I'd like to thank a loyal reader and great commenter, Chef Rich, for asking what my husband thought of Booker's Bourbon after reading my post last month called, A Boy And His Bourbon. After forwarding that question to Nick he said, "Never tasted it. I'm going to have to give it a try". And try he did. A few days after Rich suggested it the hubby came home with a big 'ol bottle of Booker's and minutes later fell in love...with the bourbon that is.
After hearing my hubby ooh and ahh over it I decided to do some research to find out why it's so good. Here's what I found:
1.) Did you know that there are actual legal requirements that govern what can and cannot be called bourbon? Well there is. Some of said requirements state that the grain mixture must be made of at least 51% corn, however in practice most bourbons are made of 70%. It must be aged in new, charred oak barrels. And it also must be distilled to at least 80 proof (I second that one)...I'll tell you what proof Booker's is in a moment.
2.) Booker's Bourbon is actually produced by Jim Beam. Prior to the 1990's you couldn't even buy "Booker's". It was originally the distiller's pick-of-the-litter which he bottled and gave as a gift (why don't I have any friends that own distilleries?). The Jim Beam distillery also makes Basil Hayden's, another fantastic bourbon. Go Jim Beam!
3.) Apparently bourbon becomes darker in color the longer it ages in the barrel. Holding the bottle of Booker's beside three other bottles of bourbon on our bar it looked to me like this bottle, which has been aged for 7 years and 2 months (as stated on it's cute little stamp) does in fact seem to be darker than the others.
4.) And speaking of sitting in the barrel longer, I can't be sure, but I reckon that's what gives Booker's that deep, smokey, almost tobacco like flavor. That being said, it's still as smooth as a baby's bottom and you would never know that it's 130.1 proof. Yup 130.1!!!! That's 65% alcohol by volume. That is not child's play my friends.
So if you're looking to try a new bourbon, or attempting to work your way down the Bourbon Trail like my hubby, you might want to spring for a bottle of Booker's. It will run you about $50 a fifth, but I recommend giving it a try...at least once. If it's not your cup of tea at least you'll get your bang for your buck at 130 proof...and it even comes in it's own cute little wooden box! **note...this is what you get when you let a woman write about bourbon..."cute little wooden box"**
So thanks for the recommendation Chef Rich! The hubby and I owe you one!