate the wood influence and probably make it even more noticeable...and probably too much

Interestingly, a little water, which I am generally loathe to add to a 43% abv whisk(e)y, lessens the wood influence in both nose and mouth. Water added makes the palate unacceptably dilute

It will be interesting to see whether later batches of this one taste very similar. My guess is that most of them will be very close to this profile. The US pre-tax price point for this, $ 30-35 retail, $ 25 sale price, indicates to me just what I have already diagnosed: that I am tasting very standard very average barrels of Jim Beam, just aged 12 years, instead of 4 years or 8 years. So my advise is to stick to the previously available (other)'Small Batch' expressions of Jim Beam, rather than being tempted by a few extra years of age statement. Cherry-picked barrels trump three to six years of additional aging every time. This is not bad bourbon, far from it. It is quite enjoyable...but I'll take Booker's, Baker's, or Knob Creek Single Barrel in preference to it every time

I'm a big fan of the Booker's, and the knob creek single barrel. I will soon try Baker's, thanks to the generosity of connosr member who shall remain nameless.... so no telling @paddockjudge.... oops!

@Victor. Another honest review. I'll stay with the Jim Beams that I love at higher ABV. It sounds like it has the wood of the Devils Cut, That was too much wood.

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