Today's little treat is called Jim Beam Double Oak Twice Barreled Whiskey. Yeah, kind of a mouthful isn't it? So, I pour it and notice that it's got nice coloring, a bit darker than most Whiskeys I've seen lately, so that bodes well for it. The smell isn't something to write poems about though, a dry and chemical smell of turpentine and acetone (nail polish remover). Not really the warm leathery smell I imagined it would have.
For the record, I always go straight up, no ice, no water, no nothing for my first taste. Also, room temperature, because I've noticed most Whiskeys retain the most flavor then. First sip.. a dark and stringent flavor. Lots of notes of oak for sure, but not much else. A deeper gulp and it's still refusing to define that well, it's like a shadow on the wall of my taste buds. I'm picking up hints of caramel though, but it's weak unfortunately. I try for a bigger sip and now I definitely feel a thick caramel, the aftertaste is kind of salty but it's not really making much of an impression on me at this point. Sure, perhaps it's a bit silly to expect more than oak, but I hoped there'd be more nuances in this stuff.
Oh well, let's see what some water will do to this stuff then...
OK, so after adding some water and letting it sit for a bit, I gave it another whiff and this time the turpentine has seemingly run away like a sissy while a nicely bodied vanilla aroma has strutted onto the stage. Oh yes, this works definitely better in terms of smell, I'm getting interested now. I'm absolutely picking up small dots of iodine like stars on an evening sky. Damn, I almost don't want to taste this now for fear of it being any less than this. Will it live up to the hype?
Deep breath and a sip. Ho laddie! This kicks like a mule on acid! Strong dark caramel notes now linger in this like snakes under an old house. It's definitely slithering around in a decidedly menacing way. It's like the unwatered version was some kiddie version and now it's gloves off and not pulling it's punches. Again, I'm amazed at the difference a few drops of water can introduce to this kind of alcohol. A deeper sip and the iodine flavor is present too, the oak carries both the flavors very nicely. Taking a huge gulp and swallowing and now the turpentine is back, but it's subdued along with some very powerful notes of caramel laced with iodine, I can almost feel the goddamn texture of the oak planks in the barrels at this point! This is rough stuff alright and I'm loving it. The aftertaste is lingering for a very long time now and it's kind of a weak oak with the salt kind of hanging around like a mist.
Also, I managed to burp this and it absolutely has a nice feel warm oak feeling to it. I tried dropping a small ice cube into it and the taste was just gone.. simply gone afterwards.
I also had some nice cheese chorizo sausage and this whiskey absolutely shines in combination with that. So I'm labeling this "food whiskey" that you're supposed to mix with some good stuff because the simple taste profile works really well in combination with food.
Overall, I'd say this whiskey has it's moments, it works fantastic with the foods I've tried it with. But it's very limited taste profile leaves a bit to be desired. I have to say though, watch out for that initial punch when you add water to it, it's not kidding around! I'd recommend enjoying this to a nice grilled steak or perhaps some pulled pork if you have it.
This is a solid 7/10 for sure. Nice, but not super nice.