I was drawn to a local big-box liquor store recently with an eye-catching price on Jim Beam handles. I confess that while large quantities of alcohol can be secured at attractive pricing, it’s still a large quantity of alcohol to consume, and alas, I continued walking on past the large display.
As I walked further down the aisle, this great-looking “Limited Release” bottle caught my eye.
The label indicates that Distillers Cut is a limited run, unfiltered, aged to taste bourbon personally selected by Master Distiller Fred Noe. This smooth, yet complex bourbon is his inaugural 2017 release, and is meant to be shared with friends and family.
Further, the label indicates that Distiller’s Cut is only quality screened to remove barrel char pieces from the liquid. This does not change or lessen the flavor in any way, though extremes of temperature may cause it to appear cloudy.
What does all that mean? Similar to the Jim Beam Repeal Batch, this product does not chill-filter the final product. In a typical chill filtration process, the product is cooled to a low temperature so that some of the fatty oils and esters condense and can be filtered off prior to bottling. Some feel this makes for a more visually aesthetic bourbon, as it won’t become cloudy when chilled; others feel that these oils create a richer mouthfeel.
Similar to its younger brother, Repeal Batch, I’m anticipating a wonderful chew from this bottle.
This bottle was priced right at a $20 price point and is a 50% ABV (100 proof) bourbon. The label also indicates that Fred has personally selected barrels that have been aged 5-6 years for this release. The mash bill is classic Jim Beam, with 77% corn, 13% rye, and 10% malted barley.
Eye: Light copper with thin legs draining down the sides of the glass.
Nose: Vanilla, more vanilla, and caramel. There’s also oak, some sweet summer fruits, and a hint of mint.
Palate: Like a fried apple pie – sweet with caramel and vanilla, just a hint of baking spices, and more mint on the tail-end. Deliciously creamy and viscus – a lot more there than the traditional Jim Beam White Label.
Finish: Medium. A little oak and spice with a breath of Wrigley’s Spearmint gum at the finish.
Overall: I recently purchased a bottle of Jim Beam White at a ridiculously low price. It’s smooth, mellow, and a nice hot-weather pour.
Distillers Cut, though, is very delicious. For less than the price of a latte added to that Jim Beam White Label, you’re presented with a higher proof, longer aged product (with an age statement), that is incredibly balanced for the price point. This sips more like a product priced 50% more.
It is “classic Jim Beam”, though. If you were expecting something completely different, you’ll be disappointed. If you were wondering if Jim Beam White Label could be made better, Fred has done just that with a sweet, balanced, everyday-sipper. I’m hoping Fred keeps this limited release around just a little bit longer.