For the first time since Jim Beam and Suntory merged, the two brands have finally collaborated. Legent is blend of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskies, some finished in sherry and wine casks. Beam Master Distiller Fred Noe oversaw things on this side of the world, while the whiskies were blended by Suntory Chief Blender Shinji Fukuyo. The resulting spirit was bottled at 47% ABV (94 proof).
East meets West indeed.
I’m a sucker for stuff like this. Jim Beam can make some fantastic bourbon. There is zero doubt about that. One thing we don’t see a lot of from Beam is wine-cask finished whiskey. There’s no age statement provided, but that’s not important here. Legent is all about the blending by Fukuyo.
On the nose, Legent’s sherry and wine cask finishing provide an initially dominating fruity bouquet featuring lots of red berries, along with some spice notes. A little air lets those deeper bourbon notes shine – corn sweetness, caramel, and oak. The palate is less sweeter than the nose suggests. Caramel corn hits the tongue first, followed by a youngish grain-forward note. This is quickly masked by those big, juicy fruit notes, courtesy of the secondary finishing. Then, suddenly out of nowhere, hints of dried fruits and nuts lead things to the medium-length finish.
Legent is interesting.
It might just be interesting enough to be a daily drinker. It’s $34.99 suggested retail price favors that thought. Legent showcases bourbon notes we all love in an interesting, fruit-forward manner without going overboard. For the bourbon drinker who’s looking to expand their palate, this might be right up his or her alley and comes with a hearty recommendation. Purists need not apply. 8/10
Thanks to Beam Suntory for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.