The barrels for Booker’s True Barrel bourbon were originally hand selected by Booker Noe (grandson of Jim Beam and a legendary distiller), only for friends and family. Since 1988 the company turned it into a public small batch series.
This particular batch 2017-01E is 6 years and one month old and is bottled at cask strength.The whiskey has a mash bill of 75% corn, 13% rye and 12% barley and barrels are drawn from the centre of the warehouse, which produces an intensely flavoursome Bourbon.
Due to its limited nature and reputation, Booker’s bourbon saw a significant price increase early 2017, from around € 60 to € 80-100. If Trump continues its plans, and the European Union decides extra taxes on bourbon whiskey are a proper countermeasure, then its value for money is likely to become rather weak.
Booker’s True Barrel 6 yo (62,7%, OB 2017, Batch 2017-01E)
Nose: quite rich and robust. Freshly shaved wood notes with varnish right from the start, lots of coconuts. Caramelized walnuts and roasted almonds, as well as oranges, dark treacle and toffee. Aromatic leather. Vanilla syrup. Dried banana. Increasing minty and earthy notes.
Mouth: again very powerful and woody. Pine forest. All on mint and eucalyptus, nutmeg and alcohol heat. Then some burnt maize and charred oak. Water takes away the astringency and shows more plummy notes, lemon, cinnamon and rye spices. Dark chocolate too. No too complex but nice flavours.
Finish: long, on tobacco, leather, caramel and After Eight.
Quite fierce and condensed when undiluted. I can stand some wood in my bourbons, and I like this, but you’ll have to work with water to open it up. The Whisky Barrel has a reasonable pricing.