New Beam 11 Year Olds

With the American limited release whiskey season in full swing, the least-anticipated expressions are finally here! Oh wait, I said "least-anticipated." It's true: the Signature Craft editions of Jim Beam Bourbon are never things that get your blood pressure pumping or send your heart racing with excitement. Beam usually casts too wide of a net to get all that geeky. Yet, like with this year's Maker's Mark Cask Strength edition, Beam is showing some signs of revitalization with these two newbies below. They are both huge steps forward in the right direction. I was completely taken aback with their quality. And, because of Beam's size and production levels, you can actually get these.

Like the Maker's Mark Cask Strength, these are also 375ml half bottles. Check them out:

Jim Beam Signature 11 Year “Brown Rice” Straight Bourbon 375ml (1 bottle limit) $44.99- Using brown rice instead of rye as the flavor grain has only enhanced the sweetness of the corn and the intensity of the vanilla. It’s a big bold wave of barrel spice and rich Beam flavor. The finish does have a different sort of note, however; a bit of a grainy, maybe “ricey” character that I can’t quite put my finger on, but integrates beautifully into the wood. I was really impressed with this. A very distinct Bourbon that stands out from the group in terms of sheer balance and deliciousness.

Jim Beam Signature 11 Year "Red Wheat" Straight Bourbon 375ml (1 bottle limit) $44.99- The Beam 11 year old “soft red wheat” is exactly what you expect it to be: like a combination of Beam Signature 12 with Weller 12.  It’s a soft, creamy, deliciously delicate whiskey from Beam—maybe the most exciting Beam I’ve ever tasted just for its incredible crossover potential. It’s not cask strength and it’s not inexpensive, but what it lacks in specs it makes up for in flavor. You might hesitate in buying one, but you won’t regret it once you open the bottle. Good stuff, with that little flurry of baking spices and cinnamon on the finish that Bourbon fans go crazy for. Yet again, the best wheated Pappy/Weller-alternative this year comes from Jim Beam.

-David Driscoll

David Driscoll