Baker’s is named after Baker Beam who works at Jim Beam. On the family tree he’s the great grand-nephew of Jim Beam. This Bourbon was his creation and hence carries his name. It seems to use the Beam mash recipe and it says it uses a special “jug yeast.” I’m thinking this may be the standard Beam yeast and the jug is a reference to the fact Jim Beam used to take jug of yeast home with him every night. He did so because he wanted a backup in case something happened to the yeast at the plant. Perhaps it is a special yeast or perhaps it’s just the Beam special yeast. Either way, the flavor profile to me seem similar to the rest of the Beam products.
Baker’s has a 7 year age statement and is bottled at a generous 107-proof. It’s one of four products in Jim Beam’s “Small Batch” lineup which includes Baker’s, Basil Hayden, Knob Creek, and Booker’s.
7 years old. Bottled at 107-proof. Mash bill of 73% corn, 13% rye, and 10% barley. Paid $47
Nutty, peanuts. Caramel, Vanilla. Bready. Some Oak.
Sweet and caramel. Some alcohol heat. Proof is a little high here, but still enjoyable. Nutty, biscuity, raisins, figs, dark fruit like. Burt sugars. Distinctly Beam
This is a rich flavorful pour with the distinct Beam profile. There’s a lot to like here with big flavors. Alcohol is bit high on this, but I prefer it at full strength. A little water will dial down the alcohol, but I think it loses some of the thick richness. It’s got a great mouthfeel that’s worth keeping even if it means smaller sips.
As with Knob Creek, the Beam yeast thing can be polarizing. If it’s not your thing, you’ll probably enjoy something else.
Comparing this to Knob Creek, I think Baker’s is richer and deeper. A little more burt caramel flavors. Baker’s has an extra 7-proof in its favor, although Knob Creek has an extra couple years of age. Those are only two levers in building Bourbon. They’re both similar and if you like one, you’ll like the other. Baker’s cost me $11 more than Knob Creek and that might be a tough sell. While I enjoy both of these Bourbons and I’ve even ordered them at a bar a number of times, they’re not my preferred pour. I’d probably just opt buy Knob Creek and pocket the extra cash, but if you’re into Jim Beam products I think you’ll appreciate Baker’s enough to justify the price.
Buy a Bottle – 3.0 out of 5.0
(My 5 point scale: Pass, Try a Glass, Buy a Bottle, Buy Again, Shut Up and Take My Money – Bottle price is taken into consideration for recommendations.)
Buying Options and Further Research
I would probably suggest starting out at the mentioned Knob Creek. In this price range for a standard Bourbon, some other options to research would be Angel’s Envy, Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit, and John J Bowman. Another options at this price could be a store bottle of Dickel 9 Year Barrel Selection.
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