Jim Beam White Label is standard affair and for many serves as an entry-level foray into bourbon. It’s a smooth, easy-drinker that’s priced right. For those wanting to continue the adventure into the Jim Beam family, there is Jim Beam Extra Aged – affectionately known as Jim Beam Black.
In 2015, with bourbon’s popularity soaring, the age-statement was removed and replaced with just Extra Aged. The entry-level product, Jim Beam white label, is generally thought to be around 4 years old. While this product previously carried an 8-year age statement, most consider this around 6-years in maturity.
The brand, owned today by Suntory, has been produced by seven generations of the Beam family. Today, Fred Noe continues the Beam family tradition as Master Distiller. The mash bill is standard Jim Beam – 77% corn, 13% rye, and 10% malted barley, with the finished product bottled at 86 proof (slightly higher than entry-level Jim Beam White Label). At $20, the Extra Aged product is about 20-25% higher in cost than Beam’s flagship product.
Eye: Medium copper with thin legs draining down the sides of the glass. Compared to traditional Jim Beam and Jim Beam Repeal Batch, this is one shade darker – an indication that’s spent a smidge longer in the barrel.
Nose: Vanilla, toasted oak, and mint. Compared to Repeal Batch, this has more vanilla, with Repeal Batch feeling like it has more depth and dimension.
Palate: A burst of wood and spice followed by caramel, vanilla, and baking spices. Nicely balanced.
Finish: Medium. Starts soft and gentle and ends with plenty of baking spice and charred oak.
Overall: Not a bad little upsell from traditional Jim Beam. I’ll be honest, though, in a head-to-head with Repeal Batch, I confess I enjoy the depth offered by Repeal Batch over JB Black.
Even though Repeal Batch is listed as a limited edition, I’ve been able to find it regularly at a regional store. True confession, though, I found this bottle of JB Black priced at a dollar less than JB White, thanks to a store sale. At that price, I’ll buy this one every day! And if Repeal Batch isn’t available at your neighborhood store, reach for this easy sipper.