Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dusty Thursday: Bonded Beam from the Swingin' '60s

This is a lovely decanter of eight year old bonded Jim Beam bourbon that would fit in well on the Mad Men set or even a tiki party.  Since it is bottled in bond we know that it was distilled in 1960 and bottled in 1968. I haven't had any Beam this old, so this should be fun.

Bonded Beam Decanter, 8 yo, 50% abv

This has a great old dusty nose with tons of caramel and some oak but then a few soapy notes come out. The palate is much drier than I would have expected with medicinal notes and some spice but not much beyond that.  It's dense in a way that it seems like there should be more to it, but if there are more layers of flavor, they aren't showing themselves. The finish is dry with some spice and then medicinal.

This had some good notes, and it's much more complex than most current Beam, but it felt like it was missing something. These decanters sometimes have looser seals than regular bottles, and this one had seen some evaporation as you can see from the photo, so I wouldn't use this to pass judgment generally on older Beam bourbon.  If anything, it makes me interested to try more.


Anonymous said...

>Since it is bottled in bond we know that it was distilled in 1960 and bottled in 1968

If it's a BIB it requires only 4 years in barrels, not 8, right?

sku said...

That's correct, but older BIB whiskeys were required to disclose the distillation and bottling dates on the tax stamp, so you can tell the exact dates. In this case, the tax stamp says that it was distilled in the spring of 1960 and bottled in fall of 1968.

Anonymous said...

ah hah!
couldn't tell the details on the stamp in the photo.

Stephen Grim said...

Interesting take - thanks for the review.
Have you ever tried Beam's Choice from 1976? It's 8 years and 80 proof. My parent's have three bottles of it and I opened one last year. Tastes like nothing on the market today. When I go back to visit them this summer I'm going to bring the bottles home since they don't drink anymore. I'd be happy to send you a sample if you'd like to review it.