Jim Beam


Nose: This has a light nose, leaning toward the “classic bourbon”. I got a little bit of spice and, very oddly, a little bit of green vegetables! It was actually a bit more like the smell of a vegetable garden. Mysteriously, I only got this on the first sniff, so maybe there was something else going on, or I was picking up the scent from something else. Palate: This starts out with a mouthfeel that is a bit on the watery side that hits you with a mini-blast of cinnamon. There’s not much heat but what there is shows up late in the sip, from right before the finish to through it. The finish itself wasn’t terribly long. Later sips continue with the cinnamon but it also picks up some richer, deeper flavors that seemed woody and might have been the oak showing through. I got an interesting after-taste that reminded me of a hoppy beer, so a bit on the bitter side. It wasn’t bad, but hoppy beer isn’t my cup of tea, so it didn’t enhance the taste for me. Later sips actually seemed pretty smooth and mellow and not at all unpleasant. But…not very complex either. An easy drinker, but nothing that makes it stand out. Comments: I’ve never been a huge fan of Jim Beam products (except Red Stag, which is an unsophisticated guilty pleasure!), but I’ve also never hated them. Because I didn’t want to buy a full bottle of it, I picked up this slightly-larger-than-mini size bottle. It is marked “80/100 ML”…which I don’t get. It is obviously larger than a 50 ML mini-size bottle but does that mean that it is BETWEEN 80 and 100? Based on the amount I poured in my glass, I’d say that it is 100 ML. In any case…..I don’t think I’ve ever had Jim Beam in a Glencairn glass, so this was a first. I have to admit that I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I don’t know if the glass has anything to do with that or if it is just a case of I haven’t had it in quite some time. It is the best-selling bourbon in the world and you don't get to that point if you put out crap, no matter what the price. Jim Beam is certainly affordable to almost every bourbon drinker (this bottle cost me $2.99) AND it is available just about everywhere. I guess the bottom line is, if I walked into a bar and Jim Beam was the ONLY bourbon they had (don’t laugh…..there are more places than you might imagine where this is possible), I would not hesitate to order it. And, I’d even drink it straight. I’d also happily accept it as a mixer with something else or in a cocktail. It would probably never be my first choice, if I could pick from others in the same price range (e.g. Evan Williams), but it has changed my “Jim Beam bias” a bit. That said, I’m still not going to run out to buy a bottle. (I would, however, buy Beam’s Old Tub….check out that review…) Jim Beam is 80 proof and the mashbill is 77% corn, 13% rye and 10% malted barley. It is reported to be 4 years old.