Monarch Flights by Flight Club

Flight of the Month - August 2018

Selected by Flight Club Member Scott Hill

Proof by Jim Beam

Jim Beam Single Barrel – 95 proof

Caramel, vanilla and corn

Knob Creek – 100 Proof

Caramel, cherry and peanut

Baker’s – 107 Proof

Butterscotch, caramel and brown sugar

Booker’s – Cask Strength

Vanilla, caramel and oak.

To many, the name Jim Beam equates to the lower-shelf bourbon that many of us drank with Coke in our college days.  Those people aren’t wrong – Jim Beam White Label is among the best selling whiskeys in the world for that reason.  Most would agree that the standard Jim Beam isn’t a sippin’ whiskey.  

Fortunately, Jim Beam offers something a bit more refined for those of who do enjoy just sippin’ on our whiskey.  Take a look at our Jim Beam page and the variety of bourbons offered by Beam.  Generally speaking, Beam offers three different recipes for their whiskeys – a rye whiskey, a lower-rye bourbon and a higher rye- bourbon.  The rye makes up products like Booker’s Rye, Knob Creek Single Barrel Rye and Old Overholt.  The high rye bourbons are used in Old Grand Dad and Basil Haydens.

This flight focuses on the lower-rye bourbons offered by Jim Beam.  I’ve chosen these because Beam offers something fairly unique in the industry.  Beam offers you essentially the same recipe, at various ages and proofs, so that you as the consumer can determine your exact sweet spot for Jim Beam.

We start with the Jim Beam Single Barrel.   While there are some slight age differences, this bourbon is essentially the best of what White Label might have to offer, in single barrel form, and proof up to 95 proof.  Its likely in the 4-7 year age range.

Next we move on to that same recipe, only this time at 100 proof and a bit older.  This Knob Creek is a small batch bourbon, and the average age is still around 9 years.   We previously reviewed it here.

Third we move on to one of the least known Beam products, Baker’s.  Baker’s is the same recipe (although most suspect a different yeast is used), proofed up to 107 proof.  It is 7 years old.  We reviewed Baker’s here.

Finally, we sample Booker’s.  Booker’s has been a longtime favorite of mine.  Its big, its brash and its bold.  While each batch of Booker’s is slightly different, all have the robust flavors that you can only find at barrel strength.  

Enjoy!

Past Flights

World Cup = World Whiskeys

Kavalan Single Malt – Taiwan

Vanilla, nougat and honey

Bastille 1789 Hand Crafted – France

Fruit, vanilla and malt

Compass Box Asyla – UK/Scotland

Earth, malt, spice and citrus fruit

Co. E.H. Taylor small batch – US

Caramel, grain, oak and vanilla

World Cup = World Whiskey 

The first time I remember watching a World Cup on TV was in 1990. Every game was a party where friends and family got together to cheer for Brazil. 

The World Cup is one of the most popular world sports event that takes place every four years, like the Olympics. This year, the World Cup takes place in Russia where 32 nations will see their team in the biggest and most prestigious soccer stage. 

In the spirit of the World Cup, I decided to feature four bottles of whiskey from four different countries. Not all nations here presented made it to the World Cup, but are sure watching the event. 

Kavalan Single Barrel (Taiwan): I featured Kavalan during my first tasting event and was most impressed. Not the first place you think of when you think Whiskey. 

Brastille (France) and Asyla (England): both are in the World Cup, so why not drink their whiskey. 

Col. E.H. Taylor Small Batch (USA): tasted at Flight Club and became a favorite. Always carry a bottle or two at home. 

Taste of the Rockies

Selected by Flight Club Member Phillip Horvey

Breckenridge Port Cask Finish
Raisin, port, dry and spicy rye. 

High West Campfire
Dried peaches, apricots, heath bar and peat.

Stranahans 
Cereal, cedar, and honey.

Tin Cup American Whiskey
Big spice and fruit, apple and cinnamon.

I chose this flight because they are very different in their overall taste. The Breckenridge Port Cask Finish is aged for a minimum of 3 years in charred american oak barrels and then finished in port barrels. It gives this whiskey a unique flavor. I feel this is slowly becoming a trend in both whiskey and rum is to age in oak barrels and finish them in port, wine or cognac barrels, which is producing some fantastic new flavors. 

The High West Campfire I chose because of the peat that permeates off the nose reminds of the smokiness of the campfire, while camping with my dad in the Rocky Mountains. It has complex flavor since it is made with bourbon, rye whiskey and blended malt scotch. A very unique blend which gives it a complex taste.

Stranahan’s was chosen because of it being a simple mouth pleasing whiskey. Nose: sweet banana bread with vanilla. Palate: Green apples and straw. Finish is smooth with a slow burn.

Tin Cup has an amazing nose, lots of fruit and sweetness to go along with it. Easy drinking whiskey that is smooth and has lots flavor.

All of these provide a palate of different flavors that showcase the vast diversity of whiskeys available. I think any dad would appreciate sipping one for Father’s Day.

10-Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskeys

Selected by Flight Club Member Scott Hill

Bulleit 10 Year
Caramel, Vanillla, Oak, Spice

Henry McKenna 10 Year Bottled in Bond
Caramel, Brown Sugar, Oak, Light Peanut

Eagle Rare
Oak, Dark Chocolate, Brown Sugar, Cherry Cola

Medley’s Private Stock 10 Year
Caramel, Corn, Butter, Maple Syrup

For me, 10-year Bourbons are the sweet spot for aged bourbons.  Too much younger than 10 years and many bourbons have not yet had an opportunity to develop some of the rich dark fruit flavors, oak, and some of the other flavors like tobacco and leather.  Too much beyond 10 years and I believe many Bourbons suffer from being “over oaked,” where the oak flavors dominate and some harsh astringency starts to develop.  Obviously, there are probably more exceptions than the rule,  and the sweet spot probably looks more like a range with 10 years being at the center.

This month’s Flight features a variety of Bourbons from a number of different distillers, each of which offers some unique flavors.  

Bulleit 10 year is a bit of a higher rye Bourbon than the others here, and will offer more spice.  For me, this bottle is most impacted by oak and age than the others here.  It is bottled at 91.2 proof.  We previously reviewed a pour from Monarch here.

Henry McKenna is a 10-year product produced by Heaven Hill.  We have previously reviewed it here.  It is a bottled-in-bond Bourbon at 100 proof.

Eagle Rare is a low-rye recipe from Buffalo Trace.   We previously reviewed it here.  It is bottled at 90 proof.

Medley’s is a produced at an undisclosed distillery in Kentucky.  It is bottled at 90 proof.  

Enjoy this month’s Flight!

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