“As bourbon ages, a portion of the liquid is lost from the barrel due to evaporation—that’s the “Angel’s Share.” After aging, when the bourbon is dumped out of the barrel, a certain amount of whiskey is left trapped within the wood of every barrel. We call that the “devil’s cut.”
So goes the explanation of the Devil’s Cut name per the brand’s Jim Beam website. Whether or not you chalk the name up to clever marketing or bourbon-inspired genius (I believe the latter, btw) Devil’s Cut is a bourbon that you shouldn’t overlook when looking for something new to try.
This is a bourbon that’s big on oak – as you would expect, knowing that much of it has been extracted from the barrel itself – and might just be the bourbon that introduces fans of big red oaky wines to bourbon. And for those that like their bourbon spicey I think the hot cinnamon and pepper present in Devil’s Cut will fit the bill nicely.
I realize that with the recent spike in new bourbon on the market, many with upscale marketing and boutique images, a lot of bourbon lovers tend to stay away from the more commercial side of Jim Beam’s bourbon line. I want to challenge each of you to give this one a try. I think it might be a pleasant surprise.
And, of course, you’d be missing out on the total experience if you weren’t listening to Sympathy for the Devil while enjoying it with your friends.
Whether you like or hate my review, let me know in the comments.
- Bourbon Name: Jim Beam Devil’s Cut
- Year: 2011
- How I Drank It: Neat, in my special bourbon glass (please don’t be jealous)
- My Nose Noticed:* Hot Cinammon | Orange | Cherry
- First Sip: Oak | Pepper | Sweetness
- The Burn: No burn on the way down but a minor burn after swallowing. Finish was so brief I barely noticed.
- Neat, Splash or Rocks: This can definitely be drunk neat if you’re a fan of pepper and oak flavors in your bourbon. I’m more likely to drink this on the rocks as the oak and pepper flavors stand up well to the ice. I think a splash of water is nothing more than a way to make this bourbon angry.
- Share With: Open-minded wine drinkers who like big oaky red wines. Also a good choice for sharing with your close friends when the banter requires more than a single glass for sipping.
- Worth The Price: This is a solid bourbon for around $25. There’s no shortage of bold bourbon flavor. But, of course, I would expect nothing less from Jim Beam.
- Bottle, Bar or Bust: This is on standard rotation in my weekly home collection. Grab a bottle. At the price, you can’t go wrong.
*I like to let my bourbon sit in the glass for at least 5 minutes before I start to smell it or have a drink. I find that it’s better to let some of the alcohol waft off before diving in. If I’m drinking bourbon on the rocks, I skip the waiting and dive in both feet first.
**Some of you refer to this as the “finish,” but let’s be honest. Don’t we all just want to know if it burns good?
Speaking of bold, I thought this would be a good place to share one of my favorite Jim Beam TV commercials. This is a recent one from their “Bold Choices” campaign and features Willem Dafoe. Dafoe’s a long-time favorite of mine and a great casting choice to put a face to Jim Beam.