Jim Beam Black 7 Year Bourbon


Classification: Straight Bourbon

Company: Beam Suntory

Distillery: Jim Beam Distillery

Release Date: June 2024

Proof: 90 Proof

Age: 7 Years

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

Color: Light Caramel

MSRP: $25 / 750mL (2024)

Official Website

Press Release

Jim Beam Black has been reintroduced to the market with a new look, a new proof, and a new age statement. Beam Suntory dropped the “Extra Aged” moniker and reverted the brand back to an age-stated bourbon, although a year less than when it last held one. Additionally, the proof has been increased from 86 to 90, and the bottle design has received a makeover, providing a more premium look and feel for the brand.


Standard scents of faint oak and vanilla lead the way. Creeping in behind them are light caramel and cinnamon. A slight hint of nuts is also present which is common for Beam-distilled bourbons. These scents are delivered in an efficient and incredibly straightforward fashion, and though it doesn’t disappoint, it makes no effort above what’s required.


The palate delivers notes of watery vanilla, white peppercorn spice, and new oak up front. A touch of cinnamon spice is hidden behind these, which builds on the white peppercorn spice, but not to a significant degree. Overall, this is an incredibly thin and watery palate which is disappointing considering the bourbon’s proof and age.


Transitioning into the finish provides a slightly sweet vanilla custard note. Mixed peppercorn spice and oak quickly follow along with a defined vanilla note. These flavors transition into a dry oak and vanilla pairing, along with a slight hint of spice. Short in stature, much like the start of the sip, it finishes in a straightforward, no-nonsense fashion.


Jim Beam Black has been a staple in the Beam portfolio these past few decades in various iterations. It wasn’t even 10 years ago that Jim Beam Black carried an 8 year age statement. This age statement dropped in 2016 for the XA moniker, which stood for “Extra-Aged”. Eight years later, Jim Beam Black is relaunching with a new bottle design and a 7 year age statement.

The removal of age statements became increasingly common starting in the 2010s. From Jim Beam Black, Knob Creek, and others, it seemed like low cost age stated bourbons were a thing of the past. However, over the last several years, age statements have made a comeback on many of the bottles that lost them, with Jim Beam Black being on the later arrival schedule.

Unfortunately, the re-addition of an age statement does little to elevate the final product. The bourbon delivers a subpar sip that feels like its age statement is wasted on. Proof is not always the answer to increasing a bourbon’s flavor intensity, but at 90 proof, the bourbon is thin and watery and lacks any noticeable traits to stand out among its competition.


Most people will see a 7 year old 90 proof Kentucky straight bourbon for $25 and say, enough said, this bourbon is a no-brainer buy. However, this is precisely why you can’t judge a book by its cover. Even though the price might scream steal the first time you lay eyes on it, it’s actually not that straightforward of an answer.

Beam Suntory, being one of the world's largest bourbon distilleries, has a vast library of whiskeys for consumers to choose from. While Jim Beam Black isn’t the cheapest offering from the brand, it’s certainly one of the more affordable ones. Affordable, though, doesn’t always equate to must-buy, and Jim Beam Black 7 Year is a prime example of this.

Knob Creek 9 Year by Beam Suntory is an age stated 100 proof bourbon that delivers an excellent sip for just a bit more. Yes, if you break it down by percentage, this is a 40% jump in price, however, in an actual dollar amount, a consumer gets a much better bourbon for only $10 more. And when you look outside of Beam Suntory’s bourbon line you can easily find good value bourbons for the price, including many in the Benchmark lineup. All this to say that even though it carries an age statement again, Jim Beam Black 7 Year isn’t a good deal for the price.


A low cost of admission and a 7 year age statement isn’t enough to elevate Jim Beam Black 7 Year.

I had high expectations for Jim Beam Black 7 Year since it has all the right ingredients to be at least an average bourbon: adequate age, 90 proof, and affordable. Yet the bourbon still falls short on its delivery. The whiskey’s sip takes little effort to stand out, and once you get past its nose, it feels like it’s phoning it in and failing in the process. I could see this being used for a mixer in say, Bourbon & Cokes, but even then, you can find just as equivalent bourbon for less cost if you just want to use it for that purpose. A new packaging design is nice, but I wish the brand put as much effort into the bourbon inside as the redesign for the bottle it resides in.

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: Jordan Moskal

July 3, 2024
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