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fishnbowljoe

BOTM 2/16: Baker's

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fishnbowljoe

Howdy everyone. We're back after a month hiatus. ;) FWIW, picking out a BOTM is getting harder and harder, so don't be alarmed if I/we miss a month here and there.

After looking back through past BOTM's, I finally decided to choose Baker's as this month's BOTM. Two reasons. One, it hasn't been done in a long time. And two, Jeff is back and posting again. He's the staff member that originally started the BOTM, and Baker's was a BOTM he did from way back in March of 2006. Glad to see you back Jeff. :D

Here's what Jeff originally posted back in 2006:

This month's selection doesn't seem to garner the same amount of discussion on the boards as does its more popular siblings, but don't take that as a sign of inferiority. Named for one of history's great distillers, Baker's is a proud and unique member of Beam's Small Batch Collection and proof that great bourbon can made by a mega distillery.

What is your opinion?

Not much from me again this time around. I like Baker's, but truth be told, I haven't had it in a while. It used to be my favorite of the Beam Small Batch,  but I've kinda taken to Knob Creek a bit more the last couple of years or so.

So that's it. Let's hear what y'all have to say about Baker's. 

Cheers! Joe

 

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GrPeMi

Uhhh...shouldn't the subject line be "2/16"?

I have a bottle of Bakers sitting around un-opened. Probably won't crack it 'til near the end of the month. Will check back in then.

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Paddy

I like anything Beam, and have always enjoyed Baker's.  As I've stated elsewhere on the site, Baker's is a fine bourbon.  IMO it always got caught between the standard KC and Booker's in the small batch collection.  With the emergence of KCSB, I, like many others, too often let this fine whiskey slip through the cracks, as the KCSB has become my go to for it's high age/proof/quality vs $ ratio.

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Thig

I like Baker's, it takes second only to Booker's in my house. 

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flahute

Funny that his take on it in 2006 is about the same as today: it gets lost in the discussion among its siblings in the Small Batch collection. Paddy's take on it is correct. When you have a 9 year barrel proof for less money on one side, and a barrel proof of about the same age for about the same price (depending on market) on the other side, it's easy to overlook this 7 year bourbon at 107 proof. I'm as guilty as anyone of doing this. And yet, every time I buy a bottle, I love it and declare my surprise at having waited so long to buy another. It brings a different flavor to the palate than the other two. For the price, it could use a label redesign. Current label indicates a brasher and cheaper whiskey than what it in the bottle. If they are going to charge $50 for it (again, depends on the market), the label should indicate something more classy and mature.

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smokinjoe
37 minutes ago, flahute said:

For the price, it could use a label redesign. Current label indicates a brasher and cheaper whiskey than what it in the bottle. If they are going to charge $50 for it (again, depends on the market), the label should indicate something more classy and mature.

Steve, at our GBS KCSB barrel selection in the Fall, our host shared that a label redesign was in the works for Baker's.  If I am remembering this correctly (drinking several barrel proof samples can make ones memory a little fuzzy...:D), the sales of Baker's is very small.  Something like just 9,000 cases per year, I think.

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flahute
1 hour ago, smokinjoe said:

Steve, at our GBS KCSB barrel selection in the Fall, our host shared that a label redesign was in the works for Baker's.  If I am remembering this correctly (drinking several barrel proof samples can make ones memory a little fuzzy...:D), the sales of Baker's is very small.  Something like just 9,000 cases per year, I think.

My curiosity is officially piqued. My contact at Beam had told me there was talk of a full rebrand for Baker's but did not mention a timeline so what you say tells me it's likely to be sooner rather than later. Fingers crossed they go the classy route instead of the MTV era super graphics they use now.

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Golzee

I've heard talk of "Jug Yeast" with regards to Bakers, what is that about?  Is it bullshit? 

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dcbt

And here I was about to make a joke about the Beam Funk instead...

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smokinjoe

As I've written several times, I always enjoy Baker's when I have it at a bar, but seem to always find reasons to pass it up at the mongers.  Probably, for many of the reasons the Paddy has mentioned.  Well, I changed that today, and took the plunge.  For some weird reason I was relieved to see a single bottle still left on the shelf when I walked over to the bourbon aisle, and I began smiling widely when I put the bottle in my cart.  Odd...:unsure:  Anywho, sipping it now, and it has a strong mature Beam profile with the house style prevalent, but not as unpolished as it can be in Beam's younger iterations (not that I find raw young Beam unenjoyable).  It shown a most noticeably big beautiful coconut aroma immediately upon nosing, which oddly reminded me of some S-W Pappy 15's that I've had in the past.  The McScrooge's Private Barrel PVW15 for example, was like a liquid Mounds Bar.  I really hate to even bring up the resemblance to PVW, because of all of the extraneous "baggage" that comes along with such a comment, but it's the first thing that hit me, so I'm going with it.  Pappy-mania, be damned...This Baker's had the coconut too, but then gave way to more traditional bourbon flavors over the palate. 

I'll review this later when I have more time with it, but am glad that FNBJ chose this one for BOTM so I could finally get off my arse and get one.

Beam has really climbed up my personal appreciation ladder the last couple of years.  They really are doing some terrific things, there.

