Since today is Memorial Day, I thought it important to review an American spirit, specifically a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Perhaps no distillery in the United States is synonymous with bourbon in the way that Jim Beam is, which is why I have chosen today to review Baker’s, the final member of Jim Beam’s Small Batch Collection left to review on the blog. I have already reviewed Basil Hayden’s, Booker’s, and Knob Creek, and they are all solid bourbons. Baker’s is a 7 year-old Beam bourbon, and it is bottled at 107 proof (53.5% abv).
Upon pouring a measure of Baker’s, the dark amber in the glass is truly beautiful, as is the smell wafting out of the glass. On the nose, Baker’s is a pure bourbon nose of caramel, cinnamon, corn, leather, and oak. The palate has a medium to full body, with caramel, black peppercorns, oak, corn, deep vanilla, and some bitter tannins. The finish is slightly bitter, but sweet enough to round it out with corn, caramel, and some lingering vanilla sweetness.
Overall, Baker’s is straightforward bourbon with a lot to offer if you love bourbon. If you are not a bourbon fan, then this bourbon is likely to change your mind. It is deep, robust, and pleasantly sweet. The added proof gives it nice depth, and the depth is indicative that this is quality bourbon regardless of how “small batch” it actually is. This bourbon won’t blow your mind; it will merely remind you that tradition and quality make for good bourbon. My grade: B/B-. Price: $35-40/750ml. If there is a beef to have with this bourbon, it is that there is nothing that especially stands out about it, and it usually runs for close to $40 a bottle.