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Drink Review: Jim Beam White Label

Made to the same formula since 1795, this giant of the category is aged for four years in oak barrels to create a smooth, mellow taste with hints of spice

Jim Beam White Review:

It’s no secret that one of my favorite things about Bourbon is trying a variety of Jim Beam White Label. It’s an affordable, economical and tasty bottle of whiskey.

One bottle is all it takes for me to create my favorite drink of all time, the White Label Jim Beam. It’s an inexpensive whiskey, but you don’t taste the price – a trendy thing I find this whiskey can better than many of the more expensive bottles of whiskey. There’s a mellow quality to this drink, with not too much burn on your tongue if you take a sip – a quality that differentiates its alcohol to pleasure ratio from many of the other Whiskeys in this category.

You can really taste the spice as the liquid is not a harsh splash of warm, but a smooth and enjoyable sip that leaves your mouth feeling right.

For the money, the White Label is the perfect ‘Budget Bourbon’ and a good choice if you’re just starting out on Bourbon tastings and want a decent-sized bottle.

This drink pairs well with blue cheese or other fruits.

The White Label is one of the more affordable Bourbons, and one that I rate highly, and I give it a ‘Buy’ and a ‘Grab’.

It’s no secret that the recipe and age of Jim Beam White has changed many times over the years.

According to the official Jim Beam White Label website, the original Jim Beam White Whiskey – released sometime in the late 1700’s – was made from “corn, rye or wheat (or a blend of all three), fermented in pure potable water, then aged in charred white oak barrels it was once called Old Potrero, ‘pot’ and ‘ro after the spirit.”

Now, Jim Beam White is made with corn, rye and wheat with a star anise-like spice added. Many other changes were made to this recipe and the brand over the years and it was renamed to National Distillers White in the early 1950’s, and to Rye in the mid-1950’s. By the 1980’s, they went back to the Jim Beam White name and contained no age statement.

I would not recommend trying this drink with a red or white Zinfandel or Merlot, although depending on your preferences, you could add the alcohol content of these two wines to the alcohol content of the White Label. Personally, I prefer the White Label with medium-priced red wines.

While this drink is highly-tippable, I personally would skip the drama of trying to take a sip and try something similar like the ‘Bourbon and a Buckeye’ or a ‘Golden Perfect’ instead.

My personal favorite is Jim Beam White Label (White) 1996 and I give it a ‘Strong Buy’, while the Jim Beam White Label (White) 2006 gets a ‘Strong Buy’ in my book with a ‘Like’.

I give the Jim Beam White Label (White) 2009 a ‘Strong Buy’ as it is different, but I don’t like it nearly as much as the 1996 or 2006. I give it a ‘Strong Buy, but not my favorite. It’s what you call a ‘Jack a** Bourbon’, and they can be quite tasty if you know how to mix them well.

If it were up to me, I would take this 30 year old ‘White Label’ and stick a wooden spoon in its bottle and stir it up. It would be like Devil’s Food Cake in a bottle. Ummm, delicious.

When I make my favorite drink of all time, the White Label Jim Beam, there’s no point in putting ice in it, because it would lower the quality of the drink.

Just pour a small glass of the Bourbon, add a small ice cube or two, a little splash of Sprite (or similar) and serve.

Jim Beam White Review:

Beam is a personal favorite, it fits my palate better than the cheaper Jack Daniel’s, and I think it has more of a refined quality to it than the Wild Turkey 101.

This is one of the few vodkas I enjoy drinking outside of the South. I only drink it when I go out with my wife, and I only make the White Label (White) when I’m solo. I’d rather get good vodka served by a fairly attractive woman, but that’s just me.

The Beam is a highly-tippable drink that is nicely smooth, but with a small kick. It gets a ‘Strong Buy’ and a ‘Grab’ from me, and I would recommend the bottle to a newbie on whiskey.

Written by Mark Adams

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