Booker’s Bourbon 2024-01 “Springfield Batch”


Classification: Straight Bourbon

Company: Beam Suntory

Distillery: Jim Beam

Release Date: April 2024

Proof: 124.5

Age: 7 Years, 7 Months, 8 Days

Mashbill: 77% Corn, 13% Rye, 10% Malted Barley

Color: Bright Copper

MSRP: $90 / 750mL (2024)

Official Website

Fredrick Booker Noe II was Jim Beam’s grandson and the master distiller at Jim Beam from 1965-1992, and is the namesake for Booker’s Bourbon. Booker's Bourbon first came to be when Booker would hand select barrels to give as holiday gifts for friends. Eventually, the popularity of these bottles caught on and Beam started to bottle in larger quantities. Booker’s was launched in 1988 as the first mass-produced bourbon bottled straight from the barrel, uncut and unfiltered. After retiring in 1992, Booker went on to work as an ambassador for the company and traveled the world promoting Beam bourbon until his death in 2004.

“Springfield Batch” 2024-01 is the first Booker’s batch released in 2024. Springfield is the name of the small town in central Kentucky where Booker Noe was born and raised. For this batch, 17% came from the 5th floor of 9 story warehouse G, 7% came from the 4th floor of 9 story warehouse H, 31% came from the 5th floor of 7 story warehouse Z, and 45% came from the 4th floor of 7 story warehouse 3.


The aroma is bold with cinnamon spice up front. Sweet brown sugar and vanilla layer in, contrasting the whiskey’s spice-forwardness. Slight amounts of aged oak and leather add further depth, though their presence is fleeting. The result is a classic, satisfying Booker’s aroma.


Booker’s is billed as a bold barrel proof bourbon, which is immediately evident on the palate. Robust baking spices, highlighted by cinnamon, reach a high level of intensity right out of the gate. An undercurrent of brown sugar and caramel tapers in, which is complemented by savory leather and aged oak. The flavors are uncannily consistent with the aroma, though the intensity of the spice is turned up a few notches on the sip. It’s big, bold, and everything you want Booker’s to be.


Spice continues to intensify on the finish, with cinnamon again being the most prominent. It drastically eschews the sweeter flavors, gripping the taste buds with a warming intensity. While it’s one-dimensional to a degree, its staying power is what really defines it, making for an intensely long, satisfying ending to the sip.


The original barrel proof bourbon, Booker’s was at one time the everyman’s high proof pour. Over time, Booker’s developed a loyal following with fans willing and eager to scoop up each batch. Batches were readily available and reasonably priced (in relative terms).

But as bourbon heated up, so did the number of readily available barrel proof releases. Barrell Bourbon entered the scene, and more comparably to Booker’s so did Elijah Craig Barrel Proof from Heaven Hill, Stagg (Jr.) from Buffalo Trace, Maker’s Cask Strength, and an onslaught of others from distillers and producers from across the country.

One of the benefits of cask strength bourbons is the fact that flavors are pushed to their limits, extracting the far-reaches of a particular distillery’s flavor profile, a particular mashbill, the terroir of a region, or any other traits specific to a given whiskey. Booker’s is known for being a bold, no-nonsense bourbon that’s often highlighted by cinnamon, brown sugar, and leather notes. It’s aged from 6-8 years, which strikes a nice balance between grain-driven flavors and oak-driven flavors. While it is relatively consistent in quality and general underlying flavor characteristics from batch to batch, each batch is unique, offering nuances directed by the specific conditions that ultimately make up the components that comprise that specific batch’s blend. Booker’s Springfield Batch is a prime example of what makes Booker’s bourbon great, with a quintessential Booker’s flavor profile that’s bold from start to finish, defined by cinnamon, brown sugar, and leather throughout, producing a sip that’s unequivocally barrel proof.


As bourbon demand intensified, Beam reduced supply and increased the price point of Booker’s bourbon starting in 2017, from $60 to $90 per bottle (their original plan was a $40 increase to $100, but they pulled back from that and eased into the price increase based on the market’s reaction to the news).

The number of barrel proof bourbons available has increased dramatically over the past decade and a half, and Booker’s has now become one of many. But it still maintains a certain appeal that many barrel proof competitors don’t have. It might be the packaging, might be the fact that it’s been around for longer than any of them, or it might be that its flavor profile is consistently bold and satisfying from batch to batch. It’s probably all of these factors, which is likely why it often sells for more than its MSRP or just isn’t readily available like it once was. Its age statement is never extraordinarily high, but it is very specific and down to the exact day. Ultimately, this means Booker’s has moved away from being a bourbon that was an everyman’s bourbon suited to many to pick up every batch as a daily drinker to a more special bourbon worthy of an occasional splurge. I would have disagreed years ago when the price increase was announced, but in today’s world, Booker’s is unquestionably worthy of its MSRP.


The first Booker’s release of 2024, “Springfield Batch” is a bold cinnamon spice forward sip that’s Booker’s Bourbon, through and through.

Booker’s is a sleeper bourbon that quietly sells out with each batch. It’s no longer an everyman’s barrel proof bourbon, instead asking a premium price for what it offers (Knob Creek Single Barrel is Beam’s budget-friendly high proof option). At less than 8 years old, Booker’s strikes a nice balance between grain-driven and oak driven flavors, ultimately landing on a cinnamon spice forward flavor profile for Springfield Batch. While Booker's Bourbon is consistently good from batch to batch, it hasn’t quite reached “buy-on-sight” status yet given its premium price point and fact that it is relatively available and of similar quality compared to other barrel proof bourbons on the market. Regardless, Booker’s remains a solid choice and undoubtedly worth its price tag when you’re in the mood for a bold barrel proof bourbon and can afford to splurge.

The sample used for this review was provided to us at no cost courtesy its respective company. We thank them for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.
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Written By: Nick Beiter

May 1, 2024
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