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Jim Beam Original Review

Jim Beam Original Review


Jim Beam Original, AKA "Jim Beam White Label" is the flagship whiskey sold under the brand. Jim Beam has been producing whiskey (nearly continuously sans prohibition) since 1795. During that time 7 generations of Beam family have been involved in the production of Beam whiskey. If you want a great rundown on the history of the Beam family head over to Bottom of the Barrel and take a listen to episode #3 of their podcast.

Looking closely at the label for Jim Beam Original you should notice the words at the top of the label: "The World's No. 1 Bourbon". That is a bold statement, bold indeed. My experience with Beam products has been primarily focused on whiskeys from the Bookers, Knob Creek, and Old Grand-Dad brands. The reasoning for that is firmly rooted in my love for higher proofs and the Beam nut funk. If you aren't familiar with the Beam nut funk check out my recommendations at the bottom of this review. So the question remains, is Jim Beam Original truly the worlds number 1 bourbon and how does it compare to other Beam whiskeys? Lets find out.


Distillery: Jim Beam Distillery, Clermont, Kentucky

Cost: $17 pre tax for a 750ml bottle in SC. 

Proof: 80 Proof

Age: At least 4 years old

Mashbill: 75% Corn / 15% Rye / 10% Barley 

Tasting Notes

Pour: 50 ml neat in a Glencairn glass

Nose: Young. Warm corn bread muffins, candy corn, wood spices, graham crackers, ginger snaps, and a pinch of white pepper. 

Palate: Thin/light viscosity. Caramel, candy corn, club crackers, and light brown sugar.

Finish: Cheap caramel chews (the kind you would get as a kid at halloween), ritz crackers and a lingering dryness coupled with white pepper. 

Score: 2/5


So, is Jim Beam Original the worlds number 1 bourbon? Nope, not even close. It's definitely bourbon, there is no doubting that statement. However anything beyond is pure marketing hype. This is a well bourbon that works best in a mixed drink with other flavors. The flavor and aroma profile of this whiskey does not beg to be consumed neat. Frankly its thin, young, and overall boring. It's lacking everything that I love from older and higher proof Beam products. 

There is a reason I didn't purchase a full bottle of this whiskey for the r/bourbon community review. For a few dollars less I can grab a bottle of Evan Williams Bottled In Bond which is 100 proof and works both neat or mixed. For a few dollars more I could grab a bottle of Old Grand-Dad 114, Old Grand-Dad Bonded, or Jim Beam Bonded. All of which boast a higher proof and a bigger flavor/aroma profile. Beam is responsible for a lot of products that I really enjoy and keep stocked in my home bar - Jim Beam Original is just not one of those bourbons. I hope Connery was well paid to pose with that white bottle. Cheers.

Recommended: Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve 120, Booker's, Old Grand-Dad Bonded, Jim Beam Bonded

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