After uneven Booker’s release quality in 2018 I mostly sat 2019 out and didn’t hunt a Booker’s 30th overly hard. I tried a pour from a freshly cracked bottle at Moonshine and found it tasty but a little too hot for me at the time. A few months later I tried it again at a meetup from a bottle that had been open for some time and I really enjoyed it; unfortunately it seemed like it was too late to get a bottle for close to retail. Fast forward to the start of year and my local shop owner pulled out a Booker’s 30th when I went by to grab a bottle for my birthday. Don’t tell my wife but it was my favorite birthday gift that year. Exercising my usual lack of patience I cracked it first thing when I got home and found it was a bit too hot but I was ready to let it open up a bit and try again. Even just two week later I found it much improved.
Age: Blend of 9 and 16 year
Abv: 125.8 proof
Nose: Powerful with a combination of bold spices, rich oak, sweet brown sugar and a faint nuttiness.
Taste: Hot and heavy with oak and spice notes balanced by fainter brown sugar and nutty notes. Excellent, viscous mouthfeel.
Finish: Medium to long dry finish with a fading sweetness and lingering, slightly bitter oak.
About a month of opening up and a good 5-10 minute rest really did wonders here. The heat was still very present but was at an enjoyable level. I really enjoy the profile of older Beam releases(too bad Baker’s 13 year appears to have skipped Austin) and this is no exception.
While it was a little on the hot side and the finish was just good overall I was a big fan of the intensity of the flavors, the specific notes and the excellent mouthfeel. This is a little too pricey and intense for an everyday sipper but it’s a great bottle to pull down when I want something powerful.
TL;DR: Intense, delicious bourbon that is borderline too hot with a mildly disappointing finish
9 - a favorite I always try to keep on my shelf
Fair - Worth the money, happy with my purchase