Jim Beam is taking its traditional white-label Bourbon whiskey to the next level with a slightly elevated presentation and a different aging process. The bottle’s label proudly states twice barreled, referring to the double maturation in American barrels, hence the name Double Oak.
When poured, Jim Beam’s Double Oak showcases a luscious golden brown color, with minimum copper reflections. The liquid is rather thick and oily, perfectly translating the viscosity, which gives a gorgeous mellow mouthfeel, into the visual appearance as well.
Jim Beam Double Oaks’s Nose
Notes: Wood spice, burnt caramel, orange zest
A beautiful, wood-driven charred fresh white Oak whiff tickles the nose. As a matter of fact, the promise from the whiskey’s storyline and the marketing terminology is rather present and prominent in the olfactory perception.
Right away, I’m greeted by an abundance of vanilla caramel, even though it’s not a typical plain-boring sweetness that one might expect. Quite the contrary, there’s a heavily roasted, almost charred dry ash that elevates that vanilla sweetness and cream, taking the scents to a new level.
All in all, the nose offers a lot of depth and enough spice to balance the creamy, mellow characteristics. Speaking of spice, I’m reminded of pink peppercorns, a few powdered cloves and nutmeg, all mingled in with a soft fruitiness that leans towards baked apple.
To underline that sensation, some of the baking spices one would use for this dessert are thrown in for good measure. A gentle smear of marzipan towards the very end and some more burnt caramel round off the complex scent.
Jim Beam Double Oak’s Palate & Mouthfeel
Primary Taste: Sweet-sour
Opening: Dry wood, charred oak, vanilla
Heart: Crispy sea salt, bitter spice, nougat
Finish: Long [creamy vanilla, pink peppercorn, lemon zest]
Whereas with other bourbons one might traditionally expect ample sweetness and caramelized corn, Jim Beam’s Double Oak reveals a rather dry sensation at the tip of the tongue, almost like charred ash and burnt mint.
Analogous to the olfactory sensation, the palate indicates just a hint of mellowness but then proudly states its character, spice and rich flavors.
The mouthfeel is dry, crisp, even mineral at times with a salty twist. The edges of the tongue are stimulated by a balanced bitter quality, lending a different facet to the otherwise mouthcoating, mellow body. The alcohol of 43% volume is beautifully woven in, hence it all feels rather smooth and creamy, despite the distinct dry woodiness.
How To Drink Jim Beam Double Oak
The message and underlying theme of the Double Oak are elegantly translated into the sensory experience of the spirit. This makes it a superb Bourbon whiskey to sip have from a nosing glass, like the Schott-Zwiesel one I used for this review.
Alternatively, one could pour the liquid over ice and even top it off with ginger ale.
Whatever your preferred way of drinking Bourbon might be, this is most definitely a versatile mixing ingredient for Old Fashioneds, Manhattans and the likes. I would recommend staying away from overly fancy drinks with lots of juice or syrup. Keep it simple, minimalistic and let the spirit shine.
As mentioned above, Double Oak is great served neat. However, we can definitely suggest the following cocktails with Double Oak:
Best Pairings With Jim Beam Double Oak
When it comes to pairing recommendations, I was mesmerized by the intriguing combination with “Kokoskuppeln”, which is a typical Austrian sweet made of creamed coconut flakes, waffle and bitter chocolate. The coconut sweetness and the mellowness are excellent matches with the American white Oak, beautifully counterbalancing some of the dryness, some of the astringency and the charred woodiness from the Double Oak. A match made in heaven.
Furthermore, I paired the spirit with a characterful, spicy cigar, covered in a dark, oily wrapper leaf. My choice was Rocky Patel’s Vintage 1992, which is a trusted smoke I have in my regular rotation, offering plenty of elegance and creaminess.
Overall Experience & Value For Money
The Double Oak comes in a short, robust, fat bottle. While it still carries some of the iconic form and design elements of the iconic Jim Beam Bourbon, this bottle is a more than notch up from the standard version. What’s interesting is that this variation is sealed with a plastic screw cap instead of a cork.
For me, that is perfectly fine because it makes for an easy grip and handle. The whiskey is easy to store and you’re not running the risk of having any funky smells from a bad cork. To some people, however, this might be slightly irritating because a natural cork usually indicates higher quality.
Additionally, this is a great pouring bottle because of its firm, steady grip, which is important for bartenders. On top of that, the Double Oak is great value for money.
Jim Beam is globally recognized as a trusted whiskey producer with centuries-old history. While the traditional white label is often overlooked, the Double Oak is also a great everyday whiskey but definitely a step above your standard pouring bourbon.
This, in combination with its versatility, its very affordable price point and the overall elegant presentation, make the Double Oak a highly recommended offer.
Reinhard Pohorec is a sensory expert and experience designer with a unique reputation as an emerging talent in the world of sensory technology, luxury brands, premium cigars and beverages. Entrepreneur, creative mind and host, he specializes in staging exceptional experiences, educational programs, coaching and hospitality project management for leading companies on a global level.
With a focus on the multi-sensory, he creates memorable and inspirational experiences to educate like-minded epicurians. He’s a contributing author to international publications, a tasting panelist for various global platforms as well as the founder and host of Light 'Em Up.