#330 • Jim Beam 12 Signature Craft

43% alc./vol.
James B. Beam Distillery, Clermont, Kentucky, United States

We all know good old Jim Beam, a commercial mainstay of genuine American bourbons. Well from time to time, we like to be spoiled with a small special edition, a plush bottling, even a nice statement of age. Here is the Jim Beam 12 years Signature Craft.

It is a special distillate from the master distiller Fred Noe, prepared in small batches, aged 12 years in new oak barrels and bottled at 43% alcohol.

As the Canadian journalist and founder of the eponymous group rightly said, Alphonse Desjardins (1854-1920) said so well:

A handwritten signature often reveals the character of its author. And sometimes even his name.

Seems rather pale versus the more typical bourbons.

Nose:
Hard candies, corn and vanilla with a little soapy aspect. Walnut accents topped with honey and butterscotch. Dusty mint leaf.

Taste:
Sweet with honey and vanilla. Corn and spices wake up soon after. Quite silky in the mouth, with a pleasant impression of graham crackers and fresh mango.

Finish:
Quite short in demonstrating spikes of cocoa, spices and orange peel with a return of candy from the nose.

Balance:
A beautiful bourbon almost top shelf. From time to time, it is good to leave aside the entry-level bourbons and release a little more sorrel and enjoy a quality product. 12 years of aging and more!

Note: ★★★★★

# 248 • Jim Beam Devil's Cut

45% alc./vol.
James B. Beam Distillery, Clermont, Kentucky, United States

Today is Halloween, so I thought to myself that we need a little something special, a little something sinister. So I'm going with this bourbon which has a rather demonic name and origins, I named (because demons must be named as we say) the Jim beam devil's cut.

Anyone who is even at all familiar with the whiskey maturing process is aware that over the years a certain amount of whiskey, different depending on the climate, is lost due to evaporation. This is poetically called the "angel's share". Conversely, when a barrel of spirits is emptied, another quantity of liquid remains trapped in the wood. Well Jim Beam developed a process to extract this portion of the whiskey, portion they named just as allegorically The Devil's Cut, which in French translates to “the devil's part” or even better in good old Quebecois “la cut of the devil ".

It is a bourbon which lends itself perfectly to recipes based on good old American whiskey, such as my Pulled Pork (we replace the Maker's) or my bbq sauce for ribs (coming soon, yum!).

We feel particularly well the ideology behind this bourbon thanks to a marketing of thunder which strikes with surgical precision on the head of the nail to seduce its target customers.

I let you make your own idea with the following ad:

As the French writer said so well Henry-René-Albert-Guy Maupassant (1850-1893) so aptly put it:

The bistros are the confessionals of the devil.

Deep coppery amber, like a bezel to hell.

Nose:
Rather strong spices try to obscure it all, but the rest of the profile manages to come out with a certain finesse. Cherry, yogurt, oak and fruit punch. Nuts and caramel complete the picture.

Taste:
Full-bodied vanilla, outbidding apricots and peaches, below which you can smell corn. We thoroughly taste the dry wood and the spices of the bourbon.

Finish:
Sweet, for its alcohol content, and long. Layer on top of the corn, spicy caramel, vanilla and ground coffee.

Balance:
Light years away from original. I don't know exactly what "process" they take to extract this board juice, but it's hell.

Note: ★★★★★