Monday, June 15, 2015

More Beam Signature Craft: High Rye & Rolled Oats

I previously reviewed the brown rice and red wheat bottlings from the Jim Beam Signature Craft series. Today, I taste two more bottlings from this series: rolled oats and high rye.  Both are 11 years old and 90 proof.

Jim Beam Signature Craft Rolled Oats, 11 yo, 45% abv ($50 for 375 ml)

The nose is sweet with honey and some peanut notes, a pretty typical Beam nose. The palate begins with sweet caramel then turns dry with some nice oak notes. It's a decent bourbon, though it's hard to discern any particular impact from the oats.

Jim Beam Signature Craft High Rye, 11 yo, 45% abv ($50 for 375 ml)

Jim Beam already makes a series of high rye bourbons under the Old Grand-Dad and Basil Hayden's label.  Is this simply an older version of those bourbons?

The nose has a lot of fruit: pineapple, nectarines, etc. The palate is dry and a bit soapy with some mineral notes that carry into the finish. This one is a bit all over the map flavor wise.  Surprisingly, what it doesn't seem to have is much in the way of spicy rye notes. There's a bit of rye spice in there, but it's pretty muted. This one just didn't come together well.

Well, this was the opposite of what I expected.  The rolled oats was pretty decent, but I didn't care for the high rye.  Having now tasted four of these alternative mashbills, it's interesting to note which elements of the Jim Beam style are in evidence in the different permutations. While I certainly haven't cared for all of them, the quality has generally been good, and I'm glad Beam released them, though I wish they were a bit more affordable.

Thanks to John Burlowski for the samples.


Anonymous said...

IIRC, the high rye is a different mashbill from the current high rye offerings from Beam. At least that's what I think Fred Noe said when we tasted all of these.

Keith said...

Interesting. The consensus around the conference room table at the Hampton (John B was there too) was that the High Rye was the best one of the bunch. Maybe we just wanted it to be good?

VT Mike said...

Just a guess here, but maybe the high rye is the same mashbill as OGD/BH, but made with the Beam yeast strain.

Anonymous said...

Oats are for breakfast and horses.

Anonymous said...

Found these on clearance and took a chance on a couple bottles. Good enough to warrant returning to purchase a case before they are gone forever. A solid 90 in my book and welcome addition to the rotation. Great find!