May 09, 2015

Jim Beam Bonded Is 100-Proof and Not Messing Around

Jim Beam goes for 100-proof with its new Bonded bourbon, a middle ground between Jim Beam White and Black.

Jim Beam Bonded Review

Jim Beam Bonded is one of the latest editions of Jim Beam to come out of the famed Kentucky distillery. Bonded whiskey has long been synonymous with high quality whiskey and that connection comes from pre-prohibition times when the rules around whiskey were… let’s call them not-really-there. All manner of things could be passed off as whiskey until the Bottled-In-Bond Act of 1897 came into play.

Bottled In Bond are a set of federal regulations that basically ensure people are “getting the good stuff”. BiB (as it’s referred to by whiskey geeks) means that the spirit in the bottle, usually whiskey, was produced in a single distillation season by a single distillery. It also needs to mature in a federally bonded warehouse for a minimum of 4 years and then be bottled at 100 proof. Lastly the label needs to clearly state where it was distilled and bottled (if different from where distilled). This, obviously, only applies to spirits made in the USA and even today are, typically, a sign of a good dollar for flavor value.

Jim Beam Bonded Info

Region: Kentucky, USA

Distiller: Jim Beam
Mashbill: 77% corn, 13% rye, 10% malted barley
Cask: New charred oak
Age: 4 years (at least)
ABV: 50%

Price: $19

Jim Beam Bonded Review

EYE
Caramel

NOSE
Candy corn; waxy corn and caramel followed by notes of dark fruit leather, vanilla, toffee and spice. Lighter notes of yeast, minerality, chalk and wood float about adding an interesting dimension to the overall aroma. Comparing it to Jim Beam Black and White I’d say it’s closer to the JBB.

PALATE
Again it starts off with candy corn and dark fruit leather, but this time it’s mixed with some sarsaparilla spice. Lighter notes of toffee, vanilla, wood, raw grain and the yeast gets stronger towards the end. The palate is closer to the the Jim Beam White and ends up coming off like a richer JBW.

FINISH
Medium-long fade of corn, caramel, wood and allspice.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Good balance, round body and smooth easy sipping texture.

OVERALL
Jim Beam Bonded ends up coming through as a nice middle ground between the White and Black (8 years) and for the pice, it’s a pretty good value. While I can’t say that I LOVE the candy corn like essence of Jim Beam, I do find it somewhat comforting and overall the spirit gets better and better with a higher proof. Look at Booker’s for example, it’s fantastic! 100 proof is definitely a good spot for Jim Beam to be hanging out at.

SCORE: 84/100

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