I have to admit that I was skeptical of Devil’s Cut when Jim Beam first released it several months ago. The concept behind the bourbon is very interesting, but it seemed like a cheap gimmick to me. However, after learning about the bourbon and getting my hands on a bottle, I have opened my mind.
Jim Beam Devil’s Cut is a 90 proof bourbon that begins with 6 year old Jim Beam from their standard mash bill. However, at the distillery, the “Devil’s Cut” is infused into the bourbon before it is bottled. The Devil’s Cut is a play on the “Angel’s Share,” the whiskey that is lost via evaporation during the aging process. However, some of the whiskey is also lost in the barrel itself. Therefore, if the barrel is agitated, more whiskey will come out of its hibernation in the American Oak. The whiskey left in the barrels is the “Devil’s Cut,” and this is the product that is infused into Jim Beam’s 6-year bourbon to create Jim Beam Devil’s Cut.
On the nose, this bourbon is incredibly sweet. There are hints of fruits (cherries, bananas, caramel apples), with some sweet oak and barrel spices rounding out the aroma. The palate is delicious. The primary flavors at first are caramel, honey, vanilla, nougat, green apples, cherries, and some brown sugar. However, the sweetness that opens the bourbon is abruptly shoved aside by a monstrous finish of oak and barrel spices. The only way to understand what I mean by monstrous finish is to try this bourbon. I’ve never had a finish that hits quite like this one. However, it is also long and warming, with some sweet oak, caramel, and brown sugar resurging briefly for a second appearance.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with this bourbon. It is intriguing from start to finish, and it is a unique expression of what bourbon can be. However, it is definitely a little rough around the edges, and not very refined. It takes your senses on one hell of a ride, but it is a very good value bourbon. My grade: B-. Price: $25-30/750ml. The uniqueness of this whiskey, and the good value make it a nice whiskey to keep in the cabinet every once in a while.