Whiskey Review: Booker’s Batch 2018-02 "Backyard BBQ" - The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review: Booker’s Batch 2018-02 “Backyard BBQ”

We review Booker’s bourbons pretty regularly here at the Whiskey Wash, and this time I was lucky enough to snag Booker’s Batch 2018-02, “Backyard BBQ.” As we mentioned in June, this batch focuses upon “Bourbon-ques” held at Booker Noe’s home in Bardstown, Kentucky, which brought together friends, family, neighbors and distillery employees for a balanced meal of bourbon and pork chops.

The Bourbon-que tradition is ongoing at Booker’s, now hosted by his son and current Beam master distiller Fred Noe, who co-hosts with his son and current Beam employee Freddie Noe.

Booker is a product of Beam-Suntory, and it’s their high-proof, uncut line. According to Whiskey Reviewer, the barrels for Booker’s are usually chosen from the center of the warehouse: these came from the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th floors of various warehouses. It’s aged six years, two months, and 10 days, and bottled at a very hot 128.8 proof.

Quite honestly, the Bourbon-que sounds like a terrific habit and one we should all be replicating. Even as autumn arrives it’s still warm enough for cookouts in many places. And heck, any excuse to get people you like together and drink isn’t a bad one, yes?

Booker’s Batch 2018-02 "Backyard BBQ"

Booker’s Batch 2018-02 “Backyard BBQ” (image via Beam-Suntory)

Tasting Notes: Booker’s Batch 2018-02 “Backyard BBQ”

Vital Stats: Aged in new charred American Oak, about $70, aged a little over six years and two months.

Appearance: On the red spectrum, for sure. And glossy. The color of an Irish ale, but not quite Thomas the Tank Engine red.

Nose: Smells like dessert! Not like high-proof alcohol in the least. It smells very soft, like something baking and wafting toward you: Hot sugar on its way to becoming caramel. And a faint whiff of cherry.

Palate: Although this is no doubt a high-proof whiskey, it sure doesn’t taste like it. There is richness, a nice mouthfeel, on the sweet side, and smooth. There’s nothing hot or abrasive about it. It doesn’t burn at all. Sip it over ice if you’d like but I really think you could drink this neat, no problem, even if you don’t have an asbestos mouth like me.

The Takeaway

When someone asks me what whiskies I like best, I tend to blank out. But doing this review has reminded me that Booker’s needs to be top of mind when I answer that stupid question. This is one of my favorite Booker’s by far. I will be both recommending and hoarding this one. It's really tasty and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! If not, please send it to me. Thanks!

User Rating 3.76 (17 votes)