Jim Beam Bonded is the company’s newest (as of the writing of this post) release. It’s a Bottled-In-Bond version of the standard 4 year Jim Beam White Label. That means it’s 100 proof, aged at least 4 years, and distilled by one distillery in one distilling season, as per the Bottled In Bond Act of 1897. I picked up this bottle while browsing the shelves of a Bardstown, KY liquor store during a recent visit. $22 for 100 proof Jim Beam? Now we’re talking.
Right off the bat, Jim Beam Bonded has a tad sweeter nose than the standard White Label offering. There’s caramel and vanilla. The sweet corn note is more readily present. I also get some oak, and found a strange herbal note in the background. The extra alcohol provides a quick blast of heat upon entry. A big sweet corn stands out, followed by the requisite vanilla, light caramel and oak flavors. This whiskey is quite thin considering it’s 100 proof. Finally, it provides a medium length finish, with the oak and sweet corn notes lingering. This time there’s more emphasis on the corn.
To me, the extra alcohol bite makes for a better cocktail mixer than the more popular 80 proof version. Hell, even the company agrees. They are marketing Jim Beam Bonded to the mixologist market.
I find Jim Beam Bonded to be an improvement over Jim Beam White Label, if only slightly. There’s a little extra heat on the entry & finish, and the corn note is a bit more prevalent, but that’s about it. Not bad, but for $5 more I’d rather reach for Jim Beam Black.
For $20, Jim Beam Bib is a reasonable value. Old Forester 86, albeit at a lower proof, is better on the palate. Bargain Bourbons are a compromise.
Got to disagree, the BIB is better than the black (or the old forester 86) to my taste. To each his own!!