A LIMITED-EDITION JIM BEAM RELEASE OFFERS A TASTE OF EARLY POST PROHIBITION-STYLE BOURBON
BY TIA KIM
In September, the world’s high-selling bourbon brand announced the release of Jim Beam Repeal Batch, a non-chill-filtered 86-proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon inspired by the same type produced by the company just after Prohibition’s repeal. This limited-edition offering, with a label inspired by house bottlings from the 1930s, celebrates the 85th anniversary of both the repeal of the alcohol-banning Volstead Act (formally National Prohibition Act) as well as the rebuilding of the Jim Beam distillery the latter feat accomplished in an extraordinary 120 days.
Spearheaded by pious Protestants and “social progressives” among Republicans, Democrats, and the dedicated Prohibition Party, the Volstead Act carried out the intent of the 18th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Ratified in January of 1919, and the only Amendment ever rescinded, it might have been conceived with public health in mind, but is now universally regarded as not merely a failure, but an engine for criminality and corruption nationwide and an exacerbator of the Great Depression (thanks to lost liquor taxes). It was also certainly dry news for the Jim Beam owning Noe clan.
“For the 85th anniversary of Repeal Day, we wanted to release something inspired by our heritage and dedicated to the hard work my great-grandfather put into rebuilding our family business,” said Fred Noe, the brand’s seventh generation master distiller.
Available for a limited time, Repeal Batch is aged four years, similar to regular Jim Beam. However, it is non-chill filtered, resulting in a bourbon with fuller mouth feel and with notes that include charred oak and caramel. It has a light amber color, with an aroma of oak balanced with light vanilla and a hint of brown spice. It’s terrific neat, on the rocks, or in a signature cocktail, such as the classic bourbon sour (recipe at right).