Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Booker's 25th Anniversary

The year 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the first line of Booker's Bourbon, counting back to when it was a private bottling by Jim Beam Master Distiller Booker Noe for his friends and colleagues.  Booker's became a public release in 1992 as part of the Jim Beam Small Batch Collection, bottled at cask strength. This year, Beam commemorates Booker Noe's special bourbon with a 25th Anniversary expression.  This expression is a bit older than the regular Booker's. It's labeled 10 years 3 months whereas regular Booker's is six to seven years old.

I used to be a fan of Booker's - one of the only Beam products I really liked, but I've been disappointed by more recent Booker's bottles.  Let's see how the special edition compares.

Booker's 25th Anniversary, Batch 2014-01, 65.4% abv ($100)

This has a nice nose with some banana, peanut and caramel; it's sort of Snickers like.  The palate is sweet with caramel and Butterfingers notes.  It takes on some complexity with oak and tannic notes toward the end.  The finish is the best part with a nice balance of the palate's sweetness and tannins.  Water gives it more sweetness up front but also extends the tannic notes toward the end.  It's a bit hot taken neat so I would recommend a drop or two of water, which doesn't compromise the flavor.

This is pretty good; it reminds me of some of the better Booker's I've had, back when they were better.  It didn't bowl me over, but I'm not generally a fan of the standard Beam juice, so I wouldn't expect it to.  It was definitely above average, and if you are a big Beam fan, you'll probably love it.  All of this may be moot though, since, as with most limited releases these days, it's been a very tough bottle to find. [Edit:  Colin, in the comments, notes that it is available at BevMo for $125].


Colin said...

BevMo's all around LA have had quite a bit of this for $125 a bottle.

sku said...

Thanks Colin. Good to know.

Bas said...

Have one for the collection and looking for a second to actually try it.

Anonymous said...

MSRP is $100 and one store here in Central Texas had 5 bottles last month, all priced at MSRP. I passed.

At $125 BevMo is price gouging big time on a limited release item. I hate when I see this from retailers.62382553

Anonymous said...

Prices seem to be all over the place. Stores here on the Gulf cost of TX had them at $89. I passed on it though. Maybe I'll get one if I see it again.

Anonymous said...

$94 to $150 in New York.