Jim Beam Bonded Bourbon has been repackaged in the last few years. The bottle I have is one of the first repackaged bottles and they goofed on the label. All Bonded whiskeys have to state on the label the DSP number of the distillery that made the whiskey and the designers left it off the label. It was pointed out to Beam by that champion of Bonded whiskey, Bernie Lubbers, and they quickly made the correction. It is interesting that they take the time to briefly discuss the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897 on the label but then made this fundamental omission. Marketers! What can you say?
Jim Beam makes some good Bourbon and the Bonded is no exception. My biggest problem with Jim Beam White Label is the low proof. There simply is not enough flavor to enjoy White Label neat and it begs to be mixed in a cocktail to give it a flavor boost. Jim Beam Bonded takes care of that lack of flavor. It is a very enjoyable Bourbon neat but is still economical enough that you will not feel guilty if you put it in cocktails. It is a very versatile Bourbon that you can take to parties for everyone to enjoy.
Jim Beam Bonded Bourbon
Age: No Age Statement
Nose: A yeasty cornbread with some vanilla and a hint of tobacco.
Taste: Corn with lots of vanilla with a hint of white pepper and oak. When tasted with a dried cranberry an apple fruit flavor comes forward and the tannins are reduced. Tasted with a pecan and the apple is complemented by a slight citrus note and the pepper becomes more baking spices.
Finish: The finish is medium long and dry with oak tannins and white pepper. The cranberry makes for a longer finish with some sweet fruit notes up front before the oak tannins kick in. The pecan enhance the oak and reduces the pepper spice in the finish.
I have chosen a Tatuaje El Triunfador Lanceros cigar to have with this Bonded Bourbon. I find the smoke has a bit of a barnyard flavor with hints of vanilla and wood smoke. The Bourbon takes that barnyard note out of the smoke and adds some subtle spice notes. The smoke brings out the ripe apple and vanilla flavors in the Bourbon.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller