The quartet that is Small Batch Bourbons includes Basil Hayden's, Knob Creek, Baker's and Booker's. These are products of the Jim Beam Whiskey Empire, and damn fine ones I might add. Beam, Inc. has something for every palate and they claim to have sold ten million barrels of their spirits! We had the good fortune a few years ago to attend a function in San Francisco called "Whiskies of the World Expo." (You can check out that experience at Celtic Malts.) We were at the 4th and 5th annual events in 2003 and 2004, and one of the highlights was a seminar with Mr. Frederick Booker Noe III, a great-grandson of Jim Beam himself. He led us on a tutored tasting of the four Small Batch Bourbons, starting with the delicate Basil's and ending with the explosive Booker's. All of them were excellent, and it was a real treat to learn about bourbon appreciation from a member of a "royal" whiskey family. I kept thinking at the time "you can't go wrong" with any of these four and I have followed that dictum ever since. Last few evenings we have been pounding the Baker's, and it is some seriously deep shit. I like a complex drink, one that requires repeated visits, and Baker's fits that bill. I expect we will hit the fifth again with our pals tomorrow before our road trip commences on Friday. Hope the fifth survives.
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