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Jim Beam Choice, an unintentional dusty find.

Posted on by Eric Burke

It has been quite the day. I had to meet with my tax accountant today. My tax bill is...well...let's just say that it is much more than I had hoped but less than I had feared. Sadly it's closer to the fear than the hope. Anyway, it's a day where I feel like drinking whiskey. And based on the current set of my financial situation, it had better be something fairly inexpensive. 

As you might have guessed based on the last month, I've been slowly gathering materials for a series of If You've Had... posts. One of the ones I thought might be fun was Jim Beam. Not the entire line, but the ones that most people can afford. White , Black, Double Oak, Bonded, Devil's Cut, Green, etc.

Wait? Green? What the heck is Jim Beam Green? Well, these day's it is nothing. It is no longer sold. But back in the days when Jim Beam thought that age statements were a good thing, it was the middle of the road offering between NAS white label and 8-year-old Black label. Named Jim Beam Choice officially, the green labeled version came in at a stated five years old. These days, according to the Beam PR rep I talked to, you might find it on a shelf, but it is no longer a product Beam sells. This is just me guessing, but when the eight-year went NAS, I'm guessing that the taste distinction between the Black and Green got a little hard to decipher with the result being that Choice joined the ranks of discontinued brands.

When I bought the bottle in September, I had no idea it was a dusty.  But there you go. I guess you just got to keep your eyes open. You never know what you'll run across. For instance, I saw a Jim Beam Rye Yellow label on a shelf today if anyone is in the market for an 80 proof rye from Beam.

Jim Beam Choice, 5-year-old green label

Purchase Info: $13.99 for a 750 mL bottle at Ace Spirits, Hopkins, MN (September 2016)

Details: 5 year age stated. 40% ABV.

Nose: Mint, apple, allspice, and honey.

Mouth: Thin mouthfeel and delicately flavored. Sweet granulated white sugar, allspice along with a light chamomile and peanut. 

Finish: Medium, but gentle with lingering chamomile and allspice notes. 

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Thoughts: This bottom-shelf dweller ranks a good step above its white-labeled brother. Whether it is better or worse than Jim Beam Black is a matter of how much you like that "Jim Beam" waxy pencil/peanut flavor that both black and white have in abundance. This has a lesser "Beam" presence than I remember from either of them. It feels mostly like a Beam version of Evan Williams Black, just not quite as good. Not a bad whiskey, but not one the world is likely to miss.


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