Booker’s bourbon, one of my favorite Jim Beam whiskies, is moving forward by looking back in 2015. This year there will feature several limited edition small batches, each carrying a custom label commemorating the legacy of the late Booker Noe. Booker Noe, the bottle’s namesake, was the former master distiller at Jim Beam and father to current master distiller Fred Noe.
Booker’s Batch 2015-02, named “Dot’s Batch”, was released late March 2015 in limited quantities, according to the press release. I’m not sure how limited this release is, but I’ve yet to see it in stores down here in New Orleans. The aforementioned Dot is the name of Booker’s Jack Russell Terrier. This batch comes in at 127.9 proof and is 7 years and 18 days old. It’s a little lower proof and slightly younger than Batch 2015-01. That one was 128.7 proof and 7 years, 2 months and 16 days old. How does it stack up to a standard release of Booker’s bourbon?
(Note: I was sent a review sample by Jim Beam’s PR firm.) On the nose, I get lots of trademark Booker’s vanilla and oak. On a side by side comparison with a normal batch of Booker’s, I find this batch is more vanilla forward. There’s a sweet caramel note here, followed by a little mustiness and some sweet grain . Large waves of vanilla and oak carry over onto the palate, along with a nutty element. The long, chest-warming finish is what I expect from Booker’s. A little water brings forward the sweeter notes.
I love Booker’s bourbon. I recommend it to folks looking for something a little different. Batch 2015-02, “Dot’s Batch,” keeps the Booker’s flavor profile but slightly ramps up the vanilla and adds a slight nuttiness to the mix. It’s a nice mild deviation from the norm. This batch is available in limited quantities for $59.99. Recommended.