Monday, August 29, 2016
Stupid Whiskey: Booker's Rye
Some of you will recall that I had an on-line melt-down when I heard that Jim Beam's new 13 year old Booker's Rye would be priced at a whopping $300. To me, this was symptomatic of everything that is wrong with the whiskey world today. That discussion wasn't so much about the whiskey itself as about whiskey's soaring prices. Now I have a sample of this stuff, so let's see if it's truly worth the gargantuan price tag.
Booker's Rye, 13 years old, 68.1% abv ($300)
The nose is understated with light rye and caramel. The palate has sweet hot cocoa, simple syrup and light medicinal notes but not a lot of rye character, which is typical of Beam ryes (though this one is supposed to have a higher rye mashbill than their standard rye). The finish is sweet and mild.
This is a perfectly decent whiskey that's soft and sweet but has very little rye character. As with most Beam rye whiskeys, it's a good rye for people who don't like rye. Those folks who like their whiskey "smooth" will love it.
Is it worth the price? Definitely not for me - not even close, but if people are willing to buy sweet, not very flavorful whiskey for $300, who am I to tell Beam Suntory that the price is too high? Hell, they should probably get some kind of marketing award for convincing anyone to buy this stuff. Welcome to the whiskey world of 2016; please empty your pockets at the door!
Luckily, not every company is following Beam Suntory's lead. Later this week, I'll review a whiskey that's the anti-Booker's Rye in both flavor and price.
Thanks to FussyChicken for the sample.