Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Review: Jim Beam Signature Craft "Quarter Cask Finished"

A true appreciation of the Grateful Dead can only be achieved by listening to their live recordings.  Their studio work doesn't do them justice.

While there is a lot of debate as to their best concert, what hooked me was their May 8, 1977 performance at Barton Hall, Cornell University: click here!

The song that reeled me first was Morning Dew.  Others that will get their hooks into you are:  Scarlet Begonias, Brown Eyed Women and Jack Straw.  Click below to listen.

What does the Dead have to do with a whisky review?  Nothing really.  I just wanted to expand your musical horizons, even if I had to exploit your interest in whisky in order to do so.

Jim Beam Signature Craft "Quarter Cask Finished"



Release Date

Nose (undiluted)
Cinnamon, lavender, roses, oak.

Palate (undiluted)
Sweet corn notes, toasted oak, lemon zest, apricot. Oak dominates.

Finish (undiluted)
 Medium spiced rye, dark toast, oak and vanilla.

General Impressions
I found this bourbon to be very pleasant, quite smooth, with prominent oak and cinnamon at the forefront of taste.  For the price and 43% ABV, I expected a wee bit more flavor complexity.  So, the price is a little rich for what you get.  At $32, I would be singing its praises but at $39 there are some other aged bourbons that you may prefer if you like more vibrant and challenging flavors.

I think this will have mass appeal, especially for those who like to add ice or water.  I really think this is a very pleasant bourbon to explore neat if you want to know what all the fuss of bourbon is about and willing to pay a little premium.  And finally, I raise a toast to Jerry Garcia with this bourbon.  His positive spirit and improvisational genius has brought a lot of sunlight into this world.  Thank you Jerry!


Jason Debly

P.S.   I always admired the Grateful Dead for making their live performances available for free, even setting up a section at their concerts where fans could plug into their soundboard, and record the live performance, so long as they did not profit from the recordings.

Photo credits:  Jerry Garcia photo taken by Andy Leonard; Photo of Jim Beam taken by Jason Debly.  Mr. Leonard's photo is used here purely for entertainment and educational purposes.  Mr. Leonard retains all moral and intellectual property rights to said photo and may not be reproduced without his permission.


  1. Spotted a JB 'Double Oak' in the shops.. but at $50 I'll pay an extra $5 -$10 and get the Old Virginian 12yr
    AL (from OZ)

  2. I just opened Jim Beam signature craft 12 years. I find it very pleasant, very fresh on the nose with subtle sweetness. No burn on the tongue at all, but there's a very pleasant warmth coming from the stomach to the throat after you take a sip. Finish is bitter, woody and spicy. I don't know the mashbill, but I assume its relatively high in rye and lower in corn (maybe I'm wrong?). I envy you guys on the prices of bourbon over there. Here in Macedonia I paid 54 USD for the bottle, but it's worth the price. I think I'll finish this bottle rather quick.