Booker’s Bourbon is serious bourbon for serious bourbon lovers.
It is “uncut, unfiltered, straight-from-the-barrel” bourbon — over 120 proof. So you don’t just pour it into a glass and gulp it down.
It is a rewarding experience, but there are a few things you have to do before you can enjoy the intense charred oak and honey flavor.
If you’ve ever wondered if decanting — pouring the liquor into an open glass container to sit so it can “open up” — works, Booker’s will prove to you that it does. Pour the bourbon into a decanter, or even into the glass you plan to drink from, and let it sit for at least 20 minutes.
I tried a little Booker’s straight with no decanting. It was so hot that it didn’t really impart any flavors. But after 20 minutes of opening up, the hotness gave way to more complex vanilla and wood flavors.
I am usually a stickler for serving bourbon neat, but in the case of Booker’s, adding one ice cube or a splash of water really opened it up and let the layers come through. I still prefer this one neat, because I like the extra warmth.
One thing about the uncut nature of Booker’s: I have some friends who are real bourbon connoisseurs and have purchased several bottles of Booker’s. They said that bottle to bottle there is not a lot of consistency.
So, part of the straight-from-the-barrel adventure is it might be a little different the second or third bottle around.
If you’re a bourbon lover, Booker’s is a must. If you’re just getting started, this is one to save until you’re ready.
Booker’s Bourbon, part of the “Small Batch” collection by Jim Beam.