Drink this for breakfast: Boozehound reviews Jim Beam’s Maple Bourbon

Jim Beam time!
Regular old Jim Beam makes for a tasty drink, but how does it stack up with a bit of maple thrown into the mix? — photo by Rodrigo Amorim

As mentioned in a previous review, it seems there has been an explosion of brands offering their takes flavored whiskeys lately. Unlike vodka, which has the luxury of going bananas and infusing whatever flavor you can imagine (including bananas), there’s really only a limited number of flavors you can infuse into whiskey without risking failure: Flavors range from the expected (honey and apple) to the seemingly experimental (strawberry and chocolate).

But I’m here to tell you that you can forget these other flavors, because I think I’ve found the best damn flavored whiskey of all: Jim Beam Maple.

Continuing their run of excellent flavored whiskies, Maple is made in the tradition of Jim Beam’s Red Stag labels (which includes Black Cherry, Spiced and Hardcore Cider flavors) and is made by taking their Kentucky Straight Bourbon and infusing it with natural maple flavors.

And while a good honey whiskey on ice might be the perfect way to kick back and relax on a summer weekend, maple and whiskey are two flavors that were made for each other—they’re the peanut butter and jelly, or even the macaroni and cheese, of flavored whiskies. Jim Beam packages their version in a 750ml that’s available for $21.49 at your local liquor store.

Color: Amber; a little lighter than the color of maple syrup. Things look promising and delicious right from the get-go, without even tasting it.

Aroma: Maple syrupy goodness floods your nose with notes of butter and subtle hints of cinnamon and nutmeg dancing in the background. This stuff smells like breakfast, specifically the pancakes and waffles Mom used to make when you were a kid—but only, you know, boozier.

Taste: The butter takes front and center once you taste this stuff. The maple sweetness is still evident, but the overall mouthfeel suggests smooth, melting butter and caramel more than anything else. The finish is perfect: easy, gradual and spreads right through you.

The Mixmaster: Please don’t waste this glorious nectar by adding Coke or Pepsi. Your best bet is drinking this straight over ice, but if you really must mix this into something, I’d say get ahold of some apple cider from Wilson’s Orchard and drop a shot in there. Magic should result.

Overall: This is the best flavored whiskey I have ever tasted, hands down. There are a lot of other flavored whiskies out there — including plenty of maple permutations, but until I taste a better one, Jim Beam Maple holds the crown.

Grade: A+


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