Jim Beam Double Oak is a new release that, as the name implies, is aged twice. Four year old Jim Beam bourbon is taken out of its charred American white oak barrel, the standard wood for maturing bourbons, and then moved to another charred oak barrel for an undisclosed amount of time. That dose of fresh wood imparts an extra kick of oak influence into the whiskey. Double-aging bourbons is nothing new (See: Woodford Reserve Double Oaked), but it’s new for Beam. The release will join the permanent lineup in September, so you can begin finding it on shelves soon.
Jim Beam Double Oak pours darker in the glass than the flagship bottle, so that double-barrel effort shows itself quickly. The nose is surprisingly light, though, with less oak than we expected. But there are mild aromas of baking spices and wood, plus just a hint of the characteristic sweetness you find in the original. Take a sip, and things heat up, as the 86 proof whiskey shows plenty of warmth on the palate. It’s full of cinnamon candy, red pepper and ginger, with some wood and leather taking a backseat. It finishes warm, dry and grippy, with more oak and spice lingering for a long finish.
This isn’t what we expected–namely, this isn’t super woody. But the oak character is present, and while the whiskey itself is somewhat understated, it’s flavorful from mild start to spicy finish. It’s a nice change of pace from the white label Beam, and it’s still inexpensive enough to keep on hand for thirsty guests.
— 43% ABV
CE Rating: ★★★