A review of Baker’s Small Batch Bourbon by Jason Pyle of http://sourmashmanifesto.com.
Author: Jason Pyle
I love this bourbon. I’ve made it my standard whiskey along with evan williams single barrel.
To each their own. I add water to my Ardbeg but not my Laphroaig quarter cask. Same alcohol % but that doesn’t mean they need the same amount of water if any at all… Plus corn and rye based whiskies are much smoother than barley based whiskies… Alcohol doesn’t burn everyones palate. Especially not cigarette smokers and people that come from countries that eat spice loaded foods…
@falcon048 I gave Pappy15 a 9.8 rating. In comparison to this, you get a lot of the “base” notes of back – the dark fruits, the chewy texture, the richness. But it fails to deliver the layers of flavor that a bourbon like Pappy brings to the table. It’s that last part that takes you the extra notch or so up. For me this is an example where higher proof has really lifted some of that. It’s a very very good bourbon. I do wish it were about $35-39 range.
Baker Beam all day.
@8stringfan It certainly is a personal preference for sure. It’s all about what you are getting from the whiskey. For me it absolutely isn’t a macho thing, but has more to do with tasting the whiskey first. Folks are so easy to add water right off the bat, thanks in part to being told to do so by Scotch drinkers. You have to try it first and then go from there. Some whiskeys don’t need it, and some respond well – it varies greatly.
What happens to Jason Pyle. No reviews in 3 years
Love your reviews and I agree that it’s a good idea to drink the whiskey straight at first, but after that, I strongly believe in adding water. Funny thing, bourbon drinkers often seem to see it as a sign of weakness to add water, but among knowledgeable Scotch drinkers it’s a given you add water to most whiskey. The plain truth is that alcohol burn (especially in a 107 proof bourbon) overwhelms anyone’s palate and a wee bit of dilution helps to cut that and bring out the full range of flavor.
In my opinion the best of the Beam small batches, and definitely the unsung hero. To me the notes of caramel, pecan cocoa, sugar, syrup always reminds me of sweet Georgia Brown candies. And that’s how I sum it up.
@jmpyle1 I do agree about trying it neat first, as well as simply finding your personal preference. To be fair, for some reason water, sparingly added, almost always does good things for Scotch but not always for bourbon. Water does nothing for two of my favs, Buffalo Trace and Elmer T. Glee. Also, in terms of bourbon’s versatility, single malts and ice just don’t mix in my book, but bourbon on the rocks is a classic pairing. Still, for both Bakers and Bookers, I like a little water
Jason, great reviews man. Any plans to review the Bookers?
I admit that on my modest to no budget, I can’t justify the purchase. However, your review is leading me there. I suppose my issue is that I tend to rate everything to Pappy Van Winkle 15 year. That’s what I consider to the be the best. Perhaps as point of reference to your rating system it would help to know what your top end is, and what you’re rating to, to appreciate an 8.6 rating.
Well done! I’ll pick up a bottle next trip to Total Wine. We were at the Jim Beam distillery last week, and I sampled Basil and Booker’s with my 2 tastings, but missed the Baker.
Best Bourbon I’ve ever had.
@Arundodonax Check my website out, SourMashManifesto-Dot-com. I just posted a Booker’s review Wednesday. Had some video upload issues with Youtube that i’m sorting out. It’s on the site for now. Cheers.
Excellent review of this! I had it almost a year ago and yet I still remember everything about this bourbon. You hit all the tasting notes that I still remember.
I always consider price in my rating of beer so I agree with you on the price. I live in Japan now and I found a bottle for the equivalent of $28. I know, nuts, right? So of course I snagged it. If my rating was 8.6, for $28, I may raise it up to a 9, lol. But I agree with everything you said here so succinctly.