Classification: American Whiskey
Company: B.H. James Distillers
Distillery: Sourced from MGP
Release Date: November 2022
Age: Blend of 6.6, 6.9, 7.6, and 7.7-year-old whiskeys
Mashbill: Blend of four mashbills:
45.5% 7.7 Year Bourbon: 75% Corn, 21% Rye, 4% Malted Barley
30.6% 6.9 Year Bourbon: 60% Corn, 36% Rye, 4% Malted Barley
21.4% 7.6 Year Rye: 95% Rye, 5% Malted Barley
2.5% 6.6 Year Light Whiskey: 99% Corn, 1% Malted Barley
MSRP: $65 (2023)
Caramel | Vanilla | Allspice | Vanilla cream | Tobacco | Peppery seasoned oak
Vanilla custard | Baking spices | Peppery oak | Brown sugar | Sweet & savory
Rush of spice | Baking spices | Rye spice | Caramel | Hint of tobacco | Long
The sister batch to the distillery’s inaugural release, Burton James Rookie Season: Batter Up maintains a similar undercurrent slightly trading sweet flavors for savory ones.
According to the company’s press release,.“B.H. James Distillers and Burton James Uniquely American are the names chosen by the owner, Shawn McCormick, as a tribute to the legacy of his great-grandfather, Burton Hulon James (well known as B. H. or Huse). James played professional baseball from 1908 – 1919 when he and his wife, Estelle, settled on her family farm in Adairville, KY.”
Each batch of Burton James Whiskey is made up of less than 10 barrels, with plans to be released 3 to 4 times per year. Rookie Season: Batter Up is the company’s second batch, which was released as a sister blend to the first batch, Rookie Season: Opener. Rookie Season: Batter Up is a blend of six barrels that draws from the same four mashbills as the first batch, two bourbons, one rye, and one light whiskey, of which the complete details are laid out on this company-provided spreadsheet which also indicates a few of the barrels were used in both batches.
Similar undercurrents as the first batch lay the base for this second batch, with caramel, brown sugar, and baking spices being most prominent. However, some differences are present between the two batches, with Rookie Season: Batter Up leaning just a bit more into the savory and oaky side of the flavor spectrum. Notably, the yield per barrel for this second batch was slightly less than those comprising the first, which might have contributed to this. In any event, Rookie Season: Batter Up is more evidence of company owner Shawn McCormick’s attention to detail in his blends.