Please forgive me if this comparison has already been discussed, but I wanted to share my Bourbon-experience of-the-week.
The other night, I had the opportunity to try the Jim Beam 7-Year (80 proof) for the first time, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It had really nice spice notes to it. Jake Parrott was one of the people with me at the time, and he remarked that it was just great "shot and a beer" Bourbon. A theory was brought up that it might just be diluted Bakers, which I thought was interesting (same age, after all).
Naturally, with the same proof, I had to try it up against "regular" Jim Beam, and to me there was no comparison: JB7 mopped the floor with the regular 4-year bottling, which seemed very weak in contrast.
So then, I tried the JB7 up against Jim Beam Black. Well, with 6 degrees higher proof and an additional year of age on it, not surprisingly the Black edged the JB7, but to me it wasn't a clear-cut knockout. There's definitely a place for both.
Sadly, at the present time, mine isn't one of the markets where the JB7 is regularly distributed, but I hope that this will change.
Anyone else as pleased as I am to discover the Jim Beam 7-year?