Incredible balance. Has a plethora of flavors both common and uncommon in bourbon. Flawless presentation.
Another Booker’s bourbon from the archive, this time from the beginning of 2017. Dubbed “Tommy’s Batch”, this batch was a roundtable selection, which essentially means that a number of well known industry people had a hand in selecting the barrels that comprise the batch alongside Master Distiller Fred Noe. Tommy’s Batch received runner up for Bourbon of the Year by both myself and Andrew in our 2017 Whiskey Awards, and it’s well past due time that it receive a full length proper review here.
- Distilled, aged, and bottled at the Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont, KY
- Mash Bill of 77% corn, 13% rye, 10% malted barley
- Aged at least 6 years at 4 months
- Bottled without filtration at full barrel proof 64.25% ABV (128.5 proof)
Nose: Caramel and sticky toffee with hints of dried cherries, honey, and wood vanillins. Further in is a fairly aromatic leather note – like it’s been sitting in the sun for awhile, and just a touch of candied fruit.
Palate: The arrival is full of notes both creamy and candied, before chewy baking spice notes develop and form a spice cake-like profile. As it further develops, more assertive flavors of toffee, caramel, and cinnamon graham cracker appear with subtle hints of char, fresh wood, brewed tea, and a touch of mint. A very mellow fruitiness underlines everything.
Finish: Initially very sweet with honey, maple, and toffee fading into caramel and vanilla alongside barrel char, baking spice, anise, and herbal tea. It’s a very refined experience with excellent balance. The finish is long even for Booker’s, and some faint earthy notes refuse to leave my tongue.
Buying Recommendation: Buy it now! This is Booker’s in its fullest glory, and if you see any bottles remaining, I’d pick it up over any batch that’s been released after it. This bourbon has something in it that almost every bourbon fan will appreciate; it is a balanced masterpiece of flavor. It hits notes from every part of the bourbon wheel, and even has some subtleties that I’ve rarely found in any other bourbon. While it delivers the big sweet and spice that Booker’s is known for, this batch has a refined side to it, and a unique balance that is just special.