Jim Beam Double Oak

                                                                   As readers of Talking Bourbon already know, we are keen on some of the juice made by the Jim Beam Distillery, Booker’s, Basil Hayden etc. We are decidedly not very keen on their flag ship brand Jim Beam White label. Today we are tasting Jim Beam Double Oak, which is the White label, aged the normal 4 years then put back into new fresh charred oak barrels for additional aging.

JBDO sells for around $22 for the 750ml and is widely available. It is bottled at 86 proof, sports a blue label and comes in a slightly more ornate screw top bottle than it’s White label cousin. As for the age, the White label, as mentioned before is aged 4 years or so. All we could find on the bottle and on their web site was that JBDO is aged in the new barrels to taste. We guess that means they have a certain taste profile, and when they get that, the aging is done. could be 2 months or 2 years, your guess is as good as ours.

So, is Jim Beam Double Oak an improvement over the crappy White label, or just a gimmick?

NOSE

Ron:  A somewhat elusive nose, I get certain aromas on one whiff, then they disappear on the next. When I did catch a scent, sweetness dominated. By this I mean Butterscotch, brown sugar, malt(think whoopers) and an aroma that reminded me of a Baby Ruth candy bar. Behind the sweetness I got a little wood and a slight bit of clove.

Todd:  Nothing really jumps out. Got a little corn and some other type of grain, some butterscotch, a bit of plum and a wet wood odor. Also got what I can only describe as a dusty smell.

TASTE

Ron:  Not a lot of flavors and a little hot for just 86 proof. I did get the brown sugar, malt, wood and a hint of that Baby Ruth that I mentioned on the nose. Add to that a little bit of spice.

Todd:  Not bad neat but I have to agree not much going on. The wet wood on the nose turned to a musty taste. I still got the grain along with the wood/oak that Ron picked up. I also found it to be sweet.

FINISH

Ron:   A medium-long finish with a slight bitterness.

Todd:  Medium finish with some hints of white pepper.

OVERALL

Ron:  While I did find it slightly better than Beam’s White label, there are a lot of other bottles I would buy at this price before I got to JBDO.

Todd:  The extra time in the barrel does give it a little more complexity than the White label. But as Ron stated, there is a whole lot of juice I would pick off the shelf before this.

Nose    3.25

Taste    7.5

Finish   3.75

Total score    14.5 out of 20 barrels

Well Jim Beam Double Oak was not a gimmick, it did taste better than the regular Jim Beam White. Having said that, it didn’t taste that much better. It is also a little too sweet and too low of a proof to make a good Bourbon cocktail. About the only thing this would be good for, because of the sweetness and low proof, is for people jut beginning to drink Bourbon neat or on the rocks.

Bottom line, there is a better stuff at this price point and below.

 

Bone Snapper Rye

bs                                                             We both thought we had reviewed Bone Snapper Rye previously as we have both tasted it multiple times. Only when a friend told us he  searched our blog for Bone Snapper to no avail, did we realize we had neglected this Rye that is quite poplar around here, especially with bartenders.

Bone Snapper Rye comes in a standard looking corked bottle with a quite unique label. It is bottled at a hefty 108 proof and sells for around the $35 mark, and, strangely, it is only aged for 2 years. Has a mash bill of 95% rye and 5% barley. The version we tasted for the blog was “Batch #2” where as the bottles on retailers shelves right now are “Batch #3”.  It is not everywhere but we have no problem finding it in the Indianapolis area.

How can you pass up a bottle called Bone Snapper, will it’s taste live up to the name?

NOSE

Todd:    Very big nose of Rye dominated the sense. Way behind that were slight aromas of cedar, cinnamon, leather and a very light fruity, citrus like smell.

Ron:   I liked this nose with its big hit of Rye and sorghum. Secondary to those were scents of cedar, spice, tobacco and  just a hint of honey and citrus.

TASTE

Todd:  Definitely has a kick that can be expected from a 108 proof Rye. Still got the Rye over all else. Behind that lurked hints of anise, white pepper, and a musty aroma that reminded me of old wood. Which is odd for a juice only 2 years old.

Ron:   Oooh, that is real hot neat. I didn’t get a lot of stuff on the tongue, some spicy Rye followed by citrus, anise and slight tastes of cinnamon, tobacco and some bitterness.

FINISH

Todd:   Medium with not much change, some heat with some more mustiness and maybe a touch of mint.

Ron:   Medium-long with a nice burn and a bit more bitterness.

OVERALL

Todd:   Was somewhat underwhelmed. I didn’t get much complexity, not that I expected a 2 year old to be real complex.

Ron:  Decent juice but not the first Rye I would buy.

Nose    3.5 out of 5

Taste    7.25 out of 10

Finish    3.5 out of 5

Total score      14.5 out of 20 Barrels

Well we guess you can’t judge a book by it’s cover, or in this case a bottle of Rye by it’s name and presentation. We expect any Whiskey selling upwards of $35 to offer a little more. Moreover, why the premium for such a young Rye? To be fair, it holds its own in a cocktail but most of that comes from the higher proof which lets it stand up to mixers and ice.

Unless you find it at a greatly reduced price, our final verdict would be to kindly pass on Bone Snapper Rye.