Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Year Old - Strangely Inoffensive
The Jim Beam Signature Craft line came out last year with a 12 year old bourbon and a bourbon combined with Spanish brandy. This is the 12 year old version, officially titled the Signature Craft Small Batch 12 year old (with a name clearly designed to use as many meaningless buzz words as possible).
Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 yo, 43% abv ($38)
The nose on this is very Beam with honey, berries and floral notes. The palate is also very solidly in the Beam wheelhouse, but the extra age shows its impact. It starts light and sweet like a regular Beam, but quickly gets some oak good oak notes. By late palate, the oak notes have grown a bit bitter, but there's enough sweetness in the finish to balance it out.
I'm not a Beam fan and have pretty low expectations of their new releases, but this is actually pretty decent, showing some balance and complexity, and a solid step up from the standard Beam line. And to give credit where credit is due, Beam added an age statement bourbon in a world where age statements are rapidly becoming and endangered species. It's not something I would covet, but I certainly wouldn't mind ordering it in a bar, and it's priced pretty fairly by today's standards for a bourbon if its age.