Jim Beam Maple and Jim Beam Hardcore Cider

As the nights draw in, my mind turns to the comforting and warming drinks and liqueurs that I can pour to stay cosy in the evenings. Whisky liqueurs are typically a good choice for this sort of thing, so I was pleased to receive two samples of Jim Beam’s latest offerings from our friend, Seva, in NJ.

Jim Beam already have a cavalcade of whiskey liqueurs and flavoured whiskies, such as Red Stag Black Cherry, Red Stag Honey Tea, Jim Beam Honey, and Jim Beam Winter Punch.
Jim Beam Maple Bottle Flavored WhiskyJim Beam Maple (35% ABV)

The first sample to try today is Jim Beam Maple, a bourbon that has been infused with natural flavours and is bottled at 35% ABV.

Nose: Initially, a powerful burst of thick, sticky maple syrup, followed by darker notes of molasses, dark rum, a little Pedro Ximenez and sweet coffee. Finally, there are some liquorice at the end.
Taste: A lovely, strong smooth flavour of genuine maple syrup. Very sweet without being heavy or sticky in texture. This is reminiscent of American style pancakes and syrup, backed up by vanilla and dark caramel. The mouthfeel is of a bourbon, but the flavour is really dominated by the rich, sappy maple. The same flavour continues on the finish, only with less of the sweetness, which means that it is lasting, but not cloying.

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Jim Bam Red Stag Hardcore Cider BottleJim Beam Red Stag Hardcore Cider (40% ABV)

Our second flavoured bourbon is Hardcore Cider, which is infused with cider and natural flavours. It joins the previous Red Stag varieties of Black Cherry, Spiced and Honey Tea.

Nose: Another strong nose, this time of very sweet apple, like Applejack sweets here in the UK (the apple variety of Fruit Salad or Blackjack chewy sweets). It’s vibrant, but rather artificial in its sugary sweetness, although after a while you can also pick up notes of pear and vanilla.
Taste: Silky smooth in texture, almost syrupy, but not as heavy. The initial flavour is very sweet and a tad richer than expected, with confectionery notes of apple, vanilla and hints of other fruits like banana and papaya. The finish is lightly warming and sweet, mainly consisting of vanilla and sweet apple.
In Conclusion

Once again, Jim Beam have produced two very flavourful varieties of their bourbon, each with very distinctive flavour profiles. The Maple was easily my favourite, with a rich, genuine flavour that fits in perfectly next to Jim Beam’s other varieties. I think it will work particularly well in warming, seasonal drinks and am eager to try it in a toddy; I’ll report back on how this goes shortly.

I think the Red Stag Hardcore Cider works less well, especially on its own, where it seems less “hardcore” and more like an apple liqueur. Then again, maybe I am biased because of the dry cider that DT favours! That said, I’m sure that it, too, could be used well in mixed drinks like toddies, especially alongside an extra drop or two of bourbon and some bitters to balance out some of the sweetness.

Well, if I wasn’t craving a toddy before, I am now…

– Mrs. B.

Follow Jim Beam on Twitter @jimbeamuk

Your chance to visit the Jim Beam Stillhouse – in London!

On 21 and 22 November 2013, Jim Beam will transport bourbon-loving Londoners over the rolling hills of Kentucky and into the world-class Jim Beam Stillhouse which will stand, for two nights only, in The Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, London.

Visitors will then travel through tunnels deep into the Stillhouse for an intriguing glimpse into the Distillation and Ageing Room, bringing them closer to the bourbon-making process. Immersive theatre will bring to life the unique proprietary process used to create Jim Beam’s most intense member of the family, Devil’s Cut, whilst guests revel in a taste of the extraordinary new bourbon.A flavour explosion awaits in The Mixology Room where bartenders will serve up a playful cocktail experience. Here guests can enjoy the infused flavours of Red Stag by Jim Beam and Jim Beam Honey.

The journey will culminate with the unique opportunity for guests to make their mark on Jim Beam’s history, before being brought back out onto the bustling streets of Shoreditch, by signing their name on an authentic American oak barrel, which will be taken back to the distillery in Kentucky, filled and aged. All Stillhouse attendees will then receive a bottle of Jim Beam White from the special barrel four years later.

