Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Jim Beam Double Oak Twice Barrelled Kentucky Straight Bourbon

- $22
- 86 Proof

I was looking for something to try out in the lower price range that I haven't had before, and I couldn't help but be drawn to the nice looking, dark blue label of the Jim Beam Double Oaked. According to the label, this bourbon was "expertly aged" in charred American white oak barrels, then poured into a new charred barrel, where it then matured for an undisclosed amount of time. It sounded to me like it might offer a healthy dose of char flavor, so I was willing to give it a try.

I poured my first glass, and the first thing I noticed was how this bourbon just sticks to the side of the glass. This bourbon has some legs, particularly compared to other bourbons in the Jim Beam line I've tried (as well as compared to most other bourbons in this price range).

On the nose I really noticed a wood tone, and it came across as a dry whiskey, at least by it's smell, anyway. It also had the traditional notes of vanilla and caramel, though they weren't strong.

However, on my first sip it certainly did not come across as very dry.  Rather, it offered heavy doses of brown sugar and a peppery spice, which complemented each other nicely. There are wood tones, but they are much more subtle than I expected from the nose. A distinct almond flavor seemed to permeate as well. Despite the brown sugar flavor, it did not come across as a very sweet bourbon.

After being opened up a bit, however, this bourbon seemed to really take on a different flavor. It sweetened up significantly, and the original flavors seemed to transform. In place of the brown sugar flavor was a much sweeter and smoother caramel flavor, and in place of the wood tones was more of a coffee flavor. It took on a flavor that reminded me of a caramel macchiato, not the Starbucks-latte kind but rather the traditional, espresso kind.

I had no expectations coming into this bourbon, but I was pleasantly surprised nonetheless. I really enjoyed it, and it's probably my favorite in the "Jim Beam" brand. I think the additional time with the new char really added some depth that I did not expect. At this price, this is absolutely worth a go-round, and it gets a bump in grade for that reason.

Grade: B

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