Baker’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
If you’ve taken a stroll through the whiskey section of your local boozery in the last few years, you’ve probably noticed a growing number of bottles with the designation “small batch” emblazoned across their labels. Now, the term “small batch” is fairly ambiguous at best in terms of a true measurement. Typically, it denotes a whiskey that’s been produced by blending the contents of a relatively small number of specially selected barrels. However, very few producers of “small batch” whiskey provide a clear indication of what they mean by the term. Regardless of the confusion, several of the better premium whiskeys available today happen to fit into that category. At our last Monday night meeting, the staff and I sampled a bottle of Baker’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, which with Basil Hayden’s, Knob Creek, and the recently reviewed Booker’s comprise the Jim Beam Small Batch Bourbon Collection.
Unlike the rest of the Small Batch Collection with their stylized and/or period labels, the bottle of Baker’s bourbon itself is fairly unassuming, marked almost exclusively with an oversized letter “B”. According to Baker Beam, grandnephew of Jim beam, “Baker’s bourbon embodies over six generations of distilling experience”, and a “tradition of putting our best secrets inside the bottle, not on the label”. The seven year maturated bourbon has a light amber color and weighs in at a potent 107 proof. Despite its 53.5% ABV, the Baker’s bourbon is actually fairly mellow and smooth. Its nose is extremely sweet and is comprised of aromas of vanilla and toffee. The Baker’s initial flavor is a combination of rich oak and vanilla with a slight alcohol burn, due to its relatively high ABV. The finish is long and smooth with a slight grain note that mellows into the Baker’s sweet profile. Opened with a splash of water, the preferred recipe of Baker Beam, the Baker’s sweetness becomes even more present; while its alcohol induced burn is noticeably diminished.
Baker’s bourbon is a great choice if you’re looking for a mellow, rich and medium bodied small batch whiskey. With its sweet and smooth finish, high alcohol and balanced flavors, Baker’s bourbon is a unique work of art that should definitely be experienced. So if you read our Booker’s review and it sounds like it might be a bit too intense for your palette, save yourself $10.00 and spring for its smoother, sweeter and slightly less potent incarnation. Baker’s bourbon retails for around $50.00 a bottle and is readily available in all markets.