The Jim Beam Devil's Cut review
Company: Jim Beam
Age: No Age Statement (However apparently at least 6 years old )
Classification: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Breakdown: 77% corn, 13% rye, 10% malted barley
Price: c. £20-25
Devil’s Cut is 1 of 7 current expressions (we are not counting flavoured whiskies) which are available from Jim Beam, and was first launched in 2011. According to Jim Beam, 4% of their bourbon a year is lost through evaporation. This is commonly known as the ‘Angels Share’ and is lost forever. As much as 2 gallons of whiskey remains in the barrel wood (soakage) and used to be extracted by using an old technique called ‘sweating the barrel’. From what we understand this is simply refilling the emptied barrels with water and rolling them around a bit.
Today Jim Beam has developed what they are calling a ‘proprietary twist’ on this technique using heat, water and agitation to extract what is now known as ‘Devil’s Cut’. This is then blended with extra aged bourbon and bottled at 90 proof. Marketing baloney? Or exactly what Scotch whiskey makers have been doing for years? Either way, let’s be honest it is a greatly entertaining tale.
For this review we drank it neat in a Glencairn glass
What we got - Oaky spiciness, sweet vanilla, A Chinese in Amsterdam (Ok this is a bit of a unique comment by The Gents that won't make any sense if you don't listen to our podcast)
What they say we should get - Immensely woody, fresh cut oak and a whole heap of vanilla and wood spice
What we got - Very oaky, feels like you’ve licked some wood (not in an unpleasant way, oooh err Mrs). No taste of sweet vanilla at all. You can really taste the alcohol in it, a very punchy flavour for its ABV rating
What they say we should get - Full bodied with intense oak and vanilla notes
What we got - Little or no burn, not harsh, medium finish
What they say we should get - Deep char aroma with a smoky backdrop
This bourbon holds an unashamedly special place in the hearts of the Bourbon Gents due to it being the go to drink whilst working away in Amsterdam, Netherlands. We were generally on par with the experts notes however the Gents certainly do not find the smoky finish that some seem to.
A number of reviewers dismiss this bourbon as only good enough for mixing, but bias apart, we both feel it is an incredible every day sipping bourbon, even with its obvious oak intensity and has a magnificently powerful punch for its pound. Simply stated, go get yourself a bottle now.
6 out of 10 - Mav
7 out of 10 – Mr. Pie