If you’re familiar with the Booker’s bourbon line, then you already know that they put out special Batch collection every year. Last year saw six special releases hit the shelves, but in order to help conserve stock, Booker’s is only releasing four special editions this year.
The first release for 2017 is called “Tommy’s Batch” and is named after Tommy Crume, who worked with Booker Noe in the distillery for decades and eventually became Distillery Manager.
The whiskey itself is a blend of two different production dates, with the younger being aged for six years, four months, and eight days. The barrels (only 335 in total) were pulled from the higher levels of the warehouses and it shows—the ABV is 64.25%.
Appearance: Tommy’s Batch is burnt caramel in color with a slight viscosity.
Nose: Aside from the alcohol (which is expected at such a high ABV, so don’t inhale too deeply), there are distinct notes of oak and cinnamon, with hints of vanilla and some herbaceous notes at well.
Palate: Again, you’re met with the alcohol first, but this quickly leads into sweet corn flavors that mingle nicely with vanilla, oak, and almost-burnt brown sugar. The heat falls to the sides of the mouth and warms the gums while oak notes come through in the middle, leading into dark chocolate notes on the end.
Finish: A long, dry finish on this one. The taste of charred oak and cereal grains stick with you through the end of the taste.
Final Thoughts: The Booker’s Batch Collection bourbons are never easy bourbons. They aren’t the whiskies you give to your brother-in-law on the first time you meet him and all you know is that his college nickname was “The Smirnoff Slammer.” No, these bourbons are ones that you share with your best bourbon-drinking friends. You allow them to open up as you sit on a porch or in front of a fire, enjoying everything you’ve been given in life. That, though, is what make the Booker’s Batch Collection so nice. You need to earn them.
Booker’s Batch 2017-01 retails for around $70.