Hardin’s Creek Colonel James B Beam Bourbon Review

Hardin's Creek Colonel James B. Beam Bourbon, which is a 2 year old bourbon made in homage to the bourbon that Col. James B. Beam (aka Jim Beam) brought to market shortly after prohibition ended.

Hardin’s Creek
Colonel James B. Beam
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
James B. Beam Distilling Company
108 Proof
2 Years Old
MSRP: $79.99
Review

Please enjoy my Hardin’s Creek Colonel James B Beam Bourbon Review!

Hardin’s Creek Bourbon – A New Line From Jim Beam

The James B. Beam Distillery has brought a whole new line of bourbons to the market in their new Hardin’s Creek line. According to their press release: “Hardin’s Creek is an ongoing series of annual releases, featuring some of James B. Beam Distilling Co.’s rarest and most unique liquids and grounded in the rich experience and distilling expertise of James B. Beam Distilling Co. Each set of releases will showcase the breadth and depth of the James B. Beam Distilling Co’s whiskey-making credentials inclusive of age, blending, mash bill, distillation, barrels, rackhouse locations, and more.”

Two Very Different Bourbons

The first releases in the Hardin’s Creek series are two very different bourbons. One is Colonel James B. Beam Bourbon, which is a 2 year old bourbon made in homage to the bourbon that Col. James B. Beam (aka Jim Beam) brought to market shortly after prohibition ended. The other is Jacob’s Well Bourbon, a blend of two “ultra-aged” bourbons, which you can learn more about in my Hardin’s Creek Jacob’s Well Bourbon Review.

It is said that after the repeal of prohibition, Colonel Jim Beam got their distillery up and running again in just 120 days. In order to get his bourbon to market quickly he used a lower distillation proof and a longer fermentation. It is these techniques that gave his bourbon some nice flavor characteristics at its relatively young age. Hence, similar techniques were used for Colonel James B. Beam Bourbon. It is made using a 5 day fermentation, a lower proof off the still and a barrel entry proof of 115. This bourbon consequently develops some nice flavors during its 2 years of maturation.

Hardin's Creek Colonel James B Beam and Jacob's Well Bourbons
The Inaugural Hardin’s Creek Bourbons
Tasting Notes – Hardin’s Creek Colonel James B. Beam Bourbon

Let’s Taste it:

🛌 Rested for 15 minutes in a Glencairn

👉Nose: Cinnamon, tea, simple syrup sweetness, caramel, vanilla, sweet corn, rye spices; spearmint in the background; moderate alcohol
👉Taste: Noticeable cinnamon, with mild sugar sweetness, and spearmint and oak in the back
👉Finish: Cinnamon spice grows and lingers. Noticeable burn

On my first taste of Colonel James B. Beam Bourbon, it does have some younger characteristics, but also some nice flavors. I got lots of cinnamon throughout, with other flavors in the nose of tea, simple syrup sweetness, caramel, vanilla, corn, rye spices and spearmint in background. The taste is quite cinnamon forward with oak, some spearmint and mild sugar sweetness. In the finish, the flavors crescendo with increased cinnamon spice complimented by some oak and char. The cinnamon spice conintues to grow and linger throughout the fairly long finish. There’s a noticeable burn.

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What, Beam Suntory? No Cinnamon?

Interestingly, the tasting notes provided by Beam Suntory in the Hardin’s Creek’s press release don’t mention cinnamon at all, although they do mention the vanilla and caramel that I noted, along with nuts and oak. If I had to sum this one up, it is a cross between cinnamon red hots and cinnamon Dentyne gum on a background of rye spices and oak, with a finish dominated by the candy and gum cinnamon spice.

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Summary – Hardin’s Creek Colonel James B. Beam Bourbon Review

Overall, Hardin’s Creek Colonel James B. Beam bourbon is an interesting, younger bourbon. If you are a fan of spicy cinnamon red hots and cinnamon gum, then this is one for you. However, it is difficult to overlook the price. With an MSRP of $79.99, the price is a bit over the top for a bourbon of this age. I did buy it, but that was because it was in the latest shipment from the James B. Beam Barreled and Boxed program. I have to say, if I were in a store, I would have to think twice before spending this much on a 2 year old bourbon. Especially when the other Hardin’s Creek bourbon, Jacob’s Well, is a blend of 15 and 16 year old bourbons and goes for an MSRP of $149.99. Now, we all know that older is not necessarily better, but there is no arguing that it costs more to produce. So, if I were choosing between the two, the older one is by far the better deal.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, the first two bourbons in the James B Beam Distilling Co.’s Hardin’s Creek line are an enjoyable pair of polar opposite bourbons. I am happy to add them to my collection and look forward to the next release! Have you tried either of these bourbons? What did you think?

I hope you enjoyed my Hardin’s Creek Colonel James B Beam Bourbon Review! Would you like to learn more about the James B. Beam Distillery, the makers of Hardin’s Creek Bourbon? Then check out my James B. Beam Distilling Co. Tour Review! Also, check out my review of the other bourbon in Hardin Creek’s inaugural release in my Hardin’s Creek Jacob’s Well Bourbon Review!

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