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A new arrival in an old style: Jim Beam Bonded

Posted on by Eric Burke

Bottled in Bond whiskey is an old thing. There are very few brands that weren’t available to your grandfathers that maintain that status. Companies just don’t come out with Bottled in Bond whiskeys very often. And why would they? You have to follow all the rules for a straight whiskey plus you need to have it be at least four years old, exactly 100 proof and the product of one distillery during one distilling season. That limits your flexibility. Most of the time these are no age statement whiskeys and unlike a non-bonded bourbon you can’t make up any shortfall with something a little younger or a little older. They really are a snapshot of what was going on at the distillery at the time they were distilled. Because of this, bonded bourbons are the darlings of the bourbon enthusiast croud. You know what you are getting since the info is right there on the label, they are a decent proof and they are ususally inexpensive. 

All of this makes it especially notable that Jim Beam just released a Bottled in Bond bourbon this year. Why go through the extra steps needed just to put those three words on the label for a rather inexpensive release? Especially since unlike many bourbon producers, Beam has two distilleries. I have no answer to that, but I am certainly happy that they did it. It’s like a little present to the whiskey geeks. It’s not quite as inexpensive as other bonded bourbons, but is in the ballpark. If it does well, maybe we’ll see more of them. Of course, if it does too well the next guy might decide to raise the price too.

Jim Beam Bonded

Purchase Info: $21.99, 1 Liter. Total Wine, Burnsville, MN

Details: 50% ABV

Nose: Cinnamon candy, mint, dusty oak and hints of cocoa.

Mouth: This shows its proof with a nice tingle. Initial impression is bready. It’s sweet with mint cocoa and dried corn. 

Finish: A warm, medium length finish with hints of dusty oak, cocoa and mint. 

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Thoughts: While this isn’t a knock-your-socks-off bourbon, it is a nice step up from Jim Beam White Label. I personally like it better than the Black Label as it doesn’t show as much oak. It won’t be my first choice for bonded bourbons, but it is a nice change up.

One little mystery is why Beam left the DSP number off the label. Luckily this mystery seems to have been solved: http://chuckcowdery.blogspot.com/2015/02/the-good-and-not-so-good-of-old-grand.html


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