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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Northwest of Peoria

    Re: BOTM, 6/07: Jim Beam Black

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    ...I have other information that says Beam only has the two different mash bills, but also makes the Beam mash bill with a different yeast and it's that whiskey which they bottle as KC and Baker's, as well as some cats and dogs like Old Crow and Old Taylor, but my authority for the "second yeast" theory is not great.
    I dug out a bottle of booker's and the neck tag claims "Baker's Bourbon utalizes a special strain of jug yeast that has been in Baker's family for over sixty years"

    So, if your "second yeast" theory is correct with respect to those cats and dogs and Knob creek that certainly makes thing interesting. We all seem to agree that Booker's and Beam Black are closer to each other than KC is to either. So, maybe it isn't just age, barrel selection and warehouse location, its the yeast.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    North Shore Boston, MA

    Re: BOTM, 6/07: Jim Beam Black

    Haven't checked in for a couple months -- happy to see this choice for BOTM.

    Like one of the other posters, the only time I really drink JBB is on United Airlines overseas flights (though I have a bottle on the shelf for my brother-in-law.)

    Nonetheless, in my great unpublished bourbon tasting map, Jim Beam Black is my "reference bourbon" -- not because I prefer it over others, but because it is so middle-of-the-road in so many ways. I can compare other pours as more or less oaky, more or less sweet, more or less corn on the nose, more or less burn on the tongue or throat, more or less complex, darker or lighter, etc. (For the price, BT would be my flagship, but it's too far on the "good" side of those characteristics to be a good reference point.)

    To those who stay away because Jim Beam White is swill -- there is something in the extra aging that takes the edge off the "spray paint" aromatics in the white label. I've never identified kinship between the Black and the SBC (though I must confess that I find KC and Booker's overrated, Baker's underrated, and BH a whole different beast...)

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Re: BOTM, 6/07: Jim Beam Black

    Agreed that JBB is somewhat middle-of-the-road. It is an excellent reference point for other whiskeys, and a much cheaper way than the mid- and top-shelf stuff to get people interested in bourbon. I have used it in a beer I make in the winter, an Imperial porter with bourbon and vanilla added, because it doesn't have a dominant spicy, or sweet, or oak, or fruit flavor. It's just a balanced whiskey.

    This is also an example, unfortunately, of a bourbon that is ruined as soon as you taste previous incarnations. The 101-month version from decades gone by is so outstanding (one of my favorite whiskeys ever - wish I had more than 600 mL left) that it makes the current version look dull. Even the 7 yr/90 proof is a better drink, IMO.

    But, I like to keep JBB for mixing on occasion, and as a pour to offer neat either as part of a tasting or as an example of the transition from mid-shelf to top-shelf. Also, my father-in-law loves it, and it's not as high-proof as some others I like (which he won't drink). For $17, it's hard to argue with.

  4. #44
    Administrator in exile
    Join Date
    Aug 2002

    Re: BOTM, 6/07: Jim Beam Black

    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery View Post
    Booker's is not SB.

    Basil Hayden is, in effect, Old Grand-Dad, so it has about twice as much rye in it as Jim Beam does, and uses a different yeast.

    I've always understood that Jim Beam makes two bourbons, the high-rye one that is OGD and BH, and another that is everything else, which would mean Beam white, Beam black, KC, Baker's and Booker's are all the same whiskey, just at different ages and proofs and with different profiles. However, I have other information that says Beam only has the two different mash bills, but also makes the Beam mash bill with a different yeast and it's that whiskey which they bottle as KC and Baker's, as well as some cats and dogs like Old Crow and Old Taylor, but my authority for the "second yeast" theory is not great.
    When we took a tour of JB a few years ago, they confirmed that there were only two mashbills, and that JBW, JBB and the Small Batch collection were all of one mashbill, but they said that they altered the operation of the still for the small batch whiskeys. If that's true, then they do pre-determine what whiskey will be a Small Batch, at least to an extent.

  5. #45
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999

    Re: BOTM, 6/07: Jim Beam Black

    Well, I wonder what "altered the operation of the still" means?

    When the Small Batch started, they didn't pre-determine. A few years ago they started to, but I am under the impression that is primarily about wood management. In other words, they decide a barrel is going to be Knob Creek, thus aged at least nine years, and they place it in the warehouse accordingly. That doesn't mean the distillate is any different.

    That probably was the same tour I was on, a very good one. I don't recall that exact exchange. One thing I recall learning on that tour is that their best whiskey is made at Clermont. What is made at Boston is used only for JBW and the bottom-shelfers like Old Crow.

  6. #46
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Toronto, Canada

    Re: BOTM, 6/07: Jim Beam Black

    I would think it means, the still is adjusted so the distilling-out proof is different than for non-Small Batch products. But higher or lower? I would guess the former.


  7. #47
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    San Francisco Bay Area

    Re: BOTM, 6/07: Jim Beam Black

    A couple pours of JBB. I was at a wedding and it was offered alongside JD and JBW. It's a nice balanced Whiskey...doesn't make me go wow, but pretty good for $16 or so. Much better than the two bottles it was next to. I can only imagine that the older higher proof offerings would have been a bit better. Lets just hope the proof doesn't drop any more.
    Bob O.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Rochester, NY

    Re: BOTM, 6/07: Jim Beam Black

    Marketview Liquor in Rochester is selling a 1 ltr bottle JBB for $22.99! After reading the postings here, I was already to buy a bottle and try it out. Instead, I spent an extra buck and bought a bottle of Eagle Rare SB 10 (750ml).

    Maybe next time.

    Crabgrass can grow on bowling balls in airless rooms, and there is no known way to kill it that does not involve nuclear weapons.
    Dave Barry

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Bossier City, La.

    Re: BOTM, 6/07: Jim Beam Black


    This is my first post. I've not taken a drink of alcohol since 1979! It was 5 cans of Budweiser in 30 minutes, LOL.
    OK, on to JBB. I'm trying to start taking a nip of good Whiskey every night for my health. Seriously. I chose JBB. I poured 2 oz into a glass with chilled bottled water. 4 oz. water, btw.
    I could only smell liquor, my experience being nil, compared to all of you. I managed to drink it, but being so accustomed to Diet Coke, it tasted hot and strange. I noticed a burning sensation in my stomach.
    I'll maybe try it over crushed ice for tomorrow's nightcap. Sorry for not being more helpful, but I'm learning from all of you.


  10. #50
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Re: BOTM, 6/07: Jim Beam Black

    Simply giving up the diet coke (and all soft drinks) would likely be much healthier that having a nightcap of bourbon every night.

    There is no way having a pour every night is going to make up for a lifetime of cracklins, boudin, and fried oyster po boys.

    Whiskey is about enjoying life in the now.
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

    As long as you have good whiskey you're not "unemployed", you're "Funemployed!!!"

    I'm no Pappyophile



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