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  1. #1
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    7 or 8 YO Jim Beam

    I noticed in the store they have two different white labels, 4 and 7YO. Plus there is the Black. Is the Black just a year older? Any other differences? I don't understand why they'd have a 7 and an 8 because the spread in time is so narrow.

  2. #2
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    Re: 7 or 8 YO Jim Beam

    I noticed in the store they have two different white labels, 4 and 7YO. Plus there is the Black. Is the Black just a year older? Any other differences? I don't understand why they'd have a 7 and an 8 because the spread in time is so narrow.
    I guess you must be in Kentucky, because I think that's the only place that the seven-year old white label is sold.

    I get to Kentucky occasionally and have wondered about it as well, but have never picked up a bottle. I've done a search here but the only references have not mentioned taste or other impressions.

    Just to further confuse the issue, Beam also makes the green label "Beam's Choice," which, according to Jim Murray in his 1998 Classic Bourbon, Tennessee and Rye Whiskey, is an unstated five years old. He also writes in the same book that the additional six months over the white label makes an extrordinary difference.

    However, in his Whisky Bible 2005, he writes that the four-year-old white label Beam "has improved enormously in recent years." I couldn't say, as it's been years since I've had it.

    However, given the lack of feedback here on the seven-year and the abundant (and well-deserved, IMO) praise for the Black Label, I suspect that the seven-year isn't anything to write home about. Besides, Beam doesn't make much effort to distinguish it from the four-year-old.

    But to those of you who are familiar with it, let me second Fogfrog's request for impressions of it.

    Jeff

  3. #3
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    Re: 7 or 8 YO Jim Beam

    I initially tried the 7YO in KY but now I am in KS and it is here too. There are two white labels, 7YO and 4YO and there is 8YO.

    Now I found the 7YO white label something I liked on the rocks. I also tried Old Crow which I understand is like 4YO. It was a bit rough. However it seems odd to have this 7YO and 4YO white labels which are not that simple for the untrained eye to distinguish. And its not just KY like I said, I am seeing this in Kansas too.

    Paul

  4. #4

    Re: 7 or 8 YO Jim Beam

    ...I guess you must be in Kentucky, because I think that's the only place that the seven-year old white label is sold.
    All four ages -- white-label 4- and 7yo, green 5yo ("Choice"), and black-label 8yo -- are available here in Tennessee, too.
    Also confusing is that the green "Choice" label used to be 8 years old, and the Black used to be both a 7yo/90 proof AND an 8yo/90 proof.
    The current white-label 7yo is 80 proof like the 4yo, while the black-label 8yo is 86 proof. To me, at least, the 7yo appears simply to be a longer-aged 4yo with the same taste profile, while the 8yo is a fruitier, deeper drink.

  5. #5
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    Re: 7 or 8 YO Jim Beam

    So I take it you like the 8YO Black better than the 7YO White. I think it was a dollar more for a 750ml for the Black thats why I got confused what would be the big difference a year would make. aging 1/7th more doesn't seem so significant. Maybe the Casks are different? Or they add something to the black to make it taste different? I don't know enough about Bourbon (yet) to know what makes them different characters from each other. On the net, the Black is described merely as aged longer. Evidently its not just that.

    I am gathering it takes time to learn how to appreciate the better bourbons? I wouldn't know what to look for in the taste.

    I thought the 7YO White Label was excellent on the rocks, sweet and easy to drink. Now I am mixing diet coke or diet 7up/sprite with Evan Williams Black Label and finding it to be quite hearty and warm and bourbony tasting for sure.

    My wife has this decanter and wanted to put something in it so I obliged with part of my Half Gallon of Evan Williams. It looks so nice and dark.

    Evan Williams black label on the rocks is a little rougher than the Jim Beam white label 7YO I believe. Has more Bourbon Taste and is a lot darker in color.

    Do you know if the Black Label beam is a darker color than the White Label 7YO? Is darkness an indicator of depth?

    I guess until I drink each next to each other, there's no tellin.

    Learning Bourbon seems more fun to me than learning wine.

    Paul

  6. #6
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    Re: 7 or 8 YO Jim Beam

    Hi Paul,
    Learning Bourbon seems more fun to me than learning wine.

    Damn Straight!
    Ed

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    Re: 7 or 8 YO Jim Beam

    Hello again Paul,
    Or they add something to the black to make it taste different?
    By law nothing can be added to bourbon, except water to cut to the desired proof. What comes out of the still goes into the barrel and from there it goes into the bottle. That is an over simplification, but hang out here long enough and you will get the hang of it.
    Ed

  8. #8
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    Re: 7 or 8 YO Jim Beam

    However, in his Whisky Bible 2005, he writes that the four-year-old white label Beam "has improved enormously in recent years." I couldn't say, as it's been years since I've had it.
    I hadn't actually bought any in several years, but I had some Beam white label at a Halloween party recently and I thought it was much better than I remembered it from before. Next time I need a bottle of bourbon for punch or something I may get one and compare it to some other bourbons.

    By the way, that Old Crow is actually the same whiskey as Jim Beam but at three years old. Jim Beam now owns the Old Crow brand, and my understanding is that they use the same mashbill (i.e., recipe) for that as for their other brands like Jim Beam, Beam's Choice, Knob Creek, Baker's, and Booker's. The barrels they choose for Old Crow may not be the best---they may save the better barrels for their eponymous brand---but they pour so many barrels for Jim Beam white label that real tight monitoring of barrel-to-barrel flavor variations is probably not possible. Maybe they use certain warehouses for Old Crow and others for Jim Beam, which could result in some difference in flavor profile, beyond the difference due simply to another year in the wood.

  9. #9
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    Re: 7 or 8 YO Jim Beam

    However, in his Whisky Bible 2005, he writes that the four-year-old white label Beam "has improved enormously in recent years." I couldn't say, as it's been years since I've had it.
    I hadn't actually bought any in several years, but I had some Beam white label at a Halloween party recently and I thought it was much better than I remembered it from before. Next time I need a bottle of bourbon for punch or something I may get one and compare it to some other bourbons.

    Well, I will say that the White Label 7YO is pretty good. I have not had the 4YO. The 7 YO I had on the rocks and couldn't get enough of it. I moderated though LOL. Thats what turned me on to Bourbon. Thats why I am so curious whats the difference between the 7YO White Label and the 8 YO Black Label. Because I like the White Label so much. The 8YO only costs a buck more for a 750ml I believe. A buck for a year. I guess I'll need to buy some of each and do a side by side and find out whats the difference.

  10. #10
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    Re: 7 or 8 YO Jim Beam

    Here in Oklahoma, we have a more limited selection, and as such I was unaware that there was a 7yr old white label. The 4 year old is unsuitable for drinking in my opinion, but would make a dandy paint brush cleaner. The Beam Black is a wonderful, fruity and even somewhat complex drink. I have been having a hard time reconcilling these two, believing that there had to be more than just a few proof points and four years in the wood to explain the differences. The 7 year sounds like a missing link, but still closer to the 4yr white than the black.

 

 

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