Booker’s recently released their second 2017 batch, this one dubbed the “Blue Knights Batch” in honor of the Blue Knights motorcycle club, a group of motorcycle enthusiasts who are also active or retired police officers. The story is that Booker Noe was once invited to a Blue Knights rally, where he decided to invite all 300 participants to his place for lunch the next day. Improbably, the family managed to procure a barbecue lunch for the huge crowd, and it became an annual Memorial Day tradition.
Beam-Suntory, Booker’s’ parent company, landed in trouble with consumers last year after doubling the price to almost $100 a bottle. They quickly backpedaled, implementing a smaller price increase to around $70 for 2017. At the same time, citing supply constraints, they decreased the number of annual releases from six to four.
Like other Booker’s releases, Blue Knights Batch is a blend of straight bourbons from different batches. The website gives us this breakdown of where each barrel came from:
2% came from the 4th floor of 7-story warehouse ONE
38% came from the 7th floor of 9-story warehouse D
33% came from the 4th floor of 9-story warehouse F
27% came from the 6th floor of 9-story warehouse J
These are all whiskeys aged six years (well, six years, three months, and six days, to be exact) or more.
Usually, I try to taste barrel proof whiskeys first neat, then with water, but 63.7% ABV is so eye-wateringly hot I didn’t do that here, instead skipping straight to the water-added step.
Tasting notes: Booker’s Bourbon Blue Knights Batch
Vital stats: 63.7% ABV, aged a minimum six years, three months in new charred oak, $70-75/bottle
Color: rich, deep copper
Nose: syrupy cooked dark fruit, berry pie filling. With water, caramel leaps to the front, along with vanilla and powdered sugar. Dusty wood is in the background.
Palate: toasted grain on the front of the palate, followed by creme brulee, wood, and allspice. Burnt sugar on the finish, followed by wood. Sturdy, pleasantly sticky texture.