The ‘Old Tub’ distillery might not be one to ring a bell, nor would the “Old Jake Beam” whiskey – unless of course you know your bourbons well! Post prohibition however, the ‘Old Tub’ evolved into the more familiar and well known Jim Beam distillery, the family name which to this day runs the bulk of the activities at the distillery. What has however stayed consistent is their mash bill which hasn’t changed over the last 220 years; possibly responsible for the brand’s huge fan following, making it the world’s most widely consumed bourbon!
At a time, when “un-bourbon” like liquor was making the rounds, the government introduced measures to ensure the integrity of american liquor was upheld – the Bottled in Bond Act of 1897 . This required distilleries to mature the produce from a single season for a minimum of four years in government bonded warehouses. These warehouses were locked to prevent workers from entering the warehouse without supervision, should they wish to exercise greed and take a bit from the angel’s share. Being bonded also meant that once the spirit was matured, they were then bottled at a higher proof – 50% and then sold off to find a home in a whiskey tumbler near you.
Eye : Chestnut sherry | NCF, no artificial colouring
Nose: Caramel, vanilla and fudge, infused with the sweetness of corn syrup and banana, held together by the warmth of cinnamon sticks. Some charred wood and nutmeg are accompanied with dried fruits and ginger peels topped with grounded pepper.
Taste : Strong hints of caramel and demarara sugar with deep oaky nuances; hints of fruit and corn flushed with the spice from cloves, licorice and pepper.
Finish : Cloves, cinnamon and caramel with a lovely oaky char | Short to medium.
Quite sweet yet lovingly spicy, this whiskey packs quite a punch owing to its high strengths. Though not strong in terms of what it delivers on the palate, there is a melancholy of flavours bouncing between caramel, oak and cinnamon, making the Bonded pleasant and delightful. Now, it might not be an explosion in the mouth but it is value for money at around 50 AUD; better than most of its younger siblings.
Preference: With water or untainted, even stirred into a cocktail, the whiskey’s bold flavours can be savoured in a multitude of ways.