Announced as a limited release, it has nevertheless been plentiful in the time since the announcement. It is also affordable – only commanding a price of about $23.
So, what is it?
Jim Beam Distiller’s Cut is a non-chill filtered high-rye bourbon. Typically, Jim Beam chill filters their bourbons, which results in a cleaner look in the glass, but loses some flavor along the way. For the Jim Beam Distiller’s Cut, the chill filtration step was skipped (though there was some screening process to remove certain infiltrates prior to bottling). The bourbon is aged between 5-6 years and bottled at 100 proof.
Jim Beam Distiller’s Cut (5-6 years, 100 proof)
Nose: Soft, but crisp; sharp oak/cedar; floral; ginger; red licorice; butterscotch and toffee; red apple skin; a solid nose that is not minimized by the ethanol; after some time, a Flintstone vitamin scent emerges. 3/5
Palate: Spicy up front, with some herbal and floral notes; pepper; vanilla; butterscotch candy; apple skin; cherry; some earthy/minerality; characteristic of a high-rye bourbon, but a noticeable lack of the classic peanut “Beam funk” associated with the distiller’s other bourbon products. 3/5
Finish: Medium; very juicy, like Hawaiian Punch; some fading herbal and floral notes; a bit of char and leather near the very end. 3/5
Overall: This is meant to be easy drinking, but does not sacrifice too much flavor in search of that goal. There is enough age to ward off the harsh, young notes. The proof is also high enough without causing the ethanol to completely take over the experience. Not terribly complex, but also not noticeably flawed. A job well done by Jim Beam. 3/5
Value: For $23, this competes very well with other bourbons at its price point (Four Roses Yellow Label, Weller Special Reserve, Wild Turkey 101). Among its peers, it stands very tall. 4/5
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