Aged 4 years
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
I'm really not as big into bourbon as I am into Scotch. It's a very different flavor, though it's not a bad one. It's also tricky for me to taste, since it's the main ingredient of my favorite cocktail back when I was in college, the Manhattan; I have to work to keep myself from writing simply, "This tastes like a Manhattan."
Some interesting facts about bourbon, from Wikipedia:
- It must be made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn, and is typically closer to 70% corn.
- It must be 100% natural; no caramel coloring allowed!
- The barrels in which it is aged must be new, American charred oak barrels.
- Bourbon aged for two years or longer may be labeled as "straight" bourbon.
- Bourbon younger than four years old must be labeled with its age.
So, you see, it's not just Scotch made in America!
Anyway, courtesy of my very silly sister, I bring you that perennial classic -- and the first American whiskey on this blog -- Jim Beam, a.k.a. Jim Beam White Label.
The usual russet color of whiskey. It's sweet on the nose, with vanilla and caramel, and a hint of freshly-ground black pepper. Much softer than Scotch. Do I smell cherries, or is that the Manhattan rearing its lovely head once again?
It's thin and watery on the palate, which feels odd to a mouth accustomed to usually creamier Scotch. I'm getting a lot of nutmeg in the flavor here.
The finish is long, much longer than I expect, with a lot of butterscotch and a tiny bit of peppermint.
Overall, not bad. I probably won't buy another bottle, though; for $15 per 750 mL, I can get whisky much more suitable for my palate. (Grant's tasting notes coming soon!)