So I had an utterly miserable experience a few weeks ago with a bottle of Baker's and I wanted to get some expert opinions. Two weeks ago we had a get together with about 6 other people and did a pretty large bourbon tasting. Everyone brought a bottle to tast blind, and I decided that I would bring a bottle of Baker's. I knew the other guys had never tried it before, and I thoroughly enjoyed the one bottle that I purchased previously and was anxious to try it again. The first bottle i bought, I remember, took a day or so to really open up, but it had this great "Twinkie" vanilla creme note to it that I had never encountered before that I really loved. I also am a big fan of Bookers, and enjoy Knob Creek as well.
So fast forward to the blind tasting. We had gone through three different pours by the time I opened the bottle. Upon removing the cork I was immediately presented with an extremely off and funky nose. It seriously made me cringe. Hoping that it may just be my personal opinion, I poured a dram for everyone and handed out the glasses. I was not alone. We sat around describing the nose and there were comments that it smelled like manure, urinal cakes and composte. It took everything I had to even sip it at that point, hoping the palate would be substantuly better, but no, the offputting nose was too overwhelming. We all agreed that the palate wasn't bad, and that maybe the nose would improve after being open for a couple of days or a week. It did, but only slightly. This is nothing like the bottle of Baker's I remember having from before.
Now, I know I have read a lot here from folks about the underlying "Yeast Funk" of Jim Beam bourbons. I'm wondering if this is what everyone is talking about, maybe amplified for some reason. Could it possibly be a bad cork? I checked it and it looked ok to me. I realize every batch is going to fluctuate in flavor profile but this bottle was so extremely different I couldn't help but think that something else might be going on.