 The price of tickets is £5 (plus booking fee) and spaces are limited. Available through Eventbrite

When: Thursday 21 November, from 6pm – 10pm
Friday 22 November, from 6pm – 10pm

Where: The Boiler House at the Old Truman Brewery
91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL

Bookings: Book your time session at https://jimbeamstillhouse.eventbrite.com

WOW 35 – Jim Beam Hot Punch Whiskey

WOW34 Title

JimBeamHotPunchBottle

This week it’s been rather chilly in the UK, certainly for the end of February, and so it seems appropriate that, as the Siberian winds swirl, I let you know of another way to keep warm: the whiskey way; namely, Jim Beam Hot Punch. Anyone who’s popped down to see the guys at The Whisky Exchange at London Bridge will probably have noticed their display of white-labelled bottles from a famous Lynchburg distillery (Jack Daniels Winter Punch), so it’s little surprise that this equally unusual bottle came from the same source.

We reviewed Jack Daniels Winter Punch here and it has been a firm favourite with various friends and family ever since. Jim Beam Hot Punch appears to be in a similar vein; both are bottled at 15%ABV and both appear to be made for the German market.

Here is the sidebar from Jim Beam Hot Punch:

JimBeamHotPunch Sidebar

The Taste

Cold
Nose: Whoa! I was not expecting that. Sugary notes of peach, pineapple and strawberry, all combined with a bubblegum-esque flavour and creamy, vanilla undertones. Without a doubt, this reminds me strongly of gummy/foam ice-cream cone sweets.
Taste: Smooth and very easy to sip. There’s a burst of sweet fruitiness to start that then dries out, but the vanilla and gummy/gelatine flavour remains. A tiny hint of warmth appears at the back of the throat, but nothing major (it’s only 15%ABV after all). The main flavours are, like on the nose, pineapple, peach, apricot, strawberry and apple. Despite this, it’s not overly sugary, but it definitely has a confectionery flavour to it that I didn’t expect.

JimBeamHotPunch HOT

Warm
Nose: The same gummy-ice-cream-sweet flavour, with notes of vanilla and fruit, only slightly more sickly than when served cold (mainly via the vapours).
Taste: More potent than the cold version. The sweet flavours transform into a fruity, tart flavour that’s almost sour, like gooseberries, or cooked fruit – pears or apples – with vanilla and a tiny hint of cinnamon. This serve is obviously much more warming, too.

In Conclusion
All-in-all, I thought this was a little odd. The broad sweep of sweet, fruit flavours reminded me more of summer than winter (in contrast to the packaging and concept) and, unlike the Winter Jack, it doesn’t have any seasonal, spicy notes. Additionally, unlike the Jim Beam Red Stag flavoured Bourbons, I couldn’t really get any whiskey notes after all of the fruitiness. Despite this, I’m sure many people will enjoy it; just not if they’re after a whiskey!

– Mrs. B.

Jim Beam Hot Punch is available in the UK but The Whisky exchange seems to be the only place that stock it. It is available online at £15 for 70cl.

For other sweet Jim Beam treats, why not check out our reviews of Jim Beam Honey or Cherry Red Stag and, if you happen to be in the US, the Red Stag Spice or Red Stag Honey Tea may be of interest.

Jim Beam’s Devil’s Cut Whisky in Halloween Cocktails

Today’s Whispers of Whisk(e)y is a rather exciting and seasonal look at Jim Beam Devil’s Cut, a relatively new Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey from the Jim Beam Distillery.

Many readers will probably have heard of the “angel’s share”. As an aged spirit is left to mature in wooden casks, some of the alcohol will evaporate and be lost to both the distiller and the end drinker; this is often referred to as the “angel’s share”. The volume lost can vary hugely, depending upon the location of the warehouse and thus the temperature changes experienced.

Although it’s given that the angels always will take their share, Jim Beam have decided to look at another volume of alcohol that is lost, not to the air (or angels), but to the barrel itself; a portion that they’re referring to as the “devil’s cut”. They have designed a process to extract the whiskey that has seeped into the wood of the barrel, which they then hold for a period of time before blending it with a 6 Year Old Bourbon. It’s then bottled at 45%ABV (or 90 Proof), which is notably stronger than the other varieties of Jim Beam.

