GSN Review: Booker’s “Kathleen’s Batch” Bourbon

Fred Noe, Beam Family’s 7th Generation Master Distiller recently sent GSN a sample of his latest project, along with some information about this special bourbon.

“I’m proud to share the first release of our 2018 Booker’s Bourbon batch collection, called Booker’s Batch 2018-01, “Kathleen’s Batch.” This batch is named in honor of my good friend Kathleen DiBenedetto, who played an essential role in launching the Small Batch Bourbon Collection with my dad, Booker Noe, in the early 90’s. She was the first brand manager of Knob Creek, Basil Hayden’s, Baker’s and Booker’s, and together with Dad, she helped pave the way for the premium bourbon category we all know and love today.

From the start, Dad put Kathleen to work at the distillery, assigning her to nearly every job until she knew the ins and outs of how bourbon is made, the Beam way. Each evening, Dad and Kathleen would sit at our kitchen table, and he would quiz her on all she had learned that day – believe me when I say he wasn’t easy on her, either! In September 2015, Kathleen’s contributions to the bourbon industry were recognized when she was inducted into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame, and she sure deserved it.

After more than 25 years with the Beam business, our family thinks of Kathleen as the daughter Dad never had. I know he’d be proud to honor her with a batch of his namesake Booker’s Bourbon. It’s a small token of “thanks” for the heart and hard work she’s put into our brands all these years.

Booker’s “Kathleen’s Batch” was selected by myself, Kathleen and the Booker’s Bourbon Roundtable. The batch is made up of barrels from five production dates aged in several different locations within three warehouses. The breakdown of the barrel locations is as follows:

4% came from the 5th floor of 7-story warehouse ONE
6% came from the 4th floor of 9-story warehouse F
3% came from the 7th floor of 9-story warehouse F
19% came from the 4th floor of 9-story warehouse H
30% came from the 5th floor of 9-story warehouse H
13% came from the 6th floor of 9-story warehouse H
25% came from the 7th floor of 9-story warehouse H

I hope you’ll join me in enjoying a glass of Booker’s “Kathleen’s Batch” in her honor.”

Booker’s “Kathleen’s Batch” Bourbon (127.4 proof)
Visual: Dark copper.
Nose: Nicely balanced nose of sweet corn, dried malt, and spicy rye. Warm, inviting and cheery.
Taste: Almost floral and fruity, but with a very clear bourbon presentation. Rose hips, wild strawberry, figs and of course a bit of char, caramel and vanilla.
Finish: Medium long with a lot more of the caramel lingering.
Overall: Definitely a lot of aspects to this bourbon that I’ve not encountered in other Beam spirits. I like the fact that it tastes completely unlike a traditional Kentucky bourbon; and yet at its heart, it so very much remains one.
GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Booker’s Bourbon

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