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T Comp
6 minutes ago, smokinjoe said:

 It shown a most noticeably big beautiful coconut aroma immediately upon nosing, which oddly reminded me of some S-W Pappy 15's that I've had in the past.  The McScrooge's Private Barrel PVW15 for example, was like a liquid Mounds Bar.  I really hate to even bring up the resemblance to PVW, because of all of the extraneous "baggage" that comes along with such a comment, but it's the first thing that hit me, so I'm going with it.  Pappy-mania, be damned...This Baker's had the coconut too, but then gave way to more traditional bourbon flavors over the palate. 

 

Hmm, definitely then some delicious coconut flavors now coming out of Beam as the Booker's 2015-01 also has a ton on smell and taste. One of the things that make it one of my favorite Booker's.  Now I too will have to graduate from just bar pour to bottle purchase on Baker's. 

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Jazz Nut

Baker's was one of the first bourbons I truly enjoyed neat, I had received it as a gift from a friend as a housewarming gift.  I haven't purchased it since, but since it's BOTM, I'll have to pick up a bottle soon!

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bullitt

That's it! I'm buying a bottle of Baker's. Almost 10 years ago, I too found Baker's to be one of the first bourbons I enjoyed. I have never revisited it and really have no explanation as to why. It's time to put it up against the KC on my shelf. All four of my first bourbons were JB products after returning home from their distillery tour. I liked KC the best and just stuck with it. I don't remember not liking the Baker's it was just more expensive and to a newbie they seemed very similar.

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Barrel_Proof

Back in the days Jerry Dalton was the Master Distiller at Beam, he and I would chat at every Sampler about how much we both enjoyed Baker's.  It may be my No. 1 Beam product and is always one of my pours when I finish a Beam tour. 

Edited by Barrel_Proof

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GAbiker

I've always liked Baker's and usually have one in the bunker.   I personally think if the price point was closer to KC than Booker's it would a bigger seller....

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bullitt
4 hours ago, GAbiker said:

I've always liked Baker's and usually have one in the bunker.   I personally think if the price point was closer to KC than Booker's it would a bigger seller....

There must be some reason why it is more expensive. Does anyone know the difference between KC and Baker's?

 

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meadeweber

I always seem to pass it up in favor of Booker's but I probably should reconsider since the last time I tried it at a tasting I really liked it.

I do have one in the bunker which was a gift.  I may have to open it up in honor of BOTM.

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koRn

I always keep a bottle around, and I'm never disappointed when I pour it. I think it's one of the most overlooked bourbons there is. And by me it's in the mid 30's for price, so cost vs quality is high. 

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beasled

Just finishing a bottle. To me it seems like this is closer to barrel proof Jim Beam than either KC or Booker's, which whilst both having that unmistakeable Beam funkiness, just somehow seem different to Baker's. 

But, it's also been a while since I had Bookers so I could be mistaken!

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Richnimrod

I've always liked Baker's.    It's a nice step between Booker's, which can be somewhat variable, and KC which is more consistent, but not as round or quite as sweet for me as Baker's.    Now that we have easy access to KC 120, I had let my Baker's supply run down to nothing.     I remedied that when I was in KY last fall and saw a bottle on a shelf 'on sale' for around $32.     I scooped it and only opened up around a month ago.   Lovely!   Very glad I grabbed it up.    I too (Thanx Joe!) get a big hit of sweetened coconut like a newly baked macaroon.     It's also been and continues to be a sweeter than average Bourbon, much like most iterations of Booker's, as well KC, usually.    Not always looking for sweet; but when I am, Baker's is right at my usual proof point and sugar index for neat sipping, so I'll have to keep a bottle around.

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flahute
23 hours ago, Richnimrod said:

I've always liked Baker's.    It's a nice step between Booker's, which can be somewhat variable, and KC which is more consistent, but not as round or quite as sweet for me as Baker's.    Now that we have easy access to KC 120, I had let my Baker's supply run down to nothing.     I remedied that when I was in KY last fall and saw a bottle on a shelf 'on sale' for around $32.     I scooped it and only opened up around a month ago.   Lovely!   Very glad I grabbed it up.    I too (Thanx Joe!) get a big hit of sweetened coconut like a newly baked macaroon.     It's also been and continues to be a sweeter than average Bourbon, much like most iterations of Booker's, as well KC, usually.    Not always looking for sweet; but when I am, Baker's is right at my usual proof point and sugar index for neat sipping, so I'll have to keep a bottle around.

Good to se you back at it Rich!

Not sure if it was the power of suggestion from Joe, but the last time I opened my Baker's earlier this week, I got a big whiff of coconut when I poured it. Funny how that works. I wasn't consciously thinking of Joe's comment at the time, but as soon as I got the whiff, I remembered it.

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Xevious

It has already been said, but around here Knob Creek SB is cheaper than Bakers. So I have a real hard time paying more for a younger, lesser proofed bourbon in the same family line.

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flahute
1 hour ago, Xevious said:

It has already been said, but around here Knob Creek SB is cheaper than Bakers. So I have a real hard time paying more for a younger, lesser proofed bourbon in the same family line.

They are different enough that you should try it once.

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