Jim Beam Devil’s Cut

Spirit Name:
Spirit Type:
Jim Beam Devil’s Cut
Bourbon
Score:
94/100
3, medal, silver icon
 
ABV:
45%
Region:
Kentucky, United States
Body:
Medium-full
Intensity:
Medium-high
Texture:
Silky
Balance:
Near perfect, with big oak
Best served:
Age:
Neat
6 years + barrel treated extract

Australia
USA 
Rest of World

 

Theme(s):
Oak, Licorice, honey, orange poppy seed, maple syrup, cotton candy, zest, brown sugar, sticky date, menthol drops, vanilla, cinnamon, spice 
Summary:
The bourbon unlocked from the wood fortifies the six year old bourbon, and as a whole it explodes on the palate with all the hallmarks of an old bourbon that has retained the spark of youth – a spark that ignites into fire and brimstone… its getting hot in here 
 
Tasting notes:
Devil’s Cut by Maltmileage

The bottle was enjoyed wholeheartedly, and I can say without doubt that this is one of the best value bourbons on the market. It is powerful with great balance and a lovely diverse character.  


An idea behind my blog is to empower consumers with the knowledge you do not always get what you pay for, and that one of the least expensive products on the market may be the “best”. I think that the Jim Beam Devil’s Cut is one of those products. 

You can buy it at most retailers, but make sure not to spend more than the price listed on this blog! ($40 in Australia, £26 in the UK and… wait for it… $20-$25 in the US!). Some retailers charge so much more than some others, especially in Australia, so be sure not to get stung. 

You will also see in my “best spirits” list that I score this bourbon a tiny bit more than one that retails in Australia for $300!!!

Devil’s Cut?

Jim Beam has produced exciting bourbon in the Devil’s Cut, adopting an interesting method to enhance the oak influence in the whiskey. This particular whiskey is called “devil’s cut” precisely because part of it is taken from the Devil’s cut! You see, when whiskey is put into a barrel to age some of it evaporates and this is known as the “Angel’s share”. Some of it is also absorbed into the wood of the barrel, and this is called the “Devil’s cut”. Jim Beam then takes whisky that has absorbed into the barrel (the Devil’s cut) and combines it with 6 year old bourbon to produce the “Jim Beam Devil’s Cut”. 

 
Whiskey is placed in oak barrels clear as water. It then ages, and takes on its character and colour from the oak or wood. Using the Devil’s cut is an interesting method, because this particular whiskey has had the most exposure to and interaction with the wood to therefore take on the character we most associate with age in whisk(e)y. 
 
Because oak is porous, whisky is soaked up by it. The best oak or wood is just porous enough to allow some soaking but solid enough to prevent the barrel or cask from leaking. The idea is to let the oak or wood age the whiskey. You can see now what Jim Beam is trying to do here, and, to be frank, they have succeeded sensationally. The below video provides a nice graphic image of the process, which basically involves adding the barrel treated extract to six year old bourbon. 



Tasting Notes – Jim Beam Devil’s Cut

Nose: This whiskey easily smells at least a decade old. That bubblegum and honey work with bitter zest and dark chocolate to balance the wooden ship. It has the aroma of oak and all the hallmarks of age, but the sharpness of young whiskey. It is dense on the nose, and in the fog of oak notes of grapefruit and orange flicker. Maple, sugar and cinnamon is also evident on the nose. This really is fantastic whiskey. 

 
Taste: BANG! Lots of oak and wood hit my tongue, with bittersweet citrus, black tea leaves and dark chocolate. With serious clout, this beauty delivers great flavours. However, it is dominated somewhat by oak and wood but this domination is quickly counterbalanced by the sweetness and it does not take over but instead compliments the other character. The Devil’s Cut deserves very close attention to tease out some other flavours, including cotton candy, bubblegum and sticky date smothered with vanilla and topped with shavings of dark chocolate and orange zest with sprinkles of brown sugar and poppy seed. The whole experiences balances out incredibly well!

At 45% alc/vol it delivers a nice kick.
 
Finish: The finish on this whiskey is exceptionally long, and very pleasant. The taste of oak combines with bittersweet citrus and bitter tea leaves (if you like tea, see The Squirrel’s Teapot blog). It remains on the tongue and radiates warmly. 
 
Overall: A big applause to Jim Beam for producing an outstanding whiskey that tastes like a an old whisk(e)y but with lots of clout and sharpness. While the taste of oak dominates detracting somewhat from the balance of flavours, this is a very small matter given the excellent price of this whiskey. If you like powerful bourbon with lots of oak and the character of age, this whiskey might be for you!
This is probably the best value whiskey I have tasted yet! EXCELLENT WORK JIM BEAM!     
 
Note: Adding Water 
 
What I also like about this whsikey is that it takes water exceptionally well. Old whiskies usually cannot take much water because with age they become more delicate, but with the Jim Beam Devil’s Cut it is possible to open up its nose and flavours with water. This means that a whiskey with the hallmarks of an old whiskey can be opened up with water. 
 
With the addition of water (I put a 50:50 mix) the heavy oak on the nose becomes more mellow with sugary lemon drops and citrus leaves coming through with some pepper and spice. On the palate it is very smooth, and the dominance of wood and oak reduces and peaches and orange peel develop. The finish is great, too! The balance is probably better with water because the dominance of oak reduces a little, though power and clout also gives way with water. I may have added to much using 50:50, and next time will use two parts bourbon one part water.  

Likes:
Fierce, complex and bursting with sweetness, vanilla and oak!
Dislikes:
Hard to pick, but slightly skewed to the woody side though the palate does not dry and instead the sweetness acts as a counterweight

 

This entry was posted in AMERICAN WHISKEY. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s