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Jim Beam Bourbon vs Jim Beam Rye: Which Wins?

Discover the differences between Jim Beam Bourbon vs Jim Beam Rye in this in-depth comparison and decide which is better for You!

Jim Beam Bourbon

jim-beam
NoseCaramel, vanilla, hay, corn
PalateToasty oak, peanut, vanilla, black pepper, oak spice
FinishShort-lived, caramel, oak spice
Alcohol content80 proof (40% ABV)
How to drinkCocktails
Similar toJack Daniel’s, Evan Williams

The nose is rich in corn, vanilla and butterscotch with a slight whiff of ethanol coming behind.

On the palate, Jim Beam feels thin with very little body. Flavor has some of the same sweet corn, vanilla and butterscotch hints, along black pepper, followed by a hint of acetone.

You also get the traditional peanut note noticeable on every whiskey crafted at the Jim Beam Distillery (Booker’s, Knob Creek, Old Grand Dad, Old Crow, Basil Hayden’s).

The finish is short and warm, leaving some sweetness, a bitter note from the oak spice and black pepper behind.

Jim Beam is a serviceable whiskey that comes handy when looking for something cheap to make cocktails but this is not something to drink either neat or use a sipper.

This bourbon is completely unremarkable, with no body, sweet at first but mostly warm and peppery. Jim Beam is not a good bourbon.

In summary, the Jim Beam Bourbon is a good mixer, but not good on its own. Just too harsh and peppery to make a decent sipper.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Jim Beam:

  • The mash bill is 75% corn, 13% rye and 12% malted barley.
  • Jim Beam ages for 4 years in newly charred American white oak barrels.
  • Jim Beam was founded by Jacob Beam a German immigrant in 1795 and is now property of Suntory Holdings, a Japanese conglomerate with an extensive portfolio in the drinks business.
  • Suntory has an extensive portfolio of brands that includes Sauza Tequila, Canadian Club, Laphroaig, Hibiki, Maker’s Mark among several others.

Jim Beam Rye

jim-beam-rye
NoseRye spice, black pepper, cherry
PalateRye spice, licorice, mint, caramel
FinishWarm, spice, vanilla
Alcohol content90 proof (45% ABV)
How to drinkRocks, cocktails
Similar toJack Daniel’s Rye, Bulleit Rye

The nose is a blast of rye spice and black pepper, as you let it develop a faint cherry note appears.

On the palate, the Jim Beam Rye offers a thin body and kicks-off with more rye spice, followed by hints of mint and licorice, along a bit of caramel sweetness.

The finish is short-lived, warm with hints of cinnamon, oak spice and black pepper making it quite spicy.

If I had to summarize the Jim Beam Rye in a few words I would say: “It tastes like a spicy Jim Beam White Label“, which in turn is not the best sip.

Definitely not a sipping whiskey and would rather choose other options before this when looking for an affordable mixer.

Too peppery and somewhat harsh with better options at this price point.

There are a few facts worth knowing about the Jim Beam Rye:

  • Jim Beam claims that this whiskey is crafted using an old Pre-Prohibition recipe, although they don’t disclose much information about it or about how the mash bill is comprised.
  • Does not have an statement but it was aged for around 4 years in American oak barrels.

Jim Beam Bourbon vs Rye: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPrice
Jim Beam Bourbon$12
Jim Beam Rye$19

Jim Beam Bourbon vs Jim Beam Rye: Which is better?

Jim Beam Rye is more bearable

WhiskeyJim Beam BourbonJim Beam Rye
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • Jim Beam Bourbon is not my jam. I simply can’t find something good about it after all this years and it seems unlikely that there will be a change in my opinion.
  • Thin, watered-down, unremarkable, with some nail polish notes making it taste like… you know!

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