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The Jim Beam Small Batch Bourbon Collection is best known for three expressions in particular: Knob Creek, Booker’s, and Basil Hayden. But there’s a lesser known fourth member, Baker’s, that has been getting some renewed attention over the past few years. And now the older, single-barrel version of that whiskey has returned for the first time since 2019.
Baker’s Bourbon is produced at the James B. Beam Distilling Co., the home of the world-famous and best-selling Jim Beam Bourbon. The whiskey is named after Baker Beam, the grandnephew of Jim Beam himself and a distiller who worked at the distillery for nearly four decades. Baker’s relaunched in 2019 as a 107-proof, single-barrel bourbon aged for at least seven years, an impressive refresh of this whiskey. Despite all that, Baker’s just isn’t as well recognized as the other whiskeys in the Small Batch Collection, perhaps due to the more intense marketing push they tend to get.
In 2019, Beam Suntory (the parent company of Jim Beam) also released Baker’s as a limited-edition 13-year-old expression, and the reviews were favorable. The very nature of a single barrel whiskey means that each bottle will vary in flavor depending on which cask it came from, but overall you can expect notes of oak, vanilla, caramel, and brown sugar on the palate. “Baker’s Bourbon celebrates the individual characteristics in each and every barrel, and this 13 Year Old expression takes that experience even further as the distinct flavors from the barrel develop over time,” said Fred Noe, seventh generation master distiller, in a press release. “We received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback the first time we released this 13-year-old edition, and I’m proud to bring it back for whiskey fans who appreciate something special from Baker’s as a true gem within our Small Batch portfolio.”
Recognizing how eager whiskey fans are for transparency and obtaining as much information about a bottle as they possibly can, Beam set up a “single barrel journey” website for Baker’s. Here, you can enter the serial number from the bottle and find out information on exact age, warehouse location, and even how the weather affected the flavor of the bourbon. Baker’s 13 Year Old is available now (SRP $130), and you may be able to find a bottle from websites like Drizly—but this limited release is only available in select states. You can also find the regular seven-year-old version of Baker’s available from ReserveBar, and that’s a pretty good bourbon to drink too.