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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sipp’n Corn Bourbon Review – Booker’s 25th Anniversary Bourbon

I’m late to this party because I was shut out of Booker’s 25th Anniversary Bourbon last year.  Fortunately a friend helped me out, and now I’ve been able to see what all the fuss has been about.

Booker’s 25th Anniversary Bourbon is, of course, named after Booker Noe, the 6th generation distiller who died in February 2004 and who left a giant legacy at Jim Beam and throughout the Bourbon world.  The standard brand specs for Booker’s are about 6-8 years old, but the special limited edition anniversary bottling is about 10 years old, and it may have been part of the last distillation and barreling that Booker oversaw.

Thank you Booker Knows (@bourbonooga) for sharing.



Bourbon:
Booker’s 25th Anniversary Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Distillery:
Beam Suntory (at the time, still Jim Beam), Clermont, Ky.

Age:
10 years, 3 months

Proof:
Batch 2014-1 – 130.8 proof

Cost:
$99.99 retail; over $200 on secondary market


Tasting Notes

Color:
Dark amber.

Nose:
Oak, pepper, dark fruit, leather, and some subtle non-candy sweetness.

Taste:
Robust cinnamon, leather, and slight citrus (the citrus was accentuated with ice).  There is also a balance of sweetness, but overall it’s still on the darker, smoky side of Bourbon.  Surprisingly, the high proof was very well hidden; I never would have guessed it.  High proof so often can overwhelm a Bourbon, but not here.  The bottle had some air before I tried it, so I would expect a fresh pour from a new bottle would have more heat.

Finish:
Wow – here’s where Booker’s 25th Anniversary really shined for me.  What a long, fantastic finish with more dark oaky and leather flavors along with maple sweetness.

Bottom Line


As before, I don’t rate when I have a limited sample because I can’t explore it over time, but just after this first impression, I’d be willing to put Booker’s 25th Anniversary Bourbon in contention for one of the top five American whiskies of 2014.  For those who were lucky enough to find it but still haven’t opened it, please either send it to me or try it as soon as possible.  You won’t be disappointed.

I thought it would be darker, but it is indistinguishable from
Maker’s Mark Cask Strength.
Which is which?

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