Monday, February 6, 2017

Baker's 7 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon

- $45
- 107 Proof
- 7 Years

This review seems like one that's been a long-time coming. I've been enjoying Baker's for years. It is frequently my go-to pour when I'm staying at a hotel, out at a bar with an otherwise limited selection, or wherever I may find myself thirsting for a pour of bourbon. Because it's so readily available, though, and because I have enjoyed it so frequently, I never picked up a bottle to take home and enjoy (and eventually write one of these reviews).

On my recent ski trip to Park City, Utah, though, the selection of available bourbons at the local State Liquor Store was somewhat limited. So, wanting a bottle to enjoy over the next few days of my trip and knowing exactly what I'd be getting, I reached straight for the Baker's!

The nose gives off a ton of brown sugar. It's immediately apparent that this will be a sweet and tasty bourbon. There is a mild spiciness to it, as well as a light burn on the nose that is indicative of its higher proof.

Much like its nose, this bourbon is what I would describe as a brown sugar bomb. It is sweet and dessert-like in that sense. However, it has a decent burn to it which keeps that sweetness from becoming too much. In addition to the sweet brown sugar notes are a distinct nuttiness, kind of a walnut flavored undercurrent which also balances out the sweetness. On the back end it has a nice spice, which is probably why I go back to this pour so frequently. I love that combination of a rich, sweet flavor followed by a nice cinnamon spice on the back end.

I mostly drank this bourbon while sitting in the hot tub after a long day of skiing, and, wanting to cool my drink down a touch, I put a little ice in my glass. I found that the added water really opened up this bourbon. Obviously the burn dissipated, but the flavors seemed to almost explode in my mouth, with caramel and walnut coming forward, a nice butteriness, and a long, spicy finish. Even some hints of black cherry seemed to come through, adding to the robustness of this bourbon.

I write this review with a bias, having gone into it knowing that I really like this bourbon, and so take this review for what it is. Baker's, like Basil Hayden's, Booker's and Knob Creek, is part of the Jim Beam Small Batch Collection, and is, quite frankly, my favorite of the bunch. Naturally I will continue to buy Baker's when the opportunity presents itself, and I'd certainly encourage you to do the same.

Grade: B+

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