Jim Beam Signature Craft: Spanish Brandy Finish

Maker: Jim Beam, Clermont/Frankfort, Kentucky, USAJB Span Bran

Style: Bourbon finished with Spanish Brandy

Age: NAS

Proof: 86 (43% ABV)

Michigan State Minimum: $40

Appearance: Medium copper.

Nose: Cereal, alcohol, butterscotch, leather, old oak, yeast.

On the palate: Full bodied and sweet. Butterscotch candy, burn, yeast, a touch of jalapeno.

Finish: Hot but sweet. Lingers and tingles for quite some time with butterscotch, burnt caramel, dandelion stem.

Parting words: The Jim Beam Signature Craft series is a new line from Beam with two parts. One part is a 12 y/o, 86° Jim Beam recipe bourbon and the other is an annual release of a finished or otherwise unusually treated bourbon. The Spanish Brandy Finish is the first of that second piece. This is not a brandy barrel finish, this is finished with a touch of the brandy itself.

This whiskey has gotten mixed reviews from enthusiasts, but I think it’s pretty good. Except for the finish, the brandy does a good job of rounding out the rougher yeasty and vegetal characteristics of young Jim Beam. It brings a rich butterscotch sweetness to the nose and palate too.

Complaints have also been made about the price. Yes, better bargains can be found for $40, but it’s something different and I don’t mind paying a little extra for that. Beam has been doing a lot of experimentation over the past few years. Not all of it has been successful, but I think this is. It’s worth buying a bottle to have another option for sipping after a holiday meal. Jim Beam Signature Craft: Spanish Brandy Finish is recommended.