Thanks to my buddy for pouring me a dram of his bottle.
So awhile ago I was out in Alberta. Just hanging out, visiting friends, enjoying rural Canada in all it’s beautiful glory.
One thing that popped up while in Calgary (not rural Canada, had to come in from the massive farms and beautiful landscapes due to tornados (and whisky)) was Jim Beam Legent. A friend of mine enjoyed it so much she bought it for her husband, and he opened it.
What is it? Jim Beam Legent is a simple idea. Fred Noe, Jim Beam Master Distiller made Jim Beam bourbons. Two of which are secondary cask finished, ex-California red wine and ex-Oloroso sherry casks. They were then blended by Shinji Fukuyo, Suntory’s Chief Blender and the fifth person ever to have that role.
So a master distiller from Kentucky and a chief blender from Japan used ex-red wine casks and ex-Oloroso sherry cask bourbons (and one traditional bourbon) to make a whiskey. But did it work? Was my friend devoz correct that I’m a shill for even touching this and therefore a terrible person who doesn’t deserve oxygen? Let’s see, shall we?
Price: About $50 CAD in Alberta
Cask Types: Ex-California red wine and ex-Oloroso sherry casks
Colour: 10YR 5/8
Nose: Cherry, wheat, brown sugar, almond, lime
Nice immediate sherry impact, with some of the bourbon element here giving us sweetness to balance some of the acidic aspects. The wheat that pops up reminds you it’s bourbon, which is interesting and unique, though I’d say the sherry is taking on more of the nose than I’d prefer.
Taste: Brown sugar, cherry, grassy, lime
Nicer balance on the taste. Fruity, bit of grass, some acidic elements mixed with brown sugar. All quite nice to sip on. Nothing that’ll blow your mind, but this is a bit different than other bourbons out there. Probably because of the casks. Way to go, idiot, I can’t believe I have to call myself out mid paragraph.
Finish: Nutty, oatmeal, vanilla, carrot, oak
Better cereal development, more vanilla and oak. If you bought this hoping for a bourbon, it’s the finish that’s going to deliver. California red wine gets dropped quicker than your drunk aunt around 3 pm on a Tuesday. You need to get her help, seriously. Step up motherfucker.
Conclusion: This is really quite nice. It’s a change, that’s for certain, and is definitely there for whisk(e)y nerds to try a bourbon when they normally wouldn’t, or as a middle point between a sherry Scotch and bourbon. It adds a new dimension of red fruits, acidity, and nuttiness.
That said, given the expertise involved, I can see why the hype train ramped up so much. What this is isn’t the next coming of Weller 12. Or maybe it is. Maybe, just maybe, these okay bourbons are so easy to drink that people will go ape nuts about them (here at least) when in reality this is a good daily drinker that’s nice to have. So I guess… buy it if it’s at MSRP, don’t if some guy is selling it to you at triple?
Bourbon review #256, Kentucky review #166, Whiskey review #1790