There are currently over 75 brands of bourbon available in the U.S. market, and I’ll just bet you that won’t be the end of it any time soon. Of course, everyone should be familiar with Jim Beam, one of the founding fathers and stalwarts of the bourbon industry that started back in 1795. But you may not be that familiar with Baker’s Bourbon.
Not to confuse the issue but Baker’s Bourbon and Booker’s Bourbon are both part of the Jim Beam small batch family, along with Basil Hayden’s and Knob Creek. Baker’s Bourbon is named after Baker Beam, a grand nephew of Jim Beam. Baker’s is aged for 7 years and weighs in at 107 proof, which should give it quite a bit of flavor. And, I have to tell you that in this day when age statements are disappearing off of bottles of all kinds of spirits faster than the extinction of the dodo bird, I am thrilled to find the age statement on this bottle.
The outside of the bottle bears a big “B” and the word Baker’s and displays the deep amber liquid inside through clear glass. The neck of this bottle is encased in black wax that will keep you and a knife or razor busy for a half an hour trying to open it if that built in flipper zipper fails. WHEW, finally got that sucker open, so let’s take it for a taste drive.
The nose is full of aromas of dark caramel, toffee, brown sugar and just a hint of vanilla. The palate is a bit heavy handed, thanks partially to the higher alcohol content. It is rich and thick and spicy and oaky and layered with that dark caramel, toffee and brown sugar. For me, it is a bit much straight up so I poured in just a touch of branch water to see what would happen. It still has some serious kick to it, but at least now it’s manageable, and I can enjoy the flavors quite a bit more. With the water added, I can taste the oak and burnt crème brulee and the toffee more clearly. The finish is long and spicy and oaky and continues to exhibit those traits of dark caramel and toffee, and dare I say, the brown sugar has gotten a touch sweeter.
I thought I’d never find myself saying this, but just maybe this is a bit too much of a good thing. This bourbon is definitely not for sissies or those with extremely sensitive palates as there are enough layers of flavor and depth of flavor to drive any palate over the edge. Even with a couple drops of water it retains its outgoing personality. I like the spiciness as it really works with a spirit so deep in flavor. I don’t mean this as a criticism. I actually mean it as a compliment, as this is some serious, over the top bourbon. If you like your bourbon bold and brass, this baby’s for you.
Baker’s Bourbon can be found for around $45.99 per 750 ML bottle and weighs in at 107 proof or 53% ABV and is 7 years old.
By George Brozowski