The standard Jim Beam just ain’t on my shopping list, I’m not saying it’s poor I’m just saying that there are so many more bourbons I’ll be buying before it but when I saw the Double Oak on offer at under twenty pounds I couldn’t help myself and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by it.
A couple of points before I hit the review, first off the double oak, extra matured stuff, sigh, just, sigh, we all know the rules of bourbon so why tell us it’s finished in oak, of course it’s finished in oak, less marketing fluff chaps, let the spirit speak for itself.
Secondly, I took this both neat, with an ice ball and in a couple of cocktails and it works well no matter how you drink it, the 43% is a decent strength too.
Nose. Lots of oak which is understandable as it’s had a few months in a freshly charred barrel at the end of its normal maturation, the honey, vanilla and toffee you’d expect from a bourbon come on after a few seconds more and there is a clove and nutmeg spice feel, it actually noses a lot more like something around 10 or 12 years old which I’ll guess it isn’t because if it was it would have it written all over the bottle.
Palette. The spiced oak is pretty fierce when neat and the sweetness is very much a back note, there is a dark almost burnt fudge/toffee flavour with those cloves, nutmeg and a touch of orange rind, cinnamon and barley. In a cocktail the vanilla comes through a lot more.
Finish. Warm and medium length, all spice, honey and oranges, very pleasant.
I was impressed with this, I’ll buy it again when I see it on offer, it tastes a lot more like an aged bourbon and well worth the normal price if I’m being honest but when on offer it’s right up there with the Devil’s cut which is another superb offering.
Well played Jim Beam.