Mondays. Nobody is excited for Monday. Monday is never the best day of the week. Then again sometimes, it’s worse than others—as was the case for me today. I woke up early, and I freakin’ hate waking up. I had to go to the dentist, which meant minimizing morning coffee intake. I got my cleaning done, with a thorough thrashing of my gums and scraping. Worse yet, I have to go back to get a filling. From there I went to one of my favorite coffee shops to catch up on my chemicals, only to realize I had forgotten my wallet. Onward to work in the pouring rain. Work was guaranteed a stressful day, payroll reporting, though that went rather smoothly. Not everything did, which meant—without going into any details—I spent a good hour dealing with someone in a less than pleasant mood. That’s a touch of an understatement. That’s a big understatement. Fortunately, I made it through the day, made the gym, made it home. Now, I would never be the one to recommend alcohol as a coping mechanism (hahahahahaha,) but I think it’s a fine night for a firm drink. On the docket tonight? Jim Beam Bonded.
Jim Beam Bonded is a pretty fresh release, hitting the shelves nationwide. The first natural question, what the hell does bonded mean? I imagine this is a pretty frequent question, as the term is rather specific and therefore rarely applied (aside from on my beloved Old Grandad.) Basically bonded, or “bottled in bond,” means that the bourbon comes from one distiller in one distilling season, has spent 4 years or longer in the barrel, and is bottled at 100 proof. Simple enough, given the government involvement. So the real question here is, is it going to soothe my tattered soul (and taste good doing so?)
That first deep whiff, more deep breathing exercise than nose, comes through robust, with a heavy cedar note, more than a touch of spice, some warm molasses and a lingering forewarning of booze. The mouthfeel is surprisingly gentle with a rich warm oily consistency hiding the 50% of booze in here quite nicely, and the flavors that pop out are decidedly different than your standard Beam. The profile, I would say, can best be described as dark, with a touch of leather and toffee resting on a solid backbone of char and toasted oak. That leather clings on with an almost cigar like finish that is less aggressive than one would expect, pleasantly warming the throat as it winds down. Overall, I’d probably describe this as old school, if I had any basis for that judgement.
Two fingers down, and it’s almost Tuesday. Monday doesn’t hurt so badly anymore, except that brutal 3rd person flossing. The takeaway here is that sometimes you just need to take a deep breath, a full sip, and let it go. Other days are bonded days—a bit rougher, hotter, but worth the hassle in the end.