The annual high octane Booker’s Bourbon Batch Collection is an annual, multi-bottle exercise by Beam Suntory in higher proof American whiskey. These expressions regularly clock in in the 120 and 130 proof ranges, and for 2020 the first bottling out the gate does not disappoint in this regard.
Booker’s Bourbon Batch 2020-1 “Granny’s Batch,” according to those behind it, hits home at 63.2% ABV, or 126.4 proof. It is so named after 6th Generation Master Distiller Booker Noe’s mom, Margaret Beam Noe. According to the brand, “known as Granny Noe among the extended family, Margaret was the youngest child of Jim Beam and the only one to have kids of her own. Although she never worked in the bourbon business herself, she certainly played an important role in keeping the bourbon family tradition alive, carrying the legacy on from the fifth to sixth generation.
“She was very close with her oldest son Booker, and she was instrumental in getting him his first job at the distillery where he would go on to become Master Distiller, create his namesake bourbon (among others) and leave a lasting impact on the industry as a whole.
“Margaret was a gracious, patient woman who ruled the roost in her own quiet way. When she wasn’t keeping track of her kids and grandkids, she enjoyed a bourbon highball in the evenings, playing bridge with her girlfriends and making her famous nut cakes at Christmas time.”
Given the Noe family lineage, it is easily possible to imagine seeing Granny Noe kicking back on the family porch, high octane bourbon in hand. As for other whiskey specifics, it is 6 years, 4 months and 21 days in age and should be available this month for around $90 per 750 ml bottle.
Limited official tasting notes suggest it “has a light chestnut color. The nose has spice with hints of vanilla coming through. The finish is full-bodied with a lingering sweetness.”