Last weekend, we went on the distillery tour at the beautiful Jim Beam acreage in Bardstown, KY.
The distillery’s grounds were a gorgeous getaway from the busy wedding weekend, and the bourbon tasting for $7 allowed us to sample many of Jim Beam’s top shelf bourbons.
My favorite was the Booker’s bourbon, a single barrel bourbon who’s flavor is unmeddled by not mixing with other barrels. The single-barrel bourbon varies in alcohol content based upon the conditions the barrel experienced during the aging process. It exploded in flavors of warmth as I drank it, feeling it all the way down to my stomach.
For an everyday drink, I would choose Basil Hayden – an offensively described “girl’s bourbon,” Basil Hayden has the rich taste of a well made bourbon without the burn of higher alcohol content. At 80 proof, Basil Hayden flows smoother than common bourbons like Makers Mark at 90 proof, or Bulleit Bourbon at 91.2.
A third contender was the Baker’s bourbon, another of Jim Beam’s small batch bourbon brands. If you are looking for a robust whisky experience, Baker’s is 107 proof with a bite that made me gasp. Definitely for a slow sip on the rocks.
Jim Beam is the “Walmart” of bourbon companies: a juggernaut in production and owner of 24+ bourbon pours and blends. I would recommend a first distillery tour at Woodford Reserve or another small distillery where you get a real distilling tour and real feel for the magic of bourbon making.
Are you a bourbon drinker? What’s your favorite pour?