Saturday, December 3, 2011

8 Years of Love: Jim Beam Black

Two generations of Beam family distillers: Booker Noe and Jim Beam
“All choices lead you somewhere.
Bold choices take you where you’re supposed to be.” – Jim Beam

Owned by Beam Inc. and produced in Clermont, Kentucky, Jim beam, as is easily noticeable, is one of the best selling bourbons in the world. Ever since its inception in 1795 Jim Beam has served seven generations of Beam family heritage as well as the “interim” period of prohibition, the name actually deriving from James B. Beam who rebuilt the business after prohibition.  Originally, at its inception, Jim Beam was produced by Johannes “Reginald” Boehm (changing to “Beam” after his immigration from Germany in the 18th century) who produced a corn whiskey under the name of Old Jake Beam at the Old Tub Distillery.

Coming out of the huge inventory in the Beam family lineup, Jim Beam Black is one of those overlooked bourbons – most likely due to its easy availability. Jim Beam Original, as with most bourbons, are generally aged 4 years. These extra four years in Black transforms an OK bourbon into Jim Beam Black: something quite enjoyable in its own right. And as I have come to know this bottle better, my first time harsh opinions have come undone.

Jim Beam Bourbon Black Review:

Price: Around $17.99 for a 750ml bottle.

Packaging/Labeling: All the trappings of a large branded bourbon. I always love a square bottle though!

Alcoholic Content: 86 Proof, 43% ABV. 

Nose: Subtle grain, oak, and sweet pistachio. A distinct corny earth quality with some cherry cola on the back.

Tasting: Oaked corn and grain is prominent in the introduction. Turns into a very discerning Liquorice and spice flavor. Nicely robust for 86 proof. Wonderful lasting sweet finish.

Conclusion: Both the nose and the palette are very distinct. The nose could possibly be more discerning, yet what can be done about that? The palette is rather enjoyable and unique from many of the standard bourbons – that liquorice is just wonderful, and I don’t generally care much for liquorice. For the price point and quality (possibly one of the best deals in the bourbon industry – remember: 8 Years!) this is a great whiskey for added flavor to cocktails or, as I used it, a short a nice weekend at the beach!


  1. This is my fav I think it tast better then higher priced counterparts

  2. Love woodford but this is almost as good and so much cheaper love it