Booker Noe - I Know Bourbon Gets Better with Age

When Master Distiller Booker Noe told a story, it was always, uncut and unfiltered. In 1988 Booker introduced to the world an uncut, unfiltered bourbon that became his signature bourbon, Booker’s Bourbon. As they say, the only thing removed from this bourbon are the charred chunks from the barrel.

The distillery has just announced two new limited edition releases in the ultra-premium bourbon market – Booker’s® Rye Whiskey and Knob Creek® 2001 Limited Edition Bourbon. Each pay tribute to the late Booker Noe, the Beam Family’s 6th Generation Master Distiller and founder of The Small Batch Bourbon Collection®.

Booker Noe Explains How Booker’s Bourbon is Made

Booker Noe - Bourbon Gets Better with Age
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Now, we are talking about the ultimate, the ultimate bourbon. Booker’s comes out of the still at 125 proof, 62.5% alcohol. It goes into the rackhouse, now with these rackhouses we have they’re 27 barrels high, they’re 9 floors, and 3 barrels on a floor. This (Booker’s) will be on the 5th and 6th floors. The proof on it, it varies according to the elevation in these rackhouses because they’re not heated or air conditioned in any way.  As it ages, the proof on the very bottom will decrease say ¼ of point a year. On the top, it will increase. This is what I call the center cut which is the heart of the building where it will increase slightly. It’s removing water and in the process the proof increases and the flavors concentrate along with the aging of the liquor. The flavors get more aromatic and they’ll pick up different flavors like a vanilla, caramel, the longer you leave it in there the heavier these flavors get. I personally look after these and when the flavors get right, that’s when I bring it out of there. I have them bring it out and put it in the bottle. In other words, it goes straight from the barrel to the bottle, nothing’s been filtered out, added, taken away, everything that you might say that it originated with or born with. And people, they took to it like bees go to the honey!
~Booker Noe, 6th Generation Master Distiller at Jim Beam, 1929-2004

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These releases are each made from some of the last barrels laid down by Booker in the final years of his life and will each be available as limited, one-time offerings. As the first rye whiskey ever offered from Booker’s Bourbon, Booker’s Rye Whiskey was made from a very limited number of barrels of a previously unreleased rye mash bill in Booker’s signature uncut and unfiltered style. Knob Creek 2001 Limited Edition Bourbon debuts as the longest-aged expression ever released from Knob Creek, the ultimate expression of the bourbon’s big, full flavor.

“When Dad helped pioneer the small batch movement nearly 30 years ago, he introduced a whole new way of thinking about how whiskey could be made – introducing small batch, high quality whiskies like Booker’s Bourbon and Knob Creek Bourbon with flavor like nobody had tasted before,” said Fred Noe, Beam Family’s 7th Generation Master Distiller. “Now, all of these years later, we’re excited to keep this tradition alive by giving our fans something really special with these two limited releases made from some of the last barrels Dad laid down. Dad knew exactly what he wanted when it came to making whiskey, and I know these releases would make him proud.”

Booker’s Rye Limited Edition

The company says this release of Booker’s Rye is 136.2 proof and has been aged for 13 years, 1 month and 12 days. It has an intense flavor profile with pronounced, well-balanced notes of wood and oak from the longer aging process. The liquid offers a complex aroma with spicy notes from the rye in the mash bill. This uncut rye has a spicy, robust flavor, but it is not overpowering.

Booker’s Rye is now available nationwide with a suggested retail price of $299.99 for a 750ml bottle.

Knob Creek 2001 Limited Edition Bourbon

This bourbon commemorates a significant year for Knob Creek, as late in 2001, the tradition and responsibility of stewarding Knob Creek Bourbon was passed from Booker to Fred – from father to son. This release, made from barrels that Booker laid down in 2001, was finished by Fred Noe in honor of all he learned from his father and stays true to the pre-prohibition standards that Booker sought to restore when he introduced Knob Creek Bourbon. Bottled at 100 proof and aged for 14 years, longer than any other Knob Creek release to date, this bourbon is said to have an even bigger, fuller flavor than what Knob Creek fans are used to.

The company says this release of Knob Creek 2001 Limited Edition Bourbon is 100 proof and has been aged more than 14 years. It’s a deep golden amber color with aromas of robust oak and char notes balanced by sweet vanillas and caramels with a hint of warm brown spice and tastes of complex oak and char notes with subtle vanilla and warm spice.

There will be three limited batches.

  • Batch One: Higher in sweet notes, vanilla and caramel; very smooth
  • Batch Two: Higher in wood and oak notes; more tannic in nature
  • Batch Three: Mid-way between Batch 1 and Batch 2, slightly favoring notes of wood

Knob Creek 2001 Limited Edition Bourbon will be released with a suggested retail price of $129.99 for a 750ml bottle.

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