...where distraction is the main attraction.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Booker's, the billionaire's bourbon, batch 2015-06 Noe Secret

In 2015, Beam Suntory announced they were starting a line of men's lingerie, called Booker's Secret. Like Versailles (in Kentucky) is pronounced the way it's spelled, this lingerie is also pronounced the way it's spelled, correctly. Likely this underwear didn't originally have anything to do with the bourbon brand, because you don't want your bathing suit area anywhere near barrel proof bourbon. Take a fella's word for it. Perhaps it was another one of the late Booker Noe's entrepreneurial brainstorms. In any case, the lingerie brand failed because Beam priced its products too low, ultimately leading to their wildly successful 2016 decision to double the price of Booker's bourbon. The lingerie line's demise was commemorated in the naming of this particular bourbon batch, No(e) Secret.

Owner: Beam Suntory
Brand: Booker's
Type: Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Distillery: Jim Beam Distillery
Location: Clermont, Kentucky
Mash Bill: 77% corn, 13% rye, 10% malted barley (probably)
Age: 6 years, 8 months, 7 days (seriously)
Batch: 2015-06 Noe Secret, the sixth release in 2015
Alcohol by volume: 64.05% ABV

The nose starts off with a solid combo of honey, cinnamon and lime juice. Then pears, anise and barrel char. With about 20 minutes of air, it develops vanilla and carob notes. The palate leads with a serious quantity of The Beam Peanut Note®. Loads of sugar, but much of it has a peachy fruitiness. Ethyl, cinnamon red hots candies and cherry hard candies. Brown sugar and a mild bitterness. It finishes with ethyl heat and wood spice. Burnt peanuts, black pepper and tangy citrus. Never gets too sweet.

WITH WATER (~53.5%abv, Baker's level)
The nose becomes more floral and picks up a hint of maple syrup. Anise, caramel and a slight malty note. With time, sawdust takes over. The palate is bitterer, though it's not a deal breaker this time because it reads more herbal than it usually does. There's a mild sweetness, ginger, mint and chili oil. It finishes with wood, heat and more sweets (cherry candy), but none overwhelms the others.

At least this babe can swim, unlike the batch from yesterday's review. The nose remains the best part, neat or proofed down, again. The palate is serviceable with or without water. And the hot woody bitterness is a full step lighter than any other Booker's bourbon batch I've tried.

This is the first batch I'd actually consider buying, though at the $40-$45 end of the spectrum. It would be probably be a lot of fun in Old Fashioneds or high proof Sazeracs. Still, if Beam doesn't magically raise the quality when the price goes up, then I won't be missing anything when I ignore it on the top shelf.

Availability - This batch might be lingering at some retailers, though probably not for long
Pricing - Booker's in general can still be found for $40, though it averages around $60 countrywide (Note: This is before the price increase hits.)
Rating - 83


  1. Replies
    1. Looks like he copied your bottle label, too.

  2. Hey look--there's a "Recent Comments" widget on here now.

    1. There were two other 3rd party recent comments widgets on this site this year, but Blogger killed both of them off promptly. I give this widget two days before something goes wrong with it too.