Previously known as Baker’s Small Batch Bourbon, Jim Beam Distillery revamped and re-released the bourbon as Baker’s Single Barrel in 2019. As its newer moniker implies, the bourbon comes from a single barrel—as opposed to a “small batch” blending of multiple barrels.
Baker’s clocks in at 107 proof with a 7-year (minimum) age statement (our bottle is 8 years, 7 months). Baker’s is named after former distiller Baker Beam, the grand-nephew of Jim Beam.
Let’s get sipping to see if Baker’s rises to the top.
At a Glance
- Distillery: James B. Beam Distilling Co.
- Location: Clermont, KY
- Style: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- Age: 7 Years (our bottle: 8 Years, 7 Months)
- Mashbill: Not Stated
- Proof: 107
- MSRP: $60
Baker’s 7 Year Single Barrel: What We Say
|Nose||light alcohol, caramel, dry oak, baking spices, Nilla Wafers, light fruit|
|Palate||butterscotch, light oak, peanut brittle, pink bubblegum, light pepper|
|Finish||medium-short, toffee, sweet corn|
|What You Can Expect to Pay||$60-75|
|Buy It: Now, Soon, Later, Never||Soon|
The nose on Baker’s Single Barrel opens with just a bit of light alcohol, followed by rich, chewy caramel and dry oak. There are also wafts of baking spices, including nutmeg and vanilla, like a freshly opened package of Nilla Wafers. Finally, there’s a hint of light fruit, perhaps apple. The nose is really fantastic, with no signs of 107 proof heat.
On the palate, Baker’s delivers sweet butterscotch and light oak. Again, like the nose, any proof heat on the palate is hidden. A little bit of chewing evokes raw peanut and toffee in the form of peanut brittle. There’s also the note of a chalky pink bubblegum stick, like from the old Topps baseball cards. Finally, the proof heat peaks its head out for just a second with a nip of black pepper.
The finish is medium-short, at best. And while it’s pleasant with more toffee and a touch of sweet corn, I expected it to have a bit more proof pop and length. Nonetheless, this Baker’s Single Barrel is a winner, especially if you are a chronic sipper of bourbon in the 95- to 100-proof range.
What Jim Beam Says About Baker’s 7
No two barrels of Baker’s are the same. Each is as unique as the man the bourbon is named for. Each barrel sits in its own unique place throughout our rickhouses, patiently aging for a minimum of seven years to extract the notes of vanilla trapped within the charred oak.
And with Baker’s there’s no batching or mixing. Each bottle is filled from one singular barrel. Which means inside each bottle is a big, bold bourbon, full of tiny subtle details that change barrel to barrel.
A neat glass of Baker’s Single Barrel sips easy. As mentioned earlier, this 107-proof bourbon drinks more like something in the 95- to 100-proof range. No need for any ice, unless you prefer to drink your bourbon on the rocks.
In addition, Baker’s Single Barrel would make a great bring-to-a-party bourbon. The contents will likely please the masses, the proof heat won’t hurt a tenderfoot, and the bottle looks fantastic (except for the cheapish plastic stopper).
If You Like Baker’s, Try
- Pursuit United Oak Collection Bourbon
- Company: Pursuit Spirits
- Location: Bardstown, KY
- Style: Blended Straight Bourbon Whiskey
- Distilleries: Finger Lakes Distilling (New York), MGP (Indiana), and an undisclosed Tennessee distillery (not Tullahoma)
- Proof: 108
- MSRP: $74.99
- Full Review
Like Baker’s, Pursuit United Oak Collection Bourbon is welcoming on the nose and delightfully sweet on the palate. However, Pursuit scores bonus points for its finish: long, oaky, and slightly peppery.