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Bourbon Review: Baker’s

Baker’s 7 Year Bourbon:
Distiller: Jim Beam
Spirit: Small Batch Bourbon
Price: $44.95
ABV: 53.5%

Up front is a strong, hot and spicy caramel aroma that clears the path for a slight finish of vanilla and musk.

Once again strong caramel notes are present and are equally matched by notes of toasted nuts. There is a slight tobacco flavor in the background that add a nice depth to the bourbon. I am drinking this in late December, but this is certainly a bourbon that can be enjoyed year round even though there is something very “cold weather” about the palate.

Very well balanced, medium, smooth, sweet finish with a slight spice near the end which hits your throat, opening up the flavor for one last note of spicy caramel.

This makes a tremendous Old Fashion, Manhattan, and I can only fantasize about using it in my mint juleps on a sweltering Virginia summer afternoon. This is not so expensive that I feel guilty about using it in a cocktail; it’s delicious with a splash of water, and frankly I prefer it that way; but if you want a great cocktail, this mixes very well.

While I love the liquid inside – I do not care for the label. It’s got a good mix of old and new style lettering and style. However, it is either too busy, or not busy enough; it looks like they wanted to do a collage of images, letterings, etc, which would have been fine if they made a real collage with lots of images. Instead, they use about 5 or 6 seemingly random styles mashed together which ultimately produce an incoherent and amateur label.

This is one of my favorite bourbons. It isn’t too strong, but doesn’t take the back seat either. It’s incredibly diverse as a cocktail ingredient, and on it’s own, it is some of the finer bourbon that has ever passed through these lips. Also, this is not a seasonal bourbon. What I mean is that there are some bourbons which I really only enjoy when it’s cold (Booker’s), or when it’s hot (Maker’s Mark); Baker’s maintains its autumn flavors, but I can enjoy this any time of the year. Whether it’s a warm summer night when I get nostalgic about the crisp fall air, or a crisp autumn afternoon with orange and red falling leaves, I will reach for this bottle time and time again.

Reviewed by Richard Borean

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