Booker’s 2020-01 Granny’s Batch Bourbon Review
I've reviewed Granny's Batch in a short flash review before, but thought it was owed a little deeper dive. As I mentioned in my previous post, Granny's Batch was the batch that really got me hooked on Booker's. I was sitting up one night having a night cap, getting ready to head to bed to rest up before a flight to Alaska the next day, and this pour totally took me by surprise. I was amazed at all the flavors. I knew this one was going to be special to me. Let's see if over a year later the same sentiment holds true.
Company on Label: James B. Beam
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: 75% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Barley
Age: 6 years
Further identification: 2020-01 Granny's Batch comes bearing a pink label in a wooden box with a batch information card
Nose: Buttery and sweet at first smell. Toasted walnuts. Dusty oak and citrus. Powdery vanilla that has some cake-like characteristics. I can almost smell something dark smoldering beneath the surface. I'm expecting a big pop of powerful aromas any moment now. Some dry wood characteristics continue to layer in like stringy paper birch bark. Boom. A light swirl released the fury of this one. Rich, spicy cherry stampedes out, leaving a trail of black pepper, dark stewed plums and a slight grape tannin. A lovely cacophony. I'm actually not getting any of the Beam peanut shell that Granny's Batch is notorious for and why I fell in love with Booker's in the first place. That's also why I really enjoy this pour too though because it evolves very drastically, inter- and intra-glass. Time for a sip. This glass is starting to turn on that dark rye spice and a bit of salt comes along with it. Vanilla layers back strongly later in the glass. Pepper spice again, but stronger this time. The vanilla note is finally delicate enough to let that peanut shell note shine through. Yum!
Palate: High flying, high proof ball of FIRE on my first sip. I was not ready for something that intense tonight as a first pour. I'm going to lean on an old trick and hold a little bit of this in my mouth for as long as I can bear and see how I fare coming out the other side. Worked a charm. I am getting a thick syrupy cherry juice and the beginnings of peanut shells starting to creep in. After the first sip shock wore off, the profile is almost delicate in a way, even at 126.4 proof. Creamy citrus, a bit of copper metallics, rye spice, cinnamon stick, and plum linger very long. Definitely a batch for sipping, and I think does well in cooler Fall weather. On this slightly muggy August day, it feels quite potent, and leaves me with a bit of sweat forming on my nose. Time to kick on the AC and finish this glass. Hidden under that powerful cherry note are those dusty, salted peanut shells I know and love. It took a long time to set up tonight, but it finally arrived at a slightly drying mouth coating that lingers impossibly long. That's the beauty of a good barrel proof offering - the waves of flavors seem to go on forever.
I knew this one was going to do well tonight when it started out with way more layers than I was expecting out of this pour. In the end it finally presented me with those dusty, salted peanut shells I was waiting for the entire glass. I am actually really interested to see if a little blending experiment between Granny's Batch (the peanut shells note) and Tagalong Batch (actual peanuts note) can combine to form a whole-ass peanut profile. I've already blended it up and I'm just giving it time to mix and mingle now. Looking forward to reviewing the result of that experiment soon!