Jim Beam has released a new collection of Bourbons under the name of Hardin’s Creek. Hardin’s Creek is where Jacob Beam settled in the 1790s. He started to distill whiskey in 1795. The first Bourbon pays homage to Jacob’s descendent Col. James B. Beam, who restarted the distillery up again after Prohibition. James B. Beam had been their distiller before Prohibition and was very old when Prohibition ended. He did not live long after he started the distillery, but he laid the foundations for the brand we know today. It is appropriate that this whiskey is a two year old whiskey, because that is what was being put into the bottle when he died. The second brand is a revival of the Jacob’s Well brand they created in the 1990s. It is named for the water source that Jacob Beam used in making his whiskey. We received these whiskeys from the Jim Beam “Whiskey Drop” program and they came in a nice package, but were not inexpensive whiskeys.
Hardin’s Creek Colonel James B. Beam Bourbon
Age: Two Years Old
- Mike: Corn, vanilla, pepper spice and oak wood.
- Matt: Corn, vanilla, cardamom spice and oak wood.
- Mike: Cornbread dough, vanilla, lemon zest and oak wood. Tasted with a dried cranberry and notes of wild berries and cinnamon come out. Tasted with a pecan and most of the flavors are washed out leaving oak wood and cinnamon.
- Matt: Sweet, buttery corn on the cob, cardamom and oak wood. The dried cranberry gave it a floral note of sunflowers and strawberries. The pecan brought out some caramel notes.
- Mike: Medium long with oak and black pepper spice. The dried cranberry made the pepper more of a floral white pepper. The pecan made the finish very long and dry with oak and cinnamon.
- Matt: Medium long with oak and black pepper spice. The dried cranberry made it even more peppery. The pecan made the finish very long and peppery.
Hardin’s Creek Jacob’s Well Bourbon
Age: 184 Months – Fifteen Years, Four Months
- Mike: Oak, Vanilla dried fruits – dates and cherries, tobacco and oak wood.
- Matt: Oak, tobacco, chocolate and peanut butter.
- Mike: Caramel and berries with lots of oak tannins and black pepper spice. The dried cranberry reduced the oak tannins and gave it more fruit and tobacco notes. The pecan made it very dry with oak tannins and black pepper dominating the taste.
- Matt: Oak and lots of it, tobacco with notes of peanut butter and chocolate. The dried cranberry brought out more chocolate and tobacco. The pecan made it taste of over-smoked mezcal and tobacco.
- Mike: Very dry with bitter oak tannins and black pepper. The dried cranberry tamed the pepper somewhat, but left the finish still very dry with bitter oak tannins. The pecan simply made the finish very long with bitter oak tannins and pepper.
- Matt: Lots of oak and tobacco. The dried cranberry enhanced the tobacco notes. The pecan gave it the taste of charcoal – chewing on a barrel stave.
I would pair these Bourbons with a cigar that has lots of vanilla and chocolate notes in the smoke. A My Father The Judge is what I would reach for when drinking these Bourbons.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller