It looks like I’m about a year late on this one particular bottle. Announced and released around this time last year, Jim Beam’s Distillers Series was supposedly available only through January 2009, but I managed to pick up a bottle at Astor place just last week. I was intrigued by the friendly price point right around $20 and since I’ve enjoyed most other Beam releases I’ve tried – Jim Beam Black being one of the better bangs for your buck. Then again, maybe there’s a reason this “limited” release is still on shelves a year after it hit them.
– Jim Beam Distilling Co.
– 90 proof
JB Distillers Series comes in the classic Beam bottle, but has done away with the classic paper label. Along the sides are six of the past distillers for Jim Beam: from Jacob Beam on the top left to Booker Noe at the bottom right. Right up front is the current distiller Fred Noe. Beside each miniature portrait is a brief, nostalgia laced biography.
Other than these portraits and biographies, there isn’t much. No description of the whiskey beyond the age. No old-timey flourishes. Nothing much but the clear glass bottle. One hopes that this is because they believe the contents need no introduction beyond sight, but really it seems they’re so singularly focused on their genealogy that they may have lost sight of what these men were actually making.
This is definitely a Jim Beam on the nose, but in a richer, sweeter way. I’m getting sap and honey in there with some dry oak.
On the tongue, this is much smoother than I’d expected and than most other Beam releases. There’s definitely that dry oak flavor to it and a sweet, warm finish. Up front there’s also a bit of hay or dry grass. I do get the sense that this is a little thin for all its smoothness, however.
This is not something that is particularly interesting or exciting, but it is quite good for its simplicity and smoothness. The best way to describe Jim Beam Distillers Series would be ‘austere’. The ultimate test for whether I like something is if I pour myself a second tasting as I finish the review, and this one certainly passes.