Review: Jim Beam Single Barrel

I’ve been living at my current residence for almost eight years now. I’ve been ready to move for almost seven and a half. It not that there is anything particularly wrong with where I live. I mean, it snows way too much and gets way too cold for way too long, but it wasn’t that. I’d lived with those things my entire life.

I love being in a new place. I love not knowing where I’m going and finding the best way to go anywhere. After I move to a new city, a trip to the grocery store is as exotic and full of adventure as a holiday on another continent is for most people. “What happens when I turn here?” “Where does this go?” “That’s a pretty road/tree/park.” “What a cool little hardware store.”

But then, after about six months or so, you’ve found all the ways you can travel to the grocery store. You know what the hardware store stocks on it’s shelves and that the Home Depot is probably still cheaper, even if you do need to buy an entire box of screws instead of just the three you need. You know what to expect around every turn. And that what’s there isn’t really all that interesting. 

In other words, it’s time to move again. But you can’t. You just bought a house. You are stuck there. 

For twenty years. Maybe ten with good behavior.

I think I developed a nomadic streak somewhere along the line. I like nothing more than to be somewhere new. To see what there is to see, smell what there is to smell, and taste what there is to taste. It’s possible that it is this same drive to experience new things that makes me love trying new bourbons. Especially single barrel bourbons. Even if you think you know what you are getting, sometimes there manages to be a surprise or two around the metaphorical corner. 

Jim Beam Single Barrel

Purchase Info: $39.99 at Ace Spirits, Hopkins, MN

Details: 47.5% ABV, Barrel #: 4-164, Bottled on: 2-19-14

Nose: Dried grass, cedar and apricot

Mouth: Syrupy mouthfeel. Caramel corn. Gentle, with just a hint of spice.

Finish: Warm and sweet with a hint of spice


Thoughts: While I like this much more than the regular release, I’m not as wowed as I thought I’d be. If you are a lover of Jim Beam products, this higher proof version is certainly a step up from many that bear that name. It lands right inside the Jim Beam stylistic wheelhouse. Tasty enough, but I don’t think I’d buy a second bottle. Meh.