Product Relaunch: Baker’s 7 Single Barrel
Today we’re taking a look at the relaunch of Baker’s 7 from the Jim Beam lineup. Baker’s bourbon has always carried a 7 year age statement–but the re-branding comes not only with a packaging re-design, but also a migration from a small batch product to a single barrel product. Let’s take a look!
Baker Beam, the cousin to Booker Noe, and namesake for this expression from the Beam distillery, held some firm beliefs on how to make great bourbon. It only stands to reason that his standards would be upheld in the bottle adorning his name. From the Beam website:
Baker has always believed that the ideal bourbon is made according to three fundamental rules: First, it’s aged at least seven years to extract the notes of vanilla trapped within the charred oak. Second, a great bourbon carries substantial flavor. And third, when he tries it, he better like it. These rules might seem simple, but they make for one hell of a bourbon. And today, inspired by the living legend that is Baker Beam, we craft every barrel of this exquisite, 7-year, 107-proof, single-barrel bourbon with these things in mind.
Having always enjoyed Beam products, I wasn’t shy to grab this upon the release. While this product is aged-stated as a (at least) 7 years, it’s worth noting that the bottle we picked up is 8 years 6 months. Now, let’s dig in.
Nose – Big vanilla right up front. A little honey oak trickling in, and bringing some brown sugar along with it.
Taste – Mouthfeel is decent. There is a touch of heat, but it’s nothing heavy and doesn’t drink to it’s proof. A bit of toasted nuts. It’s sweet and carries with it a nice vanilla caramel note. Not super complex, but overall pretty tasty.
Finish – I’ll get creative and call this a “short medium” finish. There’s a tiny bit of spice that kicks the sweet peanut brittle to a little more cinnamon and brown sugar with just a touch of something fruity going on.
Bourbon Finder Grade: B+
If you’re totally new to the Baker’s product, I think you’ll be happy with the taste. If you’re an old hat, and have enjoyed Baker’s over the years, I think you’ll be happy with the taste. Having had both expressions (maybe I’ll see if there’s an old bottle on the shelf for comparison?) I can say with confidence that the new single barrel product stands out more to me. Being totally honest, I was never that moved by the Baker’s product in the past, but if these single barrels all stand up to the first one we’ve purchased…well…this will be a regular on my bar.
This bottle is available now at Keg N Bottle
Our grading system: As mentioned in our About Us page, we’re excited to share bourbon with our friends, family, and readers. There are enough critics, cynics, and curmudgeons in the whiskey world as it is. Our goal is to foster the bourbon community in a positive way by bringing fun–and entertaining content whenever possible– as such, we decided that applying precise scores to whiskey was simply too serious for us (and didn’t accurately showcase the variability in taste from day to day). We use a simple grade school system to apply a grade to the whiskeys we review because we feel it is indicative of the whiskey’s grade for us on that particular day. A grade of a “B” today may very well be a “B+” or even a “B-” on another day, so rather than focusing on a precise score, we are just sharing our overall grade of that pour for that one tasting. Pour a bit and enjoy, friends, these are the good old days of whiskey!