Baker Who?

Jim Beam’s Forgotten Bourbon Brand Is About to Become a Whiskey Darling


June 22, 2019 Drinks By

Don’t fret if you’ve never heard of Baker’s Bourbon. It’s the least popular offering in Jim Beam’s Small Batch Collection, which also includes Booker’s Bourbon, Basil Hayden’s and Knob Creek.

That will change this fall.

First reported by longtime bourbon writer Chuck Cowdery and confirmed by a Beam Suntory representative, Baker’s is set to become a single barrel product later this year. The change will mark the first exclusively single barrel offering in the Small Batch lineup and the second single barrel product overall (Knob Creek has both single barrel reserve and select offerings). It will retain its 7-year age statement and 107 proofing.

Baker’s Bourbon is named after Baker Beam, grand-nephew of Jim Beam and cousin of Booker’s Bourbon namesake Booker Noe. The mid-$50 bottle has occupied a peculiar place on shelves in past years — its proof is high, but not that high, and though it has managed to keep its age statement, seven years isn’t wildly impressive. For less money, you can get both older whiskey (Eagle Rare, Henry McKenna Bottled-in-Bond) and higher proof whiskey (Knob Creek Single Barrel, Old Ezra 7-Year, Wild Turkey Rare Breed), while a few extra dollars opens the door to some exceptional bourbons (Elijah Craig Barrel Proof, Old Forester 1920).

Baker’s places its hopes on a clearly printed age statement, a palatable but not indomitable proof and, in a few months, the allure of the single barrel.

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