Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A tasty treat – Jim Beam Small Batch With Port Added

Jim Beam Small Batch With Port Added

Continuing on with my personal bourbon trail I decided to explore the Jim Beam Small Batch Port Added expression namely released by Jim Beam. This bottle is what is classed as a Super Premium release part of the Small Batch Bourbon Collection. Other expressions in this collection you may know are Bakers, Knob Creek, Bookers, and Basil Haydens. Notably this is also one of the more economical choices by far sitting at just $42 AU a bottle.

For those that do not know what Small Batch is it refers to a hand selection of specific barrels of similar character blended to achieve a specific style in small quantities and usually I have found of very intense flavour.

Why I had been put off for so long was very much the fact it had the on the label 'Port Added'. How much port has been added, what type of port, and where form? No answers sorry. Questionably as well, is this still classed as a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky? At least the label sort of says this but not quite at the same time. Go to the Jim Beam and or Small Batch website and it is not even listed. Further searching on the web has found it may not even be available in the US at all which is interesting in itself. Information is so limited what I have found is just plagiarised form one site to another and tasting notes are non-existant.

Presentation is basic yet extremely well done. The bottle is squat, and rectangular with printing directly onto the bottle and a thick black synthetic type wax seal. Easy to handle and easy to pour. The bottle is exactly the same as Knob Creek right down to the wax seal.

Jim Beam Small Batch With Port Added
Alchohol: 40%
Location / Region: Kentucky
Batch No.: F-2913

Colour is a rich ruby caramel which is slightly out of ordinary for a bourbon that I can only attribute to the added port.

On the nose distinct toasted oak notes (though not as intense as a straight bourbon), maple sugars, sweet cherries, a hint of spice and varnish. The cherry sweetness is very attractive making me want to just jump straight in for a taste. Nothing off putting at all.

To taste all there are all the hall marks of a small batch bourbon with the some intense sweet corns, ryes, and barley, as well as straw and spices but then very quickly turns to a fruity christmas cake and sticky toffee pudding. On the pallet an extreme smoothness that just slips to the back of the throat.

The finish is a bit ho-hum and short just lacking the heat expected or retention in the chest for a cold night.

Balance is ok though sways a bit too much towards a liqueuresque style and the port really softens the blow of the alcohol. Sugars are very high in this whisky and residue can be felt on the lips well after the dram is gone.

If I was to give a dram then it would be 4 1/2 out of 7. I like it and could drink it anytime though the exact flavours and not quite memorable as they are all muddled together. I can really see this whisky being a very good cocktail blender. Extremely good value without a doubt and if your wanting something a little bit more special than your regular Wild Turkey this is the way to go. Also note just because it carries the Jim Beam badge do not expect it to taste like your run of the mill Jim Beam White Label. This bourbon has something special about it.

The Baron


  1. I own the Baker's, I really need to do a post on it. Unfortunately, winter makes me lean towards Scotch whisky. The whole port-thing sounds a little strange and I agree with you, all those strict rules around bourbon-making makes me think it ain't by-the-book.

    Another great review Baron.

  2. Your right the port softens the alcohol blow. Very Mild. Not much finish or punch. Smells good! Something hefty. Nice texture! It gets so mild after half way.

  3. Thinking of buying this Beam Port again but in different batch. Other opinions are Wild Turkey 101 Rye and Bruichladdich Rocks. Would the wine cask on Rocks make it sorta thick and less alcohol blow like Beam Port?

  4. The Bruchladdich Rocks I had a few years ago was purely from the old stocks of the original Laddie distillery. The was no wine cask finishes in it then. Would be curious to see it now. Wild Turkey Rye is very meaty in texture on the pallet but the alcohol is clearly there.

    Regarding the Jim Beam port I have been wanting to buy a new bottle soon.Very underrated but I guess that is because it is not actually whisky even though it carries the bourbon wording and is seen on the shelves amongst whisky. Very clever wording. Unlike the finished whisky in casks this bottling has port added to the mix hence why it becomes so soft.

  5. Does any one know where i can find the small batch?

  6. If you are in Australia then any dan Murphy's will hold them.