Booker’s bourbon is among the “Small Batch Bourbon Collection” produced by the Jim Beam Suntory Distillery. It is a cask-strength bourbon bottled at its natural proof.
Read on if you want to know more about Booker’s bourbon: price, flavor notes, and interesting history.
An Overview Of Booker’s Bourbon
Booker’s bourbon is one of the few bourbon brands left bottled straight from the barrel. As a result, its alcohol proof is significantly higher than the industry standard — from 121 to 130.6. The high proof guarantees a harsh alcoholic bite on the palate right off the bat, so the brand recommends adding water to it or serving it on the rocks.
Booker’s started not as a bourbon sold to the public but as a special present given to family and friends. The sixth-generation master distiller Booker Noe, the grandson of Jim Beam, originally bottled the bourbon as gifts but eventually made it available to the general public a few years later.
It is also believed that we have Booker Noe to thank for the industry term “small batch,” referring to the way he made the spirit from a small number of barrels. 
How It’s Made
Booker’s is bottled uncut after being aged between six to eight years in charred white oak barrels. It doesn’t go through the traditional chill-filtering or water dilution method, allowing the connoisseur more flexibility in enjoying their drink up until its last ounce.
However, the master distiller makes sure that any actual pieces of barrel wood are left behind at the distillery location!
Its Key Ingredients
The spirit has a mash bill of 77 percent corn, 13 percent rye, and 10 percent malted barley, categorizing it as a traditional American whiskey.
If you can get past its alcoholic bite from the high ABV, you’ll notice an exotic range of floral and nutty notes on the palate, with undertones of charcoal, some smoke, and a charred oak flavor. Other tasting notes include the sweetness of brown sugar, mocha, coffee, clove, and hazelnut.
Why It’s Released In “Batches”
While they are known to create the spirits year-round, they only release bottles in limited batches (around four per year). This is mainly because each barrel ages differently and is only released when they’re “ready.”
Common Booker’s Prices
|Type||Size||Alcohol Proof||Average Price|
|2021 – 01, “Donohoe’s Batch”||750 ml||124.9||Around $158|
|2021 – 02, “Tagalong Batch”||750 ml||127.9||Around $179|
|2021 – 03, “Bardstown Batch”||750 ml||125.5||Around $109|
|2021 – 04, “Noe Stranger’s Batch”||750 ml||124.4||Around $135|
|2020 – 01, “Granny’s Batch”||750 ml||126.4||Around $302|
|2020 – 02, “Boston Batch”||750 ml||126.5||Around $144|
|2020 – 03, “Pigskin Batch”||750 ml||127.3||Around $179|
|2019 – 01 Teresa’s Batch||750 ml||125.9||Around $84|
|2019 – 02 Shiny Barrel Batch||750 ml||124||Around $277|
|2019 – 03, “Country Ham”||750 ml||124.7||Around $80|
|2019 – 04, “Beaten Biscuits”||750 ml||126.1||Around $245|
|2018 – 01 Kathleen’s Batch||750 ml||127.4||Around $264|
|2018 – 02 Backyard Bbq||750 ml||128.8||Around $70|
|2018 – 03 Kentucky Chew||750 ml||126.7||Around $301|
|2018 – 04 Kitchen Table||750 ml||128.5||Around $507|
|2017 – 01 Tommy’s Batch||750 ml||128.5||Around $301|
|2017 – 02 Blue Knights Batch||750 ml||127.4||Around $343|
|2017 – 03 Front Porch Batch||750 ml||125.9||Around $299|
|2017 – 04 Sip Awhile||750 ml||128.1||Around $394|
|2016 – 01 Bluegrass Batch||750 ml||127.9||Around $36|
|2016 – 02 Annis’ Answer||750 ml||126.7||Around $299|
|2016 – Le Limited Edition Bookers® Rye “Big Time” Batch||750 ml||136.2||Around $299|
|2016 – 03 TOOGIE’S INVITATION||750 ml||129||Around $59|
|2016 – 04 BLUEGILL CREEK||750 ml||128||Around $208|
|2016 – 05 OFF YOUR ROCKER||750 ml||129.7||Around $343|
|2016 – 06 NOE HARD TIMES||750 ml||127.8||Around $295|
|2015 – 02 DOT’S BATCH||750 ml||127.9||Around $59|
|2015 – 03 CENTER CUT BATCH||750 ml||127.2||Around $599|
|2015 – 04 OVEN BUSTER BATCH||750 ml||127||Around $117|
|2015 – 05 MAW MAW’S BATCH||750 ml||128||Around $386|
|2015 – 06 NOE SECRET||750 ml||128||Around $299|
Compared To Other Bourbons
1792 Bourbon, named after the year that Kentucky was officially recognized as a state, is a smooth yet complex spirit brimming with sweet caramel and vanilla tasting notes. It is laced with spice mingles on the nose.
1792 is cheaper, as it costs only around $32. It is bottled at its original 125 barrel entry proof.
Woodford Reserve is a rich bourbon with a rich taste and a chewy mouthfeel. It is relatively friendly and sweet, great for those who prefer light whiskey. It has familiar tastes of citrus, cinnamon, toffee, and cocoa.
A 750 ml bottle of Woodford Reserve is around $30-ish, still cheaper than Booker’s bourbon.
Bulleit is famous for its high rye recipe (a whopping 95 percent). The high rye ensures a spicy nose; however, once you do get past the spice, you’ll taste the honey sweetness of this crisp and clean drink.
Bulleit Rye costs around $30 per 750 ml bottle, almost the same as the other brands mentioned above.
- Eagle Rare Bourbon Brand
- Burning Chair Bourbon Brand
- Angel’s Envy Bourbon Brand
- Rabbit Hole Bourbon Brand
- Kentucky Bourbon Festival Events
Popular Booker’s Bourbon Cocktail Recipes
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
- 1.5 oz Bookers bourbon
- 0.75 oz Falernum syrup
- 1.5 oz lemon sour
- 2 to 4 dashes of peach bitters
- 10 spearmint leaves
Muddle the spearmint leaves and syrup at the bottom of a cocktail shaker until their natural juices have been released. Pour the remaining ingredients and some ice and shake well until combined. Strain and pour into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice.
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
- 1.5 oz Bookers bourbon
- 0.5 oz simple syrup
- 6 to 10 mint leaves
- ½ tangerine, cut into small pieces (with peel)
- crushed ice
Muddle the tangerine, mint, and syrup at the bottom of a double Old Fashioned glass until their natural juices have been released. Fill the glass with crushed ice and add the bourbon. Stir gently to combine. Garnish with a mint leaf.
Is Booker’s hard to find?
Yes, Booker’s is quite difficult to find. Not only does the brand release very limited batches, but they are almost always greedily snatched up by aficionados once available. They also don’t put up any sign of when the batches would be released.
How do you drink Booker’s?
You can certainly drink Booker’s neat, but most people claim that tasting its cask strength is too overpowering. The brand recommends drinking this bourbon with a bit of water or serving it on the rocks.
Booker’s is one of the only brands that sell cask-strength, uncut and unfiltered bourbon. Sometimes, tasting its harsh alcoholic bite can be quite off-putting. Still, once you get past the initial alcohol heat, you’ll appreciate its complexity, unlike other bourbons you have ever tasted.
Enjoy it with a bit of water or on the rocks, and you’ll find that this is a delight to drink.
Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds!