Jacob’s Ghost from Jim Beam
Aged at least one year; 80 proof
Suggested retail: $21.99/750ml
Jim Beam joins the white whiskey trend with Jacob’s Ghost, named for founding father Jacob Beam. Unlike unaged white dog, this is aged for at least a year in charred white-oak barrels, which Beam says gives it a smoother, sweeter flavor. My usual tasting buddy, who’s not a fan of white whiskey, refused to even try this. But the Bourbon Babe ain’t afraid of no ghosts, so let’s get to it.
Nose: As you’d expect, there is a lot of corn and some alcohol, but it’s sweetened by a hint of vanilla and some botanical overtones.
Taste: Still lots of grain and alcohol, and a bit of a smoky flavor, but it is indeed pretty smooth – a far cry from the medicinal burn of white dog that I’ve tasted at distilleries as a sample of their product “before” full aging. In addition to trying the Ghost at room temperature, I chilled some in the freezer, since Beam’s press materials noted it was good as a chilled shot. But I thought that actually increased the burn and flattened the flavor.
Verdict: While Jacob’s Ghost was more complex and better tasting than I expected, I still wouldn’t drink this straight. Then again, I may not be the target audience. Beam’s press release quotes one spirits writer as saying Jacob’s Ghost “will replace vodka.” I’m not a vodka drinker, so I’m not looking for a replacement. Others say the Ghost works particularly well in replacing white spirits in cocktails such as margaritas. Beam sent along a few cocktail recipes; I’ll mix one up soon and report back.