The Beam family has a long and storied history. Originally immigrants from Germany named Böhm, they settled in Kentucky in the late 1700’s. Johannes “Reginald” Beam successfully made corn whiskey in 1795, then passed the business on to his son David Beam. He in turn passed it to David M. Beam who moved the business to Nelson County. James Beauregard Beam (from whom the Jim Beam name comes from) ran it until prohibition, and then amazingly enough started it up again in 1933 in Clermont, Kentucky. It continues to this day to be managed by the Beam family along with the family of former Master Distiller Booker Noe. The company was recently sold to Suntory Distilling of Japan for an astounding 16 billion US dollars. I’d say the family did quite well over the past 225 years.
Baker’s is named after Baker Beam, the grand-nephew of Jim Beam. It uses a yeast culture that has been in the Beam family recipe for more than 60 years.
Baker’s Bourbon (107 proof)
Visual: Medium golden brown.
Nose: Powerful charred oak with caramel sugar. Rich and heady.
Taste: For such a high-proof whiskey, this is amazingly smooth and mellow. There is some heat, but it’s intertwined so beautifully with the flavors of sugar and spice that you don’t really notice it.
Finish: Peppery spice edges out the initial sweetness and leaves your mouth feeling deeply satisfied. I keep coming back to a sense of raw maple here.
Overall: This is like pure bourbon candy. I’ve been sipping it for a few weeks every now and then, and I am still impressed. A bit of water will open it up and mellow it out even further, but it’s not crucial by any means.
GSN Rating: A+
For more information go to: SmallBatch.com