This limited edition Bourbon from Jim Beam does not seem to be getting much press. It is called “Repeal Batch” because they did not chill filter the Bourbon. They say that is the way it was done after Repeal of Prohibition. This is true since the refrigeration technology needed to chill filter did not really develop until after World War II. However if they really wanted to honor Repeal, then they should have done the limited edition as a bonded Bourbon. People wanted bonded whiskey after Repeal but there was very little of it available. There was very little aged whiskey available. What was available was in the hands of the companies who had licenses to sell medicinal whiskey during prohibition.
This whiskey tastes to me as if it is simply a batch of Jim Beam Black that has not been chill filtered. That is a good thing as I do like Jim Beam Black. I have seen bottles on the shelf here in Louisville and it is not high priced for a limited edition product. It is a good Bourbon and I am sure with a little fancier bottle and some press support, the marketing people could have priced it higher and had it sell out in the stores. I personally am glad they did not give it more support because it means real Bourbon drinkers can get a bottle instead of the bottle flippers.
Jim Beam Limited Edition Repeal Batch
Age: No Age Statement
Nose: Corn, Vanilla and some oak. This is not an overly complex Bourbon on the nose.
Taste: Corn, vanilla, oak and a touch of white pepper spice. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the Bourbon takes on a caramel corn (Cracker Jacks) flavor. Tasted with a pecan brings out some citrus notes and enhances the oak.
Finish: Long, dry and peppery. The cranberry lessens the pepper and enhances the oak. The pecan makes the finish both oaky and peppery.
I have chosen an A. Fuente “Short Story” to pair with this Bourbon. I find the smoke a sweet tobacco and vanilla smoke and my theory is that it will balance the oak and pepper. It worked pretty well in practice with the Bourbon adding a little cedar spice to the smoke while the smoke tamed the spice – more baking spices and less pepper, and added a little creaminess to the Bourbon.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller