Distiller: Jim Beam. ABV: 45%. Age: 11 years. Mashbill: 76% corn, 13% red winter wheat, 10% malted barley. Price: $45-50 (375ml).
I’ve always been curious about the small 375ml bottles from the Jim Beam Signature Craft Harvest Bourbon Collection that I’ve seen in stores, but have passed due to their $50ish price tag. The series mixes up Beam’s usual mash bill by adding or substituting unusual grains to the old corn-rye-malted barley standby–think brown rice, rolled oats, or triticale.
However, I couldn’t resist when I recently found a bottle of the 11-year-old Soft Red Wheat for $20. As the name implies, it swaps in 13% red winter wheat as the flavoring grain in place of rye. So how is it?
On the nose and palate are notes of sweet fruit, deep oak and slight vanilla. Although light in texture and not overly complex, there’s also subtle spearmint mixed with caramel on the back end, followed with more heavy oak on the finish.
I’m glad I tried this, but I’d have to sample the other bottles in the collection prior to putting down the $50 for a go.
Do you have a favorite of the Harvest Bourbon Collection? Let us know! -JTR