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Jim Beam Black

Jim Beam Black
Kentucky Straight Bourbon


By Robert Plotkin

Made in Clermont, Kentucky since 1795, Jim Beam is an American institution and the bestselling bourbon in the world. Easily the most famous name in bourbon, the brand is the benchmark by which all other American whiskeys are measured. While the white label, 80-proof bourbon and stellar small batch whiskeys such as Knob Creek and Booker’s get most of the attention, Jim Beam Black Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey has quietly become one of the top whiskey values here and abroad.

The all-important mash bill for Jim Beam Black contains a high proportion of white and yellow corn cultivated in Indiana and Kentucky, with lesser percentages of rye and malted barley. In 2001, the distillery reintroduced the brand with an additional year of aging under its belt. Jim Beam Black is now matured in oak a minimum of 8-years, then bottled at 86-proof.

What they didn't change was the bourbon’s tremendous personality and character. The bouquet is still irresistible; sweet and brimming with the aromas of corn, vanilla, caramel and toasted oak. While the whiskey remains enormously flavorful, the additional time in the barrel has tempered some of its natural exuberance. Its palate is sweet and grainy and the finish warm and long. The entire experience is top-notch, extraordinary considering its modest price.

Jim Beam Black has genuinely come of age, proving once again that leaving well enough alone isn’t always the best policy. The whiskey is marvelous enjoyed neat and perfectly capable of elevating any bourbon based cocktail into the great range.