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  1. #1
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    Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Year and Rare Spanish Brandy

    signaturecraft.png

    We just posted our review of the new Jim Beam Signature Craft offerings.

    These will be out in August 2013, $39.99 a piece at 86 proof. The 12 year is very much Jim Beam and will definitely appeal to existing Jim Beam drinkers looking to step up, but not interested in many of the big bold whiskies in the premium space. The Rare Brandy is an interesting experiment, but not as good as the 12 year. One thing to note is that Jim Beam went with screw tops for these, which is nice as there's no cork impact which seems to plague many of the premium bourbon releases that use natural cork.

    Would love to hear your thoughts on our review.

    Geoff

  2. #2
    Bourbonian Of The Year 2013 and Guru
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    Re: Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Year and Rare Spanish Brandy

    Not sure how many premium bourbon releases are "plagued" by their use of natural cork. You reference the premium whiskies PVW, GTS, and PHC in your review, but I have not heard of problems associated with their use of cork. Certainly, there are personal preferences for and against the use of cork, which have been well discussed here on SB. And, there is always the potential for tainting in poorly stored bottles utilizing cork. But, I don't see where there's "...cork impact which seems to plague many of the premium bourbon releases that use natural cork." Though, we'll probably begin to see this problem increase, as Robert Parker's wine fans begin to horizontally store their newly hoarded cork closed premium bourbons in their wine cellars.
    JOE

    Wag more.
    Bark less.

    "Every bottle is its own learning experience." -- Sensei Ox-sama

  3. #3
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    Re: Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Year and Rare Spanish Brandy

    Honestly my experience with Cork issues is more on the Scotch whisky side. I had a legendary bottle of Highland Park that I was offered a dram out of, only to find that the cork had totally disintegrated into the spirit...

  4. #4
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    Re: Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Year and Rare Spanish Brandy

    How does the 12 compare with Knob Creek? If it ends up at $40 around here it will be a little bit more than regular KC and a little less than KC single barrel. I really like the KC single barrel so the 12 would have to be pretty darn good for me to pick it over the KCSB.

    How does the spanish brandy finish compare with Angel's Envy, or the PHC Cognac finish? I know they are not finished in the same type of liquor, but they are the only comparables I can think of off hand.

    On the screw top issue: I'm split. The pragmatic side of me knows that a screw top is superior to a cork in every way. But my romantic side really likes popping the cork off when I open a bottle; and corks generally look cooler, and I haven't had any problems with them.

  5. #5
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    Re: Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Year and Rare Spanish Brandy

    IowaJeff. I like Knob Creek better, it's denser with more body and character. Having said this, Signature Craft is much more "Jim Beam", it's something I think wil really appeal to the traditional Jim Beam drinker. For my money, I'm a big fan of the Knob Creek Rye.

    In terms of the Spanish Brandy, it's finished by ADDING brandy into the bourbon while Angel's Envy finishes it in Port barrels. I like barrel finishing much better, it integrates more and drives up the complexity. I think both Angel's Envy and Big Bottom Whiskey do a good job integrating port with bourbon. Same goes for PHC, although it took me a little while to warm up to that release.

    I agree with you about screw top, I like the feeling of cork. Brugal does a synthetic cork for their 1888 which is a nice middle ground.

  6. #6
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    Re: Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Year and Rare Spanish Brandy

    Very through review Geoff, I believe you covered the bases.

  7. #7
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    Re: Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Year and Rare Spanish Brandy

    Thanks Squire. I am working on putting together a Google Hangout with Fred Noe to talk about the releases (and to just talk Beam). Will keep you posted.

  8. #8
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    Re: Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Year and Rare Spanish Brandy

    Please do, I appreciate a review that gives me information rather than some generic tasting notes and an arbitrary numerical rating.

  9. #9
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    Re: Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Year and Rare Spanish Brandy

    yeah number ratings are complete BS. We used to have star ratings but those aren't much better. Ultimately I see my job as giving readers as much info as I can about the spirit, my thoughts about it and the context for the release. But I know we can always do better, so I'm always open and interested in feedback and/or letting us know when we say something dumbass or miss the mark (it does happen).
    Geoff Kleinman, Editor - Drink Spirits

  10. #10
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    Re: Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Year and Rare Spanish Brandy

    Thanks for the follow up RE Knob Creek comparisons. Sounds like the 12 is more of an extension of JB Black rather than Knob Creek. I'll probably give it a try if I see it around here. I don't know about the brandy one. I'll see if I can procure a taste of that before I shell out any $$ for it.

 

 

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