Whiskey Review: Legent Bourbon

, | September 5, 2019

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.

With Legent, we finally get to see the results of the merging of Beam and Suntory in liquid form. This is a fun east meets the west bottle. Legent is a result of years of collaboration between Fred Noe, Jim Beam Master Distiller, and Shinji Fukuyo, Suntory Chief Blender. It’s an effort of uniting a master blender and a distiller from two different worlds.

It began with Fred distilling the bourbon in Kentucky. Shinji visited Kentucky to taste the barrels throughout the aging process. Once the whiskeys were ready to be blended, Shinji stepped in with his blending expertise.

In the United States, the word blended can have a negative connotation. It stems from the old practice of putting grain spirits and other stuff into whiskey blends. Meanwhile, in the rest of the world, blending is king. The rock star is often the master blender, not the master distiller.

Legent is a blend of three Jim Beam bourbons, two which are secondary cask finished. It’s a blend of sherry, red wine, and bourbon barrel finishes. The sherry casks tend to lend more spice, raisin, and dried fruit flavors, while the French oak red wine casks impart more mild, fruity flavors. The regular bourbon barrel finish imparts that traditional oak, caramel, and vanilla flavors and dark colors.

I love both bourbon and Japanese whisky, so for me, this is a natural connection. Especially since I have both American and Asian roots. Many times I choose my whiskey based on my mood…I will be going for this whiskey when I’m feeling appreciative of my relationship and collaboration efforts.

Legent Bourbon

Legent Bourbon (image via Jeneen Bell/The Whiskey Wash)

Tasting Notes: Legent Bourbon

Vital Stats: 94 proof (47% ABV). Kentucky Straight Bourbon partially finished in wine and sherry casks. Distillery bottling. The suggested retail is $35.99 for a 750 ml bottle.

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Appearance: Clear, deep copper color. The bottle has a solid wood top with Kentucky and Japan etched. If you look intently at the front label you can see Fred and Shinji’s silhouettes.

Nose: It has lovely aromas of almonds, macaroons, brown sugar, dried fruits, and spice.

Palate: It’s warm with a medium to a long finish with some complexity. The oak and sherry finish play a larger role in the flavors than the corn. It is spicy with dark red fruit flavors and hints of leather. It’s bright on the tongue with a darker lingering finish. The addition of water brings out cornbread and floral flavors.

The Takeaway


The price point is fantastic for premium craftsmanship. The international collaboration also makes it a little piece of whiskey history and worth getting a bottle.

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Jeneen Bell

It all began with a simple quest for whiskey information to host a better whiskey tasting. As I learned more about the history and complexity of the spirit, I went down a rabbit hole and never looked back. Many call me a whsik(e)y geek. I'm a Certified Bourbon Steward, WSET...