As of this month, Jim Beam Repeal Batch bourbon should be the bottom floor of your whiskey collection: nothing with less flavor should be allowed, nothing cheaper should be tolerated. This newest bargain bottle of non-chill filtered Beam bourbon is a new standard for bargain booze and we only hope everyone else will follow suit.
We couldn’t be happier that this bottle exists. There are many reasons. But let’s start by unpacking the biggest one: the filtration, or lack thereof.
The premises is simple here: Repeal Batch is the closest approximation of what you’d have bought in a store immediately after the repeal of Prohibition. That means low proof and low filtration.
Repeal Batch is a non-chill filtered bourbon, meaning that unlike many competitor products, it doesn’t force the whiskey through a final aggressive filtering before bottling. Chill filtration takes proteins and esters from the whiskey—stuff that adds flavor, depth, and mouth feel—and gets rid of them. By dropping the whiskey to freezing temperatures, these things form ice crystals, and a micro mesh won’t let them through to the bottle.
This process has benefits: Left alone, these compounds can cloud the whiskey and make it look like something has gone wrong on the shelf. But while the consumer may be more swayed by pretty colors, the compounds removed by chill filtration make a superior drink, and a more authentically straight-from-the-barrel one.
This isn’t the first time we’ve gone wild over a Beam non-chill bottle. Booker’s is a fine example, but Jim Beam Distiller’s Cut wowed us a few months ago for a competitive price.
This is more of the same.
We don’t like Repeal Batch as much as Distiller’s Cut, but there are people who will. The difference is the proof: Distiller’s Cut was over 100 proof, and this batch is a much more accessible and palatable 86 proof. It may not have the body and boldness, but it’s still a nutty, corn forward bourbon on the nose, with notes of cinnamon, butterscotch, and burnt sugar. The finish is dry and spicy.
For the aficionado out there, this isn’t going to replace his favorite whiskey, and it’s not designed to. This makes an incredible cocktail with more body and character, for an affordable $18. Part of why we’re so happy to see this on the market is the simple fact that non-chill is a good trend to see. Every brand should be turning an eye to Beam right now, because at least on this topic, they’re setting a consumer friendly trend. We hope to see more. In the meantime, we’ll be ordering Old Fashioneds with Repeal Batch.