New Beam Double Oak requires some explaining

screen-shot-2016-11-23-at-11-16-24-amFirst things first. The new Jim Beam Double Oak does not taste twice as oaky as the Jim Beam white label many of us know and love.

Yes, it has a darker color. Yes, it's a high-corn recipe (77%, with an almost equal balance of rye and malted barley in the mash). Yes, it tastes different. But, it is not as terribly oaky as the name may imply.

The creation process, in this instance, is not double wood, which would be initial aging in one kind of wood then maturation in another. Here, the spirit is aged as usual in new, charred American white oak. Then, it moves into another new, charred white American oak barrel. The entire process is in the four-year range.

The resulting 43% abv (86 proof) bourbon -- a bit higher than the 80 proof white label -- has notes of the char along with licorice and the signature vanilla, dried fruit notes, and leather of Beam whiskies. The finish is quite a bit dryer and a bit longer than the white label.

The suggested retail price is in the $25 range for a 750ml bottle.

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