Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Beam-Suntory. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.
There are many things to admire about the Booker’s Bourbon line. It represents the perfect culmination of history, quality, experience and creativity that inspires consumers to go out and try it. On top of that, new releases come out frequently to keep us on our toes. To make it even better, a bottle is usually between $60 and $80, making it a pour that a greater number of daily bourbon connoisseurs can enjoy without breaking the bank. It really is a great thing.
Booker’s Bourbon 2019-01 “Teresa’s Batch” – the first for 2019 – is a bourbon by Fred Noe that’s dedicated to a woman named Teresa Wittemer. It isn’t the first time the Beam distillery has honored a female figure with these batch releases, and it is a powerful statement to make in what can be a male dominated market. Wittemer has worked at the Beam distillery for more than 30 years, and was hired by Booker Noe on the spot after a 15-minute interview. She has been heavily involved in the Booker’s line by combining bourbon samples to reach flavor profiles desired by Booker. With her hand in the Quality Control department, she has undoubtedly had a huge influence on the character that the Booker’s whiskey has developed.
The Booker’s brand is calm and collected, and also transparent. Without huge media pushes or showboating, they have managed to grow a solid following in the bourbon community. They take the barrels from the center of the warehouse where they find the most intense flavors occurring and report the blend percentages, which we’ve detailed as follows:
- 2% came from the 2nd floor of 7-story warehouse 5
- 1% came from the 4th floor of 7-story warehouse 5
- 10% came from the 6th floor of 9-story warehouse D
- 3% came from the 4th floor of 9-story warehouse E
- 25% came from the 5th floor of 9-story warehouse E
- 25% came from the 6th floor of 9-story warehouse E
- 28% came from the 5th floor of 9-story warehouse J
- 3% came from the 6th floor of 9-story warehouse J
- 3% came from the 8th floor of 9-story warehouse J
Booker’s is also bottled at cask strength (125.9 proof specifically this time around), and without filtering. This particular release is aged over six years.
Tasting Notes: Booker’s Bourbon 2019-01 “Teresa’s Batch”
Vital Stats: 125.9 proof; aged 6 years 3 months and 1 day; 77% corn – 13% rye – 10% malted barley; suggested retail price of $79.99 for a 750mL.
Appearance: Maroon tinted amber.
Nose: Green apple, marzipan, grilled peaches and cinnamon, tangerine and fresh cigar.
Palate: Prepare yourself, because this ain’t your average bourbon! The alcohol, if you’re prepared for it, will take you on a roller coaster as your first sip dilutes in your mouth. Cooked grain and white gravy, with white chocolate and dried mango. Dissipating alcohol brings bitter vanilla, cardamom, and nutmeg. Long chewy finish as your mouth recovers from the intensity.
This Booker’s continues the reign of quality expected out of the Beam distillery. It is beautifully high octane, and in my humble opinion best at the bottled proof. It receives four stars because the grain profile tends to overcome other nuances, making it no less delicious but slightly less complex. The fact that this bottle is a tribute to one of the long time female employees that helps ensure the quality of the whiskey we are talking about is all the more reason to give it a try!
User Review2.83 (77 votes)
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