I’m a creature of habit. I’ve been wearing the same 3 pairs of denim for the past 2 years. When I go out to eat, I usually stick with something familiar. The same is true when buying a bottle. My initial love for whisky began with single malt scotch. It took a while for me to branch out into bourbon. But over the years it has become my go-to spirit. One of my favorite things about being part of the The Charred Barrel Society is that it forces me to try bottles that I’d otherwise pass by. Baker’s is one of those bourbons I’d been curious to try, but shied away from due to it’s higher price point.
Hailing from Jim Beam’s distinguished line of small batch bourbons, Baker’s is aged no less than 7 years and comes in hot at 53.5% ABV. From the start, you should know that this bourbon was a bit polarizing among Society members. There was little “middle ground”. So I imagine you’ll either love or hate it.
The Nose: You will find hints of vanilla and creme brule married with cinnamon spice and sherry. It is surprisingly smooth considering the higher alcohol content.
The Pallet: Members noted licorice, rye, lemongrass, and cinnamon.
The Finish: The finish is long, hot, and peppery. Several members noted a medicinal aftertaste. I feel this was the polarizing factor.
The Verdict: Our Society tasters gave Baker’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey a blind finger pour rating of 1.6. Based on the price point of this bottle (around $55) we consider it to be a medium to low value.
It is important to note that this is based on an average score between all who blind tasted that evening. There were some present who really enjoyed Baker’s. I was among them. As a fan of “intense” whiskies, this was right up my ally. Then again, I also find Lagavulin lacking in the peat department! So with that, if you are a fan of whiskies that really hit hard (think Old Granddad Bonded or Knob Creek), I can confidently recommend this bottle. But if you prefer smoother, more nuanced bourbon’s, you should probably pass on this on.
To Friends, Fellowship, and The Society