Nose: This has a light nose that is inoffensive and has a bit of black licorice in it along with the usual, but lesser amounts, of caramel and vanilla. Oddly, I also picked up a little bit of lime. Palate: This has a pretty watery mouthfeel, possibly the most watery of any I’ve had in a while. The first sip generated a slight amount of heat, particularly in the finish, but it wasn’t harsh, burning or long-lasting. The heat is pretty subdued in later sips. The flavor has an oak woodiness to it and it brings in some toasty flavors in the finish. There’s a little bit of dryness to the taste that includes a bit of burnt molasses. Although it has a very thin “feel” to it, the flavor is much richer than it feels. Comments: I’ve never been a huge fan of Jim Beam (except for their pre-prohibition rye, which I really like, and Jim Beam Black, which is pretty decent), including their higher end products (which I feel are overpriced for what they are). I have to admit though, that this really was pretty decent, and I was surprised. The double barreling definitely adds a robustness and I think the extra time in a barrel adds to the flavor profile. I just wish the mouthfeel did too. I don’t think this is as good as the recently reviewed Woodford Double Oak, but it still holds its own. And, at a $17 sale price ($22.49 at Total Wine), it was a pretty decent bargain, and costs much less than the Woodford. If I had a choice between this and some of the other Beam products, I think I’d almost always go with this. I haven’t reviewed it yet or had it in a while, but the only Beam product that comes close is Jim Beam Black (which is extra aged…..like this one). I do feel that this might benefit from being a little higher proof. If I had to choose between this and the Woodford Double Oak, I’d go with the Woodford, but it will cost more. The way this Beam works is, they take Beam white and select 4 year old barrels that they then put back into brand new charred oak barrels for a second round of aging. It reportedly stays in the 2nd barrel “until it tastes right”. It clocks in at 86 proof. The mashbill is reported to be 77% corn, 13% rye and 10% malted barley.
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