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  1. #21
    Taster
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    New Hampshire
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    88

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

    As I really like Beam Black I was excited to try the new 12 yo Signature. I got a bottle of the black at the same time and have been doing some comparisons. On the delivery I find the Signature has a lot more definition to the sweet notes. Instead of a general corn sweetness as the Black initially has, the signature has more defined notes of sweet caramel and vanilla and even some fruit. There is a complexity and distinct quality at mid palate that the Black doesn't have. On the finish, my experience is different than BB Babington's. I get a longer, more satisfying finish on JB Black. There is more oak, char and the distinctive cola note which altogether make up a finish that I've only found only in JBB bourbon- and have come to enjoy very much.
    So which expression is better?
    Well they're both great IMHO.
    The Signature is more refined, complex, and a bit lighter, especially on the finish. It also has a sweeter, more appreciable nose. But the JBB holds its own with its own "signature" taste, especially in the finish. I actually like that it is just a bit rougher around the edges with more char and the touch of wood bitterness in the finish.
    I paid $37 for the Signature and $21 for the Black. That's a reasonable premium to pay for the extra 4 years. As some have pointed out, some whiskeys really head skyward in price for just a couple extra years of aging.
    But overall, I have to say that with value taken into consideration, JBB is hard to beat. It remains my favorite whiskey in the Beam line up. I hope it doesn't get crowed out. As it is, a lot of folks talk about the White label as an entry level and skip right over the Black to Knob Creek- usually as a good example of premium moderately priced Bourbon. Can't argue with that. But the 8 yo lower proof JBB hits the sweet spot for me.
    Last edited by Merrymash Monk; 10-16-2013 at 13:12.

  2. #22
    Novice
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    2

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

    Just appeared on shelves here in NorCal, $31.99. I'm much more curious about it at that price point.

  3. #23
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Harrisburg, Oregon
    Posts
    424

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

    I'm a known Beam apologist but I'd be all over that for $30.

    Thanks M.M. for the side-by-side. It really gave me an idea of what to expect.

  4. #24
    Connoisseur
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    MS
    Posts
    671

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

    I got a bottle of the one with the brandy earlier this week but haven't had a chance to crack it open yet. I also felt that the price was reasonable for a try.
    - H

  5. #25
    Guru
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Commonwealth of KY
    Posts
    3,159

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

    I've yet to see the Brandy anywhere. Would probably give her a go, as I do enjoy the 12 yo.

  6. #26
    Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    373

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

    I bought a bottle of the Brandy a month ago. I really like the Spanish Brandy I've had and I really love bourbon, so I thought this was going to work. However, it was a little too sweet - not cloying but a little off. I haven't revisted the bottle since.

    When I get a chance, I'll sit down with it this week and post some better notes/thoughts. For now, you have to go off the fact that I opened it over a month ago, had one drink and haven't touched it since.
    Justin

  7. #27
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,057

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

    Dolph, just top up with the regular 12 (or adjust as you like in a different proportion) and you will surely get the balance exactly right.

    Gary

  8. #28

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

    Quote Originally Posted by B.B. Babington View Post
    I'm not sure why more folks aren't talking about these. I'm sipping both now, and enjoying them.

    I pulled out an 8 yo black label distilled about the same time as the 12 yo. Color near identical. 12 yo had little more nose. 12 yo was like the 8 yo but more depth, more richness, longer stronger aftertaste. It's not like the makers vs makers 46 where ya just about need to sip side-by-side to notice difference. I wish Beam would do more with age, perhaps I could get more excited by Beam products if they did. I'd love to try this in a 16 yo barrel proof! Makes me wonder if an 18 yo would develop more interesting complexity like ya find with other older whiskey/whisky and which is generally lacking in Beam products.

    The Brandy Craft is an interesting attempt at complexity. I know it's more likely marketing ploy rather than real attempt to produce great product, but it is an interesting attempt at something unique that a whiskey drinker might like, rather than adding cherry or maple or some such nonsense.
    Does anyone else agree with the comment about needing a side by side tasting to differentiate between MM vs 46? I sure don't find the difference so subtle.

  9. #29
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    12,570

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

    Just an FYI, the Beam Spanish Brandy is not 12-year-old bourbon. It's NAS but they tell me it's about 6-years-old.

  10. #30
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    9,057

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

    Then the 12 would improve it all the more.

    Gary

 

 

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