Here is another name that helped push the Bourbon market to what it is today. Booker’s Small Batch Bourbon is part of a collection of small batch Bourbons from Jim Beam. For many, us included, this along with Basil Hayden, Baker’s and to a lesser extent Knob Creek, were the first premium Bourbons we tasted. Before these Bourbons we thought jumping from Jim to Jack or even Crown Royal was the peak of whiskey indulgence. Like other Bourbons we have reviewed, it has been a long time since either of us have tried Booker’s.
Booker’s comes in a standard looking corked bottle, though at times we have seen it packed inside a wooden frame, with a Plexiglas front which seemed pretty cool. Reminiscent of a fire extinguisher box hanging on the wall in elementary schools. It is uncut so it is bottled at a high proof, falling between 121 and 130 depending on the barrel. Booker’s sells for around $55 for the 750 ML and seems to be generally available.
Ron: Some ethanol upfront probably due to the high alcohol content. Getting past that came some butterscotch, caramel and a raisin aroma.
Todd: Definitely smelled hot, also picked up on the caramel and raisin that Ron got but not the butterscotch. Beyond that a little bit of black fruit, some spice, clove and a real slight whiff of banana.
Ron: Very hot neat, needs a cube. Tasted what I got on the nose minus the butterscotch. Also got a bit of red fruit and an oaky flavor.
Todd: Yes, very hot, needs water or cubes or both. I didn’t really get a lot from this, a little caramel, a little cedar which is probably Ron’s oak, and a slight medicine taste.
Ron: Medium to long but not much different regarding taste.
Todd: I agree, maybe a little sweetness.
Ron: Yeah, I’ll give you that.
Ron: At over $50 a bottle I expect a little more. I would try some at a friend’s house or at a bar before I committed to a whole bottle.
Todd: The nose got me fired up but the taste and finish didn’t deliver. I feel like this is just Jim Beam Black at a higher proof.
Nose 4 out of 5
Taste 8 out of 10
Finish 3.5 out of 5
Total 15.5 out of 20 Barrels
Well, absence did not make the heart grow fonder. Both of us were disappointed in Booker’s, have our tastes changed that much? This was a bourbon that both of us used to really enjoy. Sad.
Our final thought is you should only buy this if just want to say you have a bottle. Booker’s just doesn’t stand up to the price tag.