Sara with Baker Beam

Love Baker’s Bourbon as much as I do? Jump on this cool promo Thursday

Now that I’m doing bourbon tours for Mint Julep Experiences (shameless plug), I often get asked what my favorite bourbon is. As any bourbon aficionado might tell you, our top 5 fluctuates throughout a year, and it’s not exactly the PC thing to do to single out one single brand or distillery.

So I simply say either: “The one in my hand” or “The one you’re going to buy me later.”

But I will admit I’ve always had a soft spot for Baker’s Bourbon, part of the Jim Beam Distillery‘s Small Batch Bourbon Collection that Booker Noe released in 1992. Baker’s sister brands include Booker’s, Basil Hayden’s and Knob Creek.

Baker’s is released in that sweet spot of 7 years old and at 107 proof — similar to a yummy brand released over at Buffalo Trace Distillery (Weller Antique, anyone?).

But Baker’s is a rye-grained bourbon, as opposed to a wheated bourbon like Weller. This means Baker’s will be spicy, nutty, oaky and a soft, sweet molasses that’ll permeate the finish.

Sara with Baker Beam
Hey, Baker! Let me in that rick house!

I was fortunate to meet Baker Beam last year when I did a story for The Bourbon Review on the man, the myth and the bourbon legend. He was as humble as pie and as sweet as sassy as you’d imagine him to be.

He put in nearly 40 years at the distillery, working tirelessly behind the scenes and right alongside his brother David Beam and cousin Booker Noe.

Anyway, let’s get to the funny photo above. If you’re a Baker’s fan like me, on Thursday you can get a chance to get a similar photo and also perhaps win a one-on-one tasting experience with Freddie Noe, the 8th generation Beam family distiller.

As part of a holiday promo, the Baker’s team is calling it the Single Barrel Journey Experience. Beginning Thursday, Nov. 19, you go to the Baker’s Bourbon website and enter the Barrel ID number from the neck tag on your bottle of Baker’s. (If you don’t have a bottle, I suggest you go out today and grab one!)

It’ll tell you the story of exactly where your bottle aged in the rick house and share a few more tasting notes of exactly what you can expect out of your particular single barrel bourbon.

After that, you’ll get to enter the contest with your name and email, and hopefully you’ll be one of the lucky ones to get an awesome photo like I did — or even better, the tasting experience with Freddie!

I would do it first thing in the morning if I were you, because the press release notes it’s for “consumers that act fast.”

Baker's package
Christmas came early.

So go get your Baker’s (around $60), or if you already have one of the newish single-barrel bottles, just make sure the Barrel ID number on the neck tag is handy.

Baker’s makes excellent Old Fashioneds as well, so if you’re worried about spending that much money on a bourbon you haven’t tried, trust me — you’ll love it on a boat, with a goat, in the rain, or on a train.

Baker Beam

The Bourbon Review: Baker Beam reflects on his past, his industry, and his newly rebranded bourbon

Here’s the article I wrote for The Bourbon Review on Baker Beam last year as his namesake bourbon, Baker’s, was being rebranded. I got a chance to hang out with him one afternoon at his house near the Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont, Ky., and it was an amazing experience being in the company of a true bourbon legend — and his cat Zero.

Today — July 31 — is actually Baker’s 84th birthday, so everyone is encouraged to give him a big b-day shout-out on Instagram by tagging @jimbeamdistillery and using the hashtag #HBDBaker. I’ve got a bottle of Baker’s open right now, so I’ll be posting a video shortly!

(From The Bourbon Review)
Baker’s Mark: Baker Beam Reflects on His Past, His Industry, and His Newly Rebranded Bourbon

By Sara Havens

Baker Beam

Baker Beam | Courtesy of Jim Beam Distillery

Much like its namesake, Baker’s Bourbon often flies under the radar of consumer demand and brand attention. But ask anyone entrenched in the bourbon industry — or anyone who values quality over marketing campaigns — and you’ll find many Baker’s fanatics hoping their little bourbon secret never becomes so trendy that they can’t find it on store shelves.

Unfortunately for those folks, that’s all begun to change.

After more than 25 years, Baker’s Bourbon, which is part of Jim Beam’s Small Batch Bourbon Collection, has gotten a makeover thanks to Master Distiller Fred Noe and his team at the James B. Beam Distillery. The rebranding comes with a sharp, slick new bottle, and although they’re keeping it at its signature 107 proof with a seven-year age statement, the bourbon now will come from a single barrel.

The new bottles have hit shelves across the country this year, and in honor of the brand’s legacy, Beam also released a limited-edition, 13-year-old single-barrel Baker’s, packaged in a fancy premium gift box that had most bourbon collectors chomping at the bit.

Baker, who today turns 84, is a sixth-generation Beam distiller and grand-nephew of Jim Beam who put in a solid 38 years at the Clermont distillery and is now enjoying the retired life. Occasionally he’ll pop in at the distillery for events, to sign bottles or just watch the organized chaos of distillery life and reflect on his past, which included working alongside his brother David Beam and cousin Booker Beam.

Baker, after all, has seen the rise of bourbon in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, its ultimate fall in the ’80s and ’90s, and then the resurgence of America’s only native spirit in recent years. As soft-spoken and humble of a man he is, Baker has a wealth of knowledge that can only be attained by living it. And these days, he has become somewhat of the Jim Beam historian. He’s got quite a collection of historical documents, vintage bottles and priceless photos that showcase more than 200 years of the Beam family business.

Baker, a tall and lanky man, lives in a ranch-style home not too far from the Clermont distillery. In fact, his backyard view gazes upon several 50,000-barrel rick houses that sit off into the distance. Baker says he likes to be close to the action, and he often sits outside — with his cat Zero by his side — to listen to the familiar sounds of bourbon being made on the Kentucky hillside.

We stopped by Baker’s house one Monday afternoon for a quick chat, as suggested by his nephew Troy Beam, and Baker was every bit as hospitable, humble and honest as we had expected. He was gracious, genuine and appreciative to tell the stories of his past.

Continue reading here …