In addition to trying this on its own, DTS & I thought it would be appropriate to try it in an array of suitably seasonal cocktails, in case anyone is planning a Halloween party (or just a night in with some Bourbon and horror movies!).

On its own
Nose: Rich, syrupy, traditional bourbon notes: vanilla, caramel, and hints of coffee fondant. Well-rounded, sweet and woody.
Taste: There’s an initial, intriguing, soft sweetness, especially at the front of palate. A much stronger, dryer flavour slowly builds up at the back of the mouth, which is woody, with very measured notes of vanilla and orange. Although I initially thought that this would be ideal for cocktails, with the softness at the start and straightforward, but bold flavour later on, I quickly realised that this also makes for a wonderfully easy-to-drink bourbon that nonetheless has a lot of quite weighty oak notes and grown-up dryness.


The Bat Monster’s Manhattan
[4 parts Devil’s Cut, 2 parts Red Vermouth, 1 part Luxardo Cinnamon Liqueur (or other cinnamon/spiced liqueur)] – Shake or Stir as you prefer.

An interesting nose of liquorice leads to a soft (but by no means sugary) combination of flavours that fade from sweet liquorice, to liquorice root, to dry oak. A flash of fiery cinnamon appears in the midst of this and manages to linger on your lips for a while afterwards. The warmth of the whiskey also slowly builds, making this perfect for the current chilly climate. Delicious, but soft and not overpowering.


Swamp Creature’s Pumpkin Old Fashioned
[50ml Devil’s Cut, 1tsp Pumpkin Pie Mix, 3 Dashes of Bitters, 10ml Sugar Syrup – STIR]

The wood notes seem to be much stronger in this drink, with an underlying spiciness of cinnamon and a interesting kick of chilli. The pumpkin comes through on the finish, just like pumpkin pie filling, and accompanied by spicy oak notes.

Witch’s Mint Julep
[50ml Devil’s Cut, 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Mix, 10ml Sugar/Maple Syrup, 3-4 Fresh Mint Leaves] – Shake (without ice) and then pour into a julep cup filled with crushed ice.

A very interesting take on a Mint Julep; this has a much creamier, sweeter mint flavour, which reminds me somewhat of mint fondant. The whiskey builds on the finish and adds a refreshing dry flavour to what is a generally sweeter version of a Julep. Although this may be too sweet for some, I think it makes for a fun alternative to a usual Julep, e.g. for a Halloween party.

Frankenstein Fizz
[30ml Devil’s Cut, 10ml King’s Ginger Liqueur, 100ml Ginger Ale]

Another delicious, smooth and autumnal cocktail. Fresh citrus to start, with notes of both lemon and orange, followed by a sweetness that seamlessly fades into the oak of the whiskey. Ginger appears – subtly to start, but gradually building – on the finish, adding a spicy warmth to that of the whiskey base. Absolutely lovely.

Monster Milk
[30ml Devil’s Cut, 10ml Orange Liqueur (I used Grand Gala), 10ml King’s Ginger Liqueur, 50ml Semi-Skimmed Milk] – Add to a heat proof mug and microwave for 30 seconds, garnish with flake chocolate.]

Warming and comforting, this is a milky cocktail with still a very generous helping of whiskey; the warmth comes from both the temperature and the spirit, plus a lovely hint of ginger that – like with the previous cocktail – builds on the finish. The nose has a lot of sweet orange, which appears again on the taste, with the comforting taste of warm milk in the background. Although the whiskey is less prominent in this cocktail than in those previous, I can see it filling a very specific niche.

In Conclusion
Jim Beam Devil’s Cut is excellent for drinking neat, being smooth and sound, but with strong and weighty oak notes, too. In addition, its simple, but bold flavour provides options for making a whole range of tasty cocktails, as seen above. I liked all of the ones that we tried, but my favourite two were the Frankenstein Fizz and the Bat Monster’s Manhattan.

– Mrs. B.

Jim Beam devil cut is available for around £26 for 70cl from The Whisky Exchange.

The Swamp Monster gets the last word: "Grrr Arrgh!"

The Swamp Monster gets the last word: “Grrr Arrgh!”