Wanting to bring bourbon back to the way it was crafted around the turn of the century (that’s the 19th century), Booker Noe produced this barrel-proof (bourbon goes into the barrel at about 125 proof), uncut, unfiltered monster of a bourbon that, under the watchful eye of Booker’s son, Fred Noe, now clocks in at a whopping 130.1 proof.
But despite it’s high alcohol content and unfiltered approach, which leaves the appearance a smoky amber color, Booker’s is surprisingly smooth. It has intense aromas of smoky oak and vanilla, and a complex taste of fruit, oak, coffee and more vanilla. The pleasant, lingering finish is clean oak and rye.
Booker’s is a fine bourbon, but it’s not your every day kind of whiskey. A strong, complex spirit, the real accomplishment is how Booker’s manages to retain so much flavor, balance and nuance amidst all that alcoholic heat. It’s definitely one worth trying, and for my money, it’s the best bourbon among Jim Beam’s small batch lineup.
– 121 – 130.1 proof, depending on the year it was bottled
CE Rating: ★★★★