Booker’s Bourbon Center Cut (2015-03) picked up this name for two reasons. The first being where this whiskey, and all Booker’s, is aged – the center of the rackhouse: the 5th floor. The center of the rackhouse (rickhouse, warehouse, etc.) is the perfect place for bourbon to mature because it can’t easily “overcook” like barrels at the top and gets more expansion and contracting of the barrels – essential to the maturing process – than at the bottom.
The second reason it’s called the Booker’s Bourbon Center Cut is an ode to Booker’s love of thick center cuts of meat. But not just any meat, carefully selected and then aged and curef in his own smokehouse. A tribute to a connoisseur of food and drink, this batch was created with the help of Louisville chef Coby Ming and a roundtable that included Chuck Cowdery, Geoff Kleinman, John McCarthy, Jack Robertiello and Tony Sachs.
Whiskey Review: Booker’s Bourbon Center Cut
In Jim Beam’s Words: Booker’s Bourbon Center Cut
“This batch was the “Center Cut” batch, named for the special part of the aging rack house my father, Booker, aged his favorite bourbon, Booker’s. The barrels selected have a nice chestnut color that reminds me of the beautiful thoroughbred horses that race here in Kentucky. The nose on this batch has vanilla and a lot of the oak from the barrels. There’s a very intense flavor that explodes in your mouth and it leaves a sweet, long, pleasant finish. A small splash of water opens this batch up for some great sipping.”
Booker’s Bourbon Center Cut price, ABV, age and other details
Region: Kentucky, USA
Distiller: Jim Beam
Mashbill: 77% Corn, 13% Rye, 10% Malted Barley
Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: 7 Years, 2 Month, 28 Days
Cask Strength | Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color
Booker’s Bourbon Center Cut Tasting Notes
Caramel, nutmeg, roasted grain, oak, complex spice, dark fruit, vanilla and a light bit of banana ice cream and waffle cones.
Caramel, toasted grain, spice, oak, dark fruit, herbal, leather and pepper with a touch of vanilla taffy.
Long -> Oak, caramel, vanilla and spice.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Great balance, full body and a heavy oily feel.
Booker’s Bourbon Center Cut Review – OVERALL
Booker’s Bourbon Center Cut is an oak driven release with complex layers of spice and dark sweets. The aroma is more spice driven than the palate which is more rustic and dark sweet driven. The finish comes together in a classic bourbon delivery.
Sitting here slowly making my way through this sample I’m thinking to myself “damn… I should have bought a couple this when it was available”. This is definitely one of the better Booker’s releases I’ve had in the last couple years, which seem to be getting more sweet and less oaky as a general observation; that oakiness being what first drew me to Booker’s. Anyways, it’s a great release and if you get the chance to taste the Booker’s Bourbon Center Cut do it!
SCORE: 91/100 (A-)
A big thanks to Nate for the sample
Booker's Bourbon Center Cut Review - Score Breakdown
- Nose - 91
- Palate - 91
- Finish - 91
- Balance, Body & Feel - 91
Booker's Bourbon Center Cut Review Summary
Booker’s Bourbon Center Cut is an amazing batch of Bookers… holy crap.