I like this Booker’s Bourbon 2019-02 “Shiny Barrel Batch”, but be forewarned. It’s not what you might expect from a Booker’s. It’s not big and brash but instead is velvety and nuanced in a way I’ve never encountered in all of my Booker’s experience. This is unique, to Booker’s, and I’m digging it.

Booker's Bourbon 2019-02 Shiny Barrel Batch

Before we jump into this bourbon review, here’s the breakdown of where the barrels came from.

  • 18% came from the 6th floor of 9-story warehouse D
  • 39% came from the 4th floor of 9-story warehouse E
  • 43% came from the 4th floor of 9-story warehouse J

Booker’s Bourbon 2019-02 “Shiny Barrel Batch” Review: Details and Tasting Notes

In Jim Beam’s Words:

Back in the day, some of the distillery’s rackhouse workers would carry around “mules” – pieces of plastic tubing they carried in the front of their overalls – and use them to thief out a taste of whiskey (or two) straight from an aging barrel. Some of these men had, shall we say, prominent physiques.
When they went in for a taste, their bellies would rub on the side of the barrel, removing dust and shining it up. Some used to say, “the shinier the barrel, the sweeter the whiskey,” and most often, Dad would find these shiny barrels in the center cut of the rackhouse where the temperature and humidity were just right.

Booker's Bourbon Shiny Barrel Batch Details (price, mash bill, cask type, ABV, etc.)

Details (price, mash bill, cask type, ABV, etc.)

Region: Kentucky, USA

Distiller: Jim Beam
Mash Bill: 77% Corn, 13% Rye, 10% Malted Barley
Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: 6 years, 5 months, 1 day
ABV: 62%

Cask Strength | Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color

Batch: 2019-02 “Shiny Barrel Batch”

Price: $75*

Tasting Notes

EYE
Ruddy caramel

NOSE
Dark fruit, peanuts, oak, cinnamon, leather and a touch of vanilla and biscuits.

PALATE
A heavy slab of wood followed by notes of dark fruit and bits of cinnamon, cocoa, peanuts, chalk, char and orange candy.

FINISH
Long -> Dark fruit, oak and spice which turns to peanuts.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Decent balance, med-full body and a light oily feel.

Bottled at 50%, aged 3 years and priced around $40. It’s a good sipping bourbon and it works well in any bourbon cocktail. A nice versatile whiskey.

Booker’s Bourbon 2019-02 “Shiny Barrel Batch” Review: Overall and Score

Shockingly soft and easy. Aroma starts out fruity with nutty notes growing as it opens; Palate reverses that and the darkly fruity notes grow as it opens with a slightly heavier spice in attendance; Finish rolls it all together in a nice slow fade. On the whole it becomes butterier as it opens and gets a peanut-brittle-meets-butterscotch note threading through.

It’s absurd how easy the Booker’s Bourbon 2019-02 “Shiny Barrel Batch” is straight out of the bottle, but I still added some water to see how it changed. Water brought out more chalk in the aroma and more cocoa and peanuts on the palate and it felt a bit oilier. It doesn’t have the depth and punch of something like the Kentucky Chew, but is instead a velvety soft and complex whiskey.

Quite nice indeed.

SCORE: 87/100 (B+)

*Disclosure: This Booker’s Bourbon 2019-02 “Shiny Barrel Batch” sample was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.

Booker's Bourbon 2019-02 Shiny Barrel Batch Review

Booker's Bourbon 2019-02 Shiny Barrel Batch Review 75
  • Nose - 87
  • Palate - 88
  • Finish - 88
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 88
88

Booker's Bourbon 2019-02 Shiny Barrel Batch Review Summary

Booker’s Bourbon 2019-02 “Shiny Barrel Batch” is bottled at 62%, aged for 6 years and priced around $75. It’s a soft and velvety Booker’s that delivers an array of familiar-but-unique notes. It’s quite nice.

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