View Full Version : Jim Beam Black Label
A subject in which we are all interested: good bourbon fairly priced. A new listing in Ontario qualifies, Jim Beam Black Label. Actually it's been available here before, off and on.
This is 8 years old and has a good deep bourbon flavor. It's similar in a way to Knob Creek and the other bourbons in the Beam range, but with its own stamp. Sometimes it seems somewhat fruity in taste to me. This current bottle less so, but still is well-balanced, good earthy bourbon. A luxury drink by any international standard, at a fair price.
For my recent vacation trip to China, I decided that I should pack in my own bottle of bourbon because I knew the pickings there would be thin. I was right.
Anyway, I chose Jim Beam Black Label. The bottle is shaped well for traveling, it's not cheap rotgut (nor fine sipping whiskey), it's got a screwtop, and it was only $13.99 for a 750!
Turned out to be a nice traveling whiskey. I didn't always have access to fresh spring/bottled water (I filtered my own hotel tap water), and ice can be touch-and-go. Sipped straight, it was pretty buttery and smooth for 14 bucks. Not harsh by any means, but the flavor is also a little underwhelming (as compared to the ORVW 10 y.o./107 proof I had the night before leaving the US http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif ).
Personally, I believe that it would a good introductory bourbon for some people. They surely won't be offended, and they could never complain that it's too strong/harsh/bourbony/whatever. And when purchased on sale, it's definitely worth the money.
However, I don't think I'll be buying another bottle in the near future. There are too many cheaper alternatives and too many superior brands in the same price range. But it will be nice to revisit it one day...
I like the stuff. back in 85 going to J.S.U. it was available at Ft. Mc.'s commisary. the good stuff was cheap so i could afford to slurge. it was 90 proof back then. now a keep a bottle on hand to taste Jim Beam product. i like Jacob's Well by them as well but its a hard find in Alabama.
Beam Black is a regular pour at my house. Good product, good price. It is also the only Bourbon they serve on United Airlines, which is good because it replaces Beam White.
I've always liked Jim Beam Black. It's essentially Booker's at a lower proof (and a much lower price). It's also more evidence that the people at Jim Beam know what they're doing. The product has been in their portfolio for years, but they're doing a terrific job of making it work for them in the current environment.
I have had one drink of it, at a hotel bar (The Plaza) in New York City. It was delicious!
Everything is hard to find in Alabama.
I have to say that I like Booker's better at Booker's proof. However, I had a little pour of Jim Beam Black last night after reading Gary's post here and I really enjoyed it, more than I expected. There is not much left in the bottle now so maybe some evening soon I will finish it off. I find that when I have several pours of the same whiskey it kind of grows on me. Most nights I drink several different bourbons and that is fun, too.
Jim Beam Black is one of the few bourbons I always have in the house (for casual opening, I mean), whether or not it is currently open.
I also generally find it darkly fruity, but not always. And, like others, I prefer the older 90-proof versions, but that's not to say I don't enjoy the current rendition. Definitely the premium bottling that says "Jim Beam" on the label.
Well put, Tim. Many of the bottles I've sampled from are "darkly fruity", exactly. Some aren't but are still good. The ones that lack fruit resemble quite closely a Booker's at 86 proof as Chuck C. said, or a Knob Creek. The fruity ones tend to show additional accents. Either way, a fine drink of whiskey, at a fair price.
Call me a heathen, I buy it buy the case & drink it with coke. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif( the only bourbon I drink with coke)
They do mix well together. as for the most part it is my bourbon of choice to mix with coca cola. Not Pepsi!Pepsi is too sweet. Now for a real cocktail try a Bufflo Rock Ginger Ale and Ezra Brooks Black.
Jim Beam Black is -let's say- my starting point. I like it very much, really. By the way, I feel the caramel flavour strongly whenever I drink it, is that right? Or maybe I don't properly know how to evaluate what I taste, yet...
I wish more bottles of Jim Beam Black label would stress the fruity palate. This is the old-time "bouquet" and taste of whiskey (as we see from another thread). It is the premium Beam whiskey signature - let's call it caramel/fruity - that I recall from 25 years ago. Some current bottles still have that taste, others less so. Of course whiskey can never be standardised 100% nor do we want it to be but I hope Beam will try to ensure this taste remains a feature of the Beam-brand palate, especially Black label. Possibly it comes from the mingling of many barrels: whatever the explanation I find it adds a lot to the whiskey and makes it go even better with Coke.
I tasted it once at a beverage show in Vegas and was not impressed. After reading this string I will have to give it another try. It would not be the first time that the second and sometimes third try brings out something overlooked.
At C$27.50 (LCBO pricing) I find Beam Black good at it's price point. At C$36 where it used to be, I'd rather have Buffallo Trace or spend a little more for Knob Creek or Elmer T. Lee.
Jim Beam black has always been one of my favorites, especially amongst the Beam brands. Even though it is more than the white label, it is easily worth it. It is reasonable enough in price to not feel guilty about mixing it( not that I ever feel guilty about mixing anything, because I don't) yet it is caliber enough to drink straight. Definitely one of my top 10 list bourbons!
A subject of some interest and mystery is the provenance of particular Beam products, especially the better bourbons including JB Black.
Huh? What? Don't they all come from Jim Beam?
Well, yes, but Jim Beam has two distilleries and about half-a-dozen different warehousing locations. (I'm not including Maker's in any of this since that's still an entirely separate operation.)
The "lore" of Booker's has it that the brand originally was created from Booker Noe's special, personal selection of bourbon made and aged at "his" plant, Boston in Nelson County. However, I have it on good authority that today's Booker's and every other top shelf bourbon Beam makes is distilled and aged at Clermont, in Bullitt County.
About a dozen or so people on this board got that information the same time I did.
The person who supplied this information was coming from a position of some self-interest, but was also very much in a position to know. I don't think he would have said such things in such a public forum out of sheer bluster. He didn't merely imply but stated outright that the whiskey produced at Clermont is superior to the whiskey produced at Boston.
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