Aged seven years and bottled at 107 proof this bourbon is a creation of some distant relative of Jim Beam. Fortunately for this distant relative, grand nephew (new one on me too) Baker (cool name) Beam (structural name), he has made something that is better, much better really, than his grand uncle’s namesake whiskey. But let us not get too far ahead of ourselves.
Baker’s is honey colored with a strong, sweet bourbon scent to it. Belying the fact that it’s 107 proof the first couple gulps are very smooth and the only way you can tell that this is a high proofed bourbon is by the gentle tingling sensation washing through your esophagus.
The flavors are surprisingly mild but that isn’t to say that they aren’t good. I think nuanced may be a better phrase to use than “mild” in this situation. I don’t get the vanilla notes that are mentioned on their site but I do get this buttered bread type of flavor mixed with some honey or mild fruit flavors. They have also described this as being a “silky” drink and I think that makes sense.
Before I started drinking the Baker’s I lit up a 601 La Bomba; you know, the one with that two inch long pig tale at the end and the aggressive flavor profile. It’s a good match for this bourbon. Being a strong-ish cigar with some very admirable qualities it can stand up to the Baker’s without a problem. I do think it’s a good idea to smoke a stronger cigar with Baker’s and this is especially the case when you’re drinking Baker’s bigger, better brother: Booker’s (I’m guessing that’s named after the great-grand step nephew of Jim Beam – or something like that).
Perhaps the best thing about reviewing liquor, besides the actual process of drinking, is that I don’t have to go through the whole “this third, that third” rigamarole when describing it. You can fairly quickly figure out whether or not you like a particular drink and this is one of those whiskeys that I like.
This is a good drink for a number of reasons. First, it has some good flavors to it. It’s smooth enough for my liking but also has a high enough proof to give it a little edge. And it’s a good sipping bourbon, something I like with my cigars. But it’s strong so that precludes lesser cigars as a pairing, which isn’t really a bad thing because who really likes smoking lesser cigars?
Overall, Baker’s is not one of my all-time favorites but it’s definitely a worthwhile drink. However, at this price, somewhat short of $50 a bottle, it won’t be something I go to very often.