Booker's Bourbon Batch 2023-02 'Apprentice Batch' is the latest bourbon from Booker's, a brand under James B. Beam Distilling Co. that is traditionally launched by the Noe family. Booker’s 2023-02 is named "Apprentice Batch" as an ode to the early part of former Beam master distiller Booker Noe’s career. Shortly after joining the Jim Beam Distillery in 1952, Noe served as an apprentice to his cousin, Carl Beam, who taught him the ropes of the trade. This bourbon was selected by Booker Noe's son, seventh-generation master distiller Fred Noe.
NOSE: Huge peanut notes, plus apple, pear and some fig. Lots of fruits, which is unusual for a Booker's release. The peanut is more present than usual, but the introduction of stone fruit on the nose is unusual and interesting.
TASTE: Heavy ethanol on the palate, sharp and prickly on the tongue. This delivers the most heat I've had on a Booker's in years. Apples, pears, brown sugar, a kick of oak, then back to hot and punchy.
FINISH: Long and once again hot, punchy and just oozing with ethanol. The fruit is present and fun, but it's hard to see through with this much ethanol on the finish.