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Jim Beam White Label


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BReview by @BourbonNorth1

6th Jan 2013


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Jim Beam is an absolutely iconic whiskey, and the distillery puts out some extremely good whiskey (Booker's Small Batch being a prime example). But how about their standard product? I've heard several times that it's a decent mixing whiskey, but to be honest I've never actually tried it myself (since I tend to prefer my whiskey by itself). Recently I was given a bottle, and was interested to see how such a famous whiskey would turn out.

Appearance: pale gold. I generally try not to read too much into colour though, so we'll see how it smells and tastes.

Nose: already this isn't boding well. The nose is weak and the flavours indistinct. Some vanilla, faint glimpses of honey, hints of wet oak, perhaps a touch of cooked apple. Not much else. Neither water nor time can bring out anything more.

Palate: the mouthfeel is incredibly thin and watery, and the flavors are even less intense than the nose. It's also what I would call 'blurry': nothing is distinct or stands out on its own. There are some woody notes, vanilla again, and very strong sweetness of honey and perhaps light caramel.

Finish: Almost absent. A faint, short oak taste and then gone.

Overall impressions: Though I've often heard this described as a 'mixing whiskey' I would have to say that I wouldn't use it in a cocktail myself- it's far too bland and unimpressive. In fact, that's a perfect way to succinctly describe it. It's not actually BAD - there's nothing actively unpleasant about it, certainly. But it's extremely uninteresting. Definitely one to avoid when you're at the liquor store.

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WhiskyBee commented

I enjoy your insightful and articulate reviews. I haven't had Beam in more than 30 years (last time was when I was drowning my sorrows on the night John Lennon was killed), and I wasn't exactly into nosing and tasting at the time. Thanks for the forewarning on this one. For a basic bourbon, I'll spend the extra 10 bucks on some Buffalo Trace.

10 years ago 0

BourbonNorth1 commented

Thank you very much, I'm glad the review was helpful. I'd definitely agree that spending the extra money to get a bottle of Buffalo Trace is worth it, it's a much more interesting whiskey to drink.

10 years ago 0

cheeserandyburg commented

Ughhh shivers. A couple of months ago (last year) I went to the local store to get some bourbon and single malts. As I got through the line and up to the cashier he looked up at me and said "this is some good stuff" (pointing at the Woodford Reserve in my hand). Moments later, he followed up by saying; "Great bourbon, a little pricey but very nice. I was out out of cash recently so I couldn't grab any, so, Instead I grabbed some Jim Beam. It was like drinking piss water bro" And those were his last words. I will never lay my hands on this stuff. Either this or the black label from them. Its harsh, rough and just terrible. If I'd have to give it a grade, I'd divide that 58 by 2. It's amazing these are the same guys associated with Knob Creek and Maker's mark. The difference is astonishing.

10 years ago 0

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