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It took nearly the total first half of 2022, however bourbon drinkers can lastly get their fingers on Jim Beam’s newest within the Booker’s line. This launch — 2022-01 — is called for Ronnie Land, a 40-year Beam worker who labored on the firm’s Clermont and Boston, Kentucky services. Land rose to Warehouse Supervisor and labored carefully with Booker Noe.
In line with a Beam launch, Land knew “precisely the place Booker most well-liked to retailer his namesake barrels and was trusted to organize the samples for batch analysis.” For somebody so tied to the Booker’s legacy, it appears becoming Ronnie will get his personal launch.
This 124.3 proof batch was aged 6 years, 11 months, and 22 days. That’s a couple of months older than we’ve seen for the previous few releases, however the proof is correct consistent with latest iterations (simply 0.05% abv lower than 2021-04). Let’s dive in.
The nostril hits lengthy earlier than tasting begins, preliminary sweetness and vanilla wafting throughout the desk whereas it’s resting within the glass. On nearer inspection, it hits basic Booker’s notes: huge, leathery, smoky. That’s adopted by mesquite and applewood smoke, a tempting pair that drags the senses into summer season barbecue territory. There’s one thing subtly vegetal right here however robust to determine — possibly stewed tomatoes? In any case, the savory nostril will get the mouth watering shortly and unrelentingly.
The palate hits a lot sweeter than nostril itself suggests. There’s a wealthy caramel that covers the tongue with out coating it. I don’t get the heavy oiliness frequent in Booker’s, however one thing extra akin to candy tea. This transitions shortly to honey and vanilla, a combo that threatens to overpower on sweetness however reveals sufficient restraint to maintain drinkers coming again. (A pair drops of water assist the flavors keep in concord.) Noticeably, this lacks a few of the fruit notes we would anticipate from the expression; somewhat apple is there, but it surely takes some digging. Later sips lastly convey on basic Beam peanut and chocolate, every with a backseat to that huge hit of honey.
The end is lengthy and brings on extra honey, together with baking spice and cinnamon sugar. It’s flavor-forward however not fiery on the way in which down; this batch really appears to drink a bit under proof, making it a neater sipper than a few of the others within the lineage.
This launch boasts an fascinating — and finally profitable — interaction between savory and candy. Extra fruit may have rounded out issues, however total, Ronnie’s Batch suits effectively in a lineup that’s produced a very good hit price of latest winners.
A- / $90 / bookersbourbon.com