The first time I sipped Booker’s I had no idea what I was in for.
My wife bought it for me as a gift. It came in this nice wooden box, the bottle looked cool, and the sauce inside looked rich and delicious.
I was not prepared for 127 proof bourbon! (cask strength baby) The best part is that I didn’t know until the next day after I overindulged, not even realizing it packed a little bit (OK, a lot) more punch than your average whisky in the 80-86 proof range.
When I sipped it, I knew it was strong. But bourbon is already sweeter than scotch… but Booker’s on the nose is so much brown sugar, vanilla and caramel. You could pour this on pancakes! (So delicious) The bite afterwards, since it is 63.5% alcohol by volume, is noticeable but not big enough to make me think much of it! I paid for it the next day but I enjoyed every moment I ran up the bill.
What’s fun about Booker’s is that they are released in batches. Mine was Batch 2015-04, called Oven Buster Batch, and here is what the Master Distiller Fred Doe wrote about it:
“This batch is called the “Oven Buster” batch for the incident that happened to my mother when she cooked with my father’s early batches of Booker’s Bourbon. She actually blew the oven door open using the Booker’s to finish her pork roast she baked. This batch has some vanilla notes and a nice oaky full-bodied aroma. The flavor is well balanced with a finish that is pleasant and leaves you wanting another taste.“
- Nose: Vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, maybe a hint of oak behind the heat.
- Taste: Vanilla and brown sugar from the get go, a pepper kick from the alcohol near the end.
- Finish: A nice loooooooooooooooong finish, it coats your mouth for a minute and gets your salivary glands going. Your saliva and what remains is probably 40% abv. Definitely some oak finish and that lingering vanilla. Not much burn from the alcohol.
Overall, this can be a dangerous dram and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
If you’re looking to get something nice for a bourbon fan, you will do quite well with Booker’s.
Thank you for your very interesting notes on these whiskies This 50 year scotch taster really appreciates them . Did not miss many of Michael Jacksons, Minnesotas scotch tastings but you have made me look further than scotch. There is a whole new world out there. This 75yr old still has a lot to learn
Just a sidebar: On relatively rare occasions I run out of scotch and switch over to bourbon or Crown Royal…or rye.
I ALWAYS wish I hadn’t the next day.
Even in small doses, it does not agree with me to do that…I don’t care what the label brand.
Scotch Forever! 😉 😀
I have been enjoying Talasker Storm. They had it on sale (some light water damage to the paper box) for 39.99. Don’t know if I can afford the Bookers.
I’m a huge fan of Talisker Storm!
Jim, I’m still just dipping my toe into bourbon, but last week on a shopping run to get my first Evan Williams Bottled in Bond I saw the Booker’s on the shelf and it called out to me. I bought both, and I’ve been reading up on what to expect, I look forward to getting around to that bottle eventually. Have to finish up the Eagle Rare and the E.H. Taylor first though. Great review. HEY! Maybe I’ll do one of my home blends with 50/50 Booker’s and Balcones Texas Single malt (currently my favorite open malt bottle).
thanks for the review Jim. Bourbons are a nice change of pace from scotch. Just like scotch so many to choose from and a great variety in taste!
Yes they are! Bookers is a knockout punch though! 🙂