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Thread: Booker's Oddity

  1. #1
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    Booker's Oddity

    Maybe this belongs with specialty bottlings.

    A couple of days ago I cleaned out some old stock Booker's. The last few bottlings have all been very close to the 6 year end of the 6-8 year range for this bourbon, and I've found them a little lesser in quality than previous editions.

    At any rate, I snagged two bottles with identical batch numbers but different information. Both were B95-C-31. The first bottle was listed as 7 yrs, 3 mos and 126.6 proof. The second was 8 yrs, 5 months and 126.8 proof.

    So I've long thought the Booker's batch number was the most meaningful of the batch numbers Beam puts on its products. But these are clearly from two different batches, despite the identical number.

    It occurs to me that since batch numbers seem to mostly refer to a bottling run, there could be two batches bottled at the same time at different ages and proofs. Or, there could have been a couple of single barrels that worked their way into the pipeline in 2002-2003. Other thoughts as to why this might be?
    Last edited by TBoner; 03-26-2008 at 15:32.

  2. #2
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    Re: Booker's Oddity

    It's feasible that the batch number on Booker's is the distilling batch and not the bottling batch. If this is so, then what you have it two bottles from the same distilling batch that were bottled 1 year and 2 months apart.

    Another possible explanation is that the batch numbers are bogus...either way, Beam is pretty tight lipped and we are unlikely to get an answer.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Booker's Oddity

    Timothy,

    That's a good possibility as the 95 seems to correspond to a likely distillation date based on other bottlings I have. As you say, though, Beam ain't gonna tell us.

    If in fact it's the same distillate a year and two months apart, a side-by-side is in order. Indeed, if the bottles are close or identical in flavor, it will provide a nice example of how different barrels and batches can age differently and how one might bottle to a flavor profile regardless of age.

  4. #4
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    Re: Booker's Oddity

    Quote Originally Posted by TBoner View Post
    Maybe this belongs with specialty bottlings.

    A couple of days ago I cleaned out some old stock Booker's. The last few bottlings have all been very close to the 6 year end of the 6-8 year range for this bourbon, and I've found them a little lesser in quality than previous editions.

    At any rate, I snagged two bottles with identical batch numbers but different information. Both were B95-C-31. The first bottle was listed as 7 yrs, 3 mos and 126.6 proof. The second was 8 yrs, 5 months and 126.8 proof.

    So I've long thought the Booker's batch number was the most meaningful of the batch numbers Beam puts on its products. But these are clearly from two different batches, despite the identical number.

    It occurs to me that since batch numbers seem to mostly refer to a bottling run, there could be two batches bottled at the same time at different ages and proofs. Or, there could have been a couple of single barrels that worked their way into the pipeline in 2002-2003. Other thoughts as to why this might be?
    You know what? I might be able to find an answer ... might not, too, but I'll try. (Work with Beam. We'll see.)

  5. #5
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    Re: Booker's Oddity

    Okay gang, I did some digging and got this straight from Fred Noe himself. (There are some advantages to working with Beam Global.)

    The group of barrels in question is from the Boston (Ky.) plant on March 31, 1995 (B95-C-31). This group of barrels had some barrels in three different batches of Booker's. So there are different batches dumped on a given day. The batch stickers reflect the youngest barrels in the dump of a batch. However, barrels are dumped with a range of ages (not a wide range, but certainly not all the same) so a given dump can produce a different proof than the last.

    So the B95-C-31 is the date of the dump, not strictly the specific batch.

    Hope that clears it up.

    Jason
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    Jason Falls
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  6. #6
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    Re: Booker's Oddity

    Nice work, Jason.

    Do you know anything about Fred going to Germany?
    I spoke to Brett from Binnys today asking if Fred was going to be at their Whiskeyfest event and he said he will not be attending as he will be in Germany.
    Apparently Jimmy Russell is going to be in Germany too??

    So what's happening in Germany this time of year?

    Scott
    "I feel sorry for people who don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day" - Frank Sinatra

  7. #7
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    Re: Booker's Oddity

    Thanks, Jason. Interesting. I imagine this is something we haven't noticed before because a shipment/case that's all stocked at once is probably usually from a single dump, so to speak.

  8. #8
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    Re: Booker's Oddity

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonFalls View Post
    The group of barrels in question is from the Boston (Ky.) plant on March 31, 1995 (B95-C-31). This group of barrels had some barrels in three different batches of Booker's. So there are different batches dumped on a given day. The batch stickers reflect the youngest barrels in the dump of a batch. However, barrels are dumped with a range of ages (not a wide range, but certainly not all the same) so a given dump can produce a different proof than the last.

    So the B95-C-31 is the date of the dump
    , not strictly the specific batch.
    These two statements are contradictory.

    If the first, then it would be the distilling date of those barrels, not the dump date. They would then use this date to figure out the age of the youngest whiskey to write that on the label.

    I think the first sounds right. And this vibes with what I had guessed, though I forgot to take into account that these are Batch whiskies, so not everything is from the same distilling batch, but are instead made up of a number of different distillations to achieve a flavor profile.
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

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  9. #9
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    Re: Booker's Oddity

    Quote Originally Posted by HighTower View Post
    Nice work, Jason.

    Do you know anything about Fred going to Germany?
    I spoke to Brett from Binnys today asking if Fred was going to be at their Whiskeyfest event and he said he will not be attending as he will be in Germany.
    Apparently Jimmy Russell is going to be in Germany too??

    So what's happening in Germany this time of year?

    Scott
    Hey Scott,

    Fred is going to Germany sometime this spring (soon, I'm assuming, but I don't have dates) to do a market tour (tastings, talks with distributors, etc.), talk to the press there about Jim Beam and our other brands. To my knowledge, there's no specific event.
    ----------
    Jason Falls
    Father, Husband, Bourbon Fan
    (I work with Beam Global, but am here for conversation, not advertising.)

  10. #10
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    Re: Booker's Oddity

    Quote Originally Posted by barturtle View Post
    These two statements are contradictory.

    If the first, then it would be the distilling date of those barrels, not the dump date. They would then use this date to figure out the age of the youngest whiskey to write that on the label.

    I think the first sounds right. And this vibes with what I had guessed, though I forgot to take into account that these are Batch whiskies, so not everything is from the same distilling batch, but are instead made up of a number of different distillations to achieve a flavor profile.
    Turtle -- I'll try to get further clarification for you, but that was the explanation I got from Fred through one of the Beam Global folks.
    ----------
    Jason Falls
    Father, Husband, Bourbon Fan
    (I work with Beam Global, but am here for conversation, not advertising.)

 

 

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