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Jim Beam White Label vs Jim Beam Black Label Extra Aged: Head to Head

Discover the differences between Jim Beam White Label vs Jim Beam Black Label in this head to head comparison and decide which bourbon is better for You!

What’s the difference between Jim Beam and the Black Label Extra Aged?

The Black Label is aged for 8 years while the White Label for 4

jim-beam-white-label-vs-jim-beam-blacl-label-extra-aged

Same whiskey using the same mash bill, the difference lies in the aging length as the Black Label Extra Aged is barreled twice as long.

Jim Beam White Label

jim-beam-white-label-marcas-de-whisky
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 toWild Turkey, Maker’s Mark, Old Crow

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.

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 (Review) makes a decent whiskey to mix, 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 Black Label Extra Aged

jim-beam-black-label-extra-aged
NoseCaramel, cherry, vanilla, oak
PalateCorn, vanilla, caramel, oak, peppercorn
FinishEarthy, chocolate, corn, barrel char
Alcohol content86 proof (43% ABV)
How to drinkRocks
Similar toJim Beam Double Oak, Devil’s Cut

The nose brings caramel and vanilla at first, followed by vanilla and a tad of oak.

On the palate, the Black Label feels somewhat warm but nothing too severe. Flavor delivers sweet corn up-front, followed by vanilla, caramel, oak and roasted peanuts. It gives a bit of pepper tingle but settles down fast.

The finish has a decent length, with a bit of a bite, with an earthy/ashy note to it, leaving an aftertaste of chocolate, corn and barrel char behind.

Drinking it rocks makes it better as you get more vanilla and caramel on the palate, while reducing the peppery sting.

The Jim Beam Extra Aged (Review) bites a bit but is completely drinkable. This bourbon is a step-up over the White Label as the extended aging removed some of the rough edges making it immensely better.

Still far from being an elite bourbon but it’s affordable price makes it a good option when looking for something to make affordable cocktails or tailgating.

There are a few facts worth knowing about Jim Beam Black Label Extra Aged:

  • The mash bill is 75% corn, 13% rye and 12% malted barley.
  • Jim Beam ages for 8 years in newly charred American white oak barrels.

Jim Beam White Label vs Jim Beam Black Label: Price comparison

Prices are approximate and stated in USD:

WhiskeyPriceProofBottle Size
Jim Beam White Label$24861 liter
Jim Beam Black Label Extra Aged$32801 liter

Jim Beam vs Jim Beam Black Label Extra Aged: Which is better?

The Black Label Extra Aged is an upgrade over the traditional White Label

WhiskeyJim BeamBlack Label Extra Aged
Nose
Body
Palate
Finish
Value
  • The Black Label is a massive improvement as the extra aging removed some of the hard edges making it entirely drinkable.
  • Still not an elite bottle but an attractive option for mixing or social drinking.

Learn more about this brand by reading my post: Discover the Best Jim Beam where I rank every bottle.

Jim Beam

Just after the end end of the American Revolutionary War, Johannes Reginald Beam migrated from Germany to the United States, settling in Kentucky County.

At the time, Kentucky was still considered part of the state Virginia, and was overseen by a military governor named John J. Bowman.

In order to encourage westward expansion, Virginia issued pioneers who agreed to settle in Kentucky County “corn writs,” granting pioneers 60 acres of land if they agreed to settle in Kentucky and start producing corn.

After settling in Kentucky, Beam began harvesting corn and set forth a family tradition by distilling the excess grains he harvested into bourbon.

Since then, seven generations of the Beams have been involved in whiskey production for the eponymous company; the company is actually named after James Beam, who rescued it following Prohibition.

Today, Fred Noe, seventh generation master distiller and the great grandson of Colonel James B. Beam, is the man calling the shots.

The company is owned by Suntory Holdings from Japan.

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