With four releases in 2023, we take a look at Booker’s 2023-03 Rare Uncut & Unfiltered “Mighty Fine Batch.” It was a bourbon I picked up to share at Friendsgiving but I a Monday morning quarterback mentality I wish I kept it all for myself.
From the website, “Booker’s® Bourbon is a rare barrel-strength bourbon, bottled uncut and unfiltered. But you obviously know a good bit about bourbon, because you don’t end up here by mistake. We don’t advertise. We don’t do social media. We just do bourbon. We focus on the sweet spot. The center of the rackhouse where the temperature and humidity stars align to create the deepest and most intense flavors. Once it’s aged to perfection, which always varies, the liquid is bottled uncut and unfiltered*. We don’t add, we don’t water down, and we don’t apologize for it. For some people, it may be too much. But for true bourbon fans, it’s probably the best ever.”
The label inspiration, “The third release of the Booker’s® Bourbon 2023 Collection is Booker’s Batch 2023-03 “Mighty Fine Batch.” This batch is named in honor of the signature phrase my dad, Booker Noe, used to compliment anything he approved of – from his namesake bourbon to his country ham.
If you knew Booker, then you knew “mighty fine” was his go-to phrase. He would often get together with other folks in the bourbon industry to taste samples of Booker’s Bourbon, and everyone knew he was happy with his selection when he sipped it and said it was “mighty fine,” followed by, “that’s a damn good batch!”.
Shortly before Dad passed away in 2004, I selected the barrels for a Booker’s Bourbon batch for the very first time. I was a little nervous at first; I had big shoes to fill. After tasting the sample I shared with him, he looked at me and said, “Mighty fine job, son.” A lot of people thought it was one of the best batches, but receiving Dad’s vote of confidence made it that much more special for me. I’ll never forget that moment.”
Lastly, the Master Distiller’s Notes for the Booker’s 2023-03 states, This batch is made up of barrels from seven production dates that were aged in six different warehouses. The breakdown of barrel storage for Booker’s “Mighty Fine Batch” is as follows:
2% came from the 5th floor of 7-story warehouse Q
3% came from the 6th floor of 7-story warehouse Z
8% came from the 5th floor of 9-story warehouse G
10% came from the 6th floor of 7-story warehouse I
10% came from the 5th floor of 9-story warehouse H
12% came from the 5th floor of 9-story warehouse G
55% came from the 5th floor of 7-story warehouse 3
Bourbon Review: Booker’s Rare Uncut & Filtered
ABV: 63.30% (126.6 Proof)
Age: 7 Years 1 Month 10 Days
Mash Bill: Not Disclosed
Distilled & Bottled By: James B. Beam Distillery
Location: Clermont, KY (USA)
The Nose: The Booker’s 2023-03 offers an incredibly inviting nose of oak and honey rise from the glass as it sits not he counter before me. Raising the glass upwards reveals additional notes of vanilla, cinnamon and a very slight melon. It might be one of the most naturally aromatic bourbons I have come across in my lifetime.
The Taste: The initial sip doesn’t hide that it is a 126.6 proof bourbon. It’s aggressive on the palate but so incredibly flavorful as well. There is an abundance of cinnamon on the first sip that lingers on the warm finish where it is joined by oak and subtle honeydew melon at the very end. Subsequent sips see a more subdued cinnamon with the addition of honey and vanilla with an abundance of oak. The finish has a balanced mix of heat and spice with sweetness and complexity.
The Finish: In 2023, I changed the way I look at bourbon. If it is less than 100 proof I am definitely not interested. Sure, there might be some exceptions but for the most part 95% of all bourbon I consume is above the century mark. So when I review a bourbon with a 63.3% ABV I know there is a segment of my readers that automatically rule it out. And if you are a part of that group shame on you for missing out one of the best bourbons I have ever enjoyed. Booker’s has released 2023-04 so finding the Booker’s 2023-03 might be difficult but I highly suggest tracking it down.
Price: $99.99 (750ml in New Hampshire)