By Father John Rayls
According to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail website:
For more than 200 years, no family has influenced bourbon-making more deeply than the Beam family. But creating The World’s Number One Bourbon didn’t happen overnight. It required hard work, stubborn determination and seven generations of bold choices. And it’s worth every drop.
James Beam was the family member who revived the family business after the disastrous Prohibition period in America. Baker Beam is his grandnephew and the namesake of the Baker’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.
The Beam family has been influential throughout the bourbon industry, and it’s particularly evident in the Bourbon Small Batch Collection of which Baker’s is a member. Baker was the guiding hand, having personally established the formula for this successful iteration of the family product. He also helped establish a bit of the attitude with each label stating: “My Bourbon follows our Beam family tradition of putting our best secrets inside the bottle, not here on the label. I’ve distilled six generations of Bourbon skill into this bottle.”
Baker’s is a 7 year old bourbon, bottled at 107 proof and this bottle is from batch no. B-90-001.
The appearance is a deep amber/nut brown. However, the light brings out the golden hues in the glass. The legs are medium to long and leads you to expect a creamy mouth-feel. The nose is comprised of a mixture of vanilla cereal, nuttiness with light fruit on top. The aromas are present and easily detected, but they lean towards being more subtle. This is particularly true as you continue to drain your glass.
You may notice that Baker’s Bourbon drinks just slightly hot, yet it does have a creamy mouthfeel, which balances the slightly hot sensation. The tip of the tongue is where you first experience this bourbon. It stays there throughout the tasting portion of the journey, but alternates repeatedly to the mid-mouth and back again. The taste brings out a spiciness mixed with a mildly sweet vanilla, oak, caramel and a little burnt brown sugar.
This is a smooth drinking whiskey in spite of its higher 53.5% abv. This is a bourbon that I prefer to use as a mixer, rather than drinking it by itself, and is part of my regular rotation. However, many people enjoy drinking it neat or with one ice cube in the glass. This is also an excellent bourbon to include in any tasting of a range of whiskeys.
Baker’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is readily available, and I never have a problem tracking down a bottle. The pricing makes it even more appealing and can be found in my part of the States around the $40.00 mark.