Bookers 2023-04 The Storyteller Batch Review

I have found a little mom & pop gas station/convenience/liquor store out in the boonies that I’ve been able to pick up some Booker’s on a regular basis (a few times a year). Recently I found “The Storyteller Batch” and am looking forward to tasting it. So, I’ll pour a glass and get to this Bookers 2023-04 The Storyteller Batch review.

The first Booker’s was released in February 1979! That’s a long tradition of bourbon releases! Label names back then were listed differently, for instance, C-B-16-79 (I don’t know what the “C” means, but the “B” = February (2nd month), the “16” = the 16th day of the month, and “79” is the year). The current number system with year-quarter and batch name (i.e. 2023-04 The Storyteller) was first rolled out in January 2015.

The story behind Booker’s Bourbon begins with Sixth Generation Beam Master Distiller, Booker Noe. As a tribute to his close friends and family, Booker created this special bourbon as a Christmas gift. He carefully selected barrels from the center-cut of the rack house, where the aging process imparts rich flavors and complexity.

Series: Booker’s 2023 Batches
Classification: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Age: 7 yrs, 2 mo, 29 days
Proof: 127.8
Proof Designation: Barrel Proof
Batch Designation: Small Batch
Filtered Status: Non-Chill Filtered
Mash bill: 75% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Barley
Distillery: James B. Beam Distilling Co.
Company: Beam Suntory, Inc.
Distilled/Aging Location: Clermont, Kentucky
MSRP: $90 (2023)
Availability: Low-Hard to Find
Batch Info:
26% came from the 6th floor of 7-story warehouse Z
14% came from the 6th floor of 9-story warehouse H
25% came from the 5th floor of 9-story warehouse G
35% came from the 5th floor of 7-story warehouse 3

Bookers 2023-04 The Storyteller Batch review
Bookers 2023-04 The Storyteller Batch Review

My tasting reviews are unique in that I include the notes of several well-known whiskey critics. The hope is that this format will help me and others to explore and expand their tasting experience. After you have taken your own tasting notes, read the reviews and see if there is a flavor note that others discerned that now you can detect as well.

Legs

It took about 10 seconds for the beads to form, about 15 seconds for the legs to start to form, and about 44 seconds for the first leg to fall to the bowl of the pour.

Nose

Light caramel, vanilla, yeasty bread, sweet apples, fig, some peanuts, sweet oak, a hint of tobacco.

Other Reviewer’s Perceptions

Mash & Drum: Dusty peanut note, very basic Booker’s notes here, very vanilla, very caramel.

The Subourbon Dad: Wow, very nice nose. Not much ethanol, just a lot of flavor notes. Cinnamon, oak, tobacco, vanilla, caramel, the typical Beam peanuts.

Coming Soon: Waiting for more reviews

Palate

Warming baking spices, cinnamon, allspice, mild toffee, dark brown sugar, dark chocolate, mild spicy oak and peanuts, dark fruits, leather. It does drink hot! You feel that 127.8 proof alcohol.

Other Reviewer’s Perceptions

Mash & Drum: Wow, that came in hot! Not as peanut forward on the palate (as it was on the nose), this comes off as very sweet. A lot of vanilla extract, there is the peanutiness there that you’re used to with Booker’s. It has a very nice viscousity. It is one of the more thicker and richer batches of bourbon I’ve had.

The sweetness of this immediately hits you. This is really nice, it explodes on the palate. It’s sweet, its a little bit oaky. I think that there are some older bourbons in it than the stated minimum 7 year old.

The Subourbon Dad: This is the epitomy of a great bottle of Booker’s. It is rich and oaky with a great mouthfeel. It’s sweet without being too fruity. Peanut butter, caramel, oak, warming baking spices, very pleasant. Mild tobacco and black pepper.

Coming Soon: Waiting for more reviews

Finish

Medium finish with caramel, baking spices, spicy oak and dark fruits.

Other Reviewer’s Perceptions

Mash & Drum: na

The Subourbon Dad: Medium-long finish.

Coming Soon: Waiting for more reviews

Mouthfeel

The mouthfeel is pleasant and silken, like a beurre blanc sauce on the tongue, but not like a cream sauce or olive oil.

The Burn

3 out of 5. This means that the burn from the alcohol is about what I would expect it to be for a whiskey at 127.8 proof. This means that this drinks a bit hot, because usually a whiskey will be a 4 or 5, which means that it seems like it is a lower proof than it actually is (i.e. less burn).

Tasting Summary

The Booker’s 2023-04 The Storyteller is a nice pour and worth having. It drinks semi-sweet to me, with alcohol and baking spices up front but quickly followed by sweet notes of caramel and dark fruits with some peanut, oak and leather.

My Rating

The higher the score the better the whiskey is in my opinion. For reference, my best rated bottle so far is the George T. Stagg 2022 (138.7p) with a score of 9.7.

Score TypeScoreExamples
Likability Score8.31.0 – 10.0
Availability Score21-Rare, 2-Hard to Find, 3-A Little Hunting, 4-Easy to Find
My Tasting Notes

A blank version of this tasting notes wheel is available in both a color and a black & white version in the member’s area.

Bookers 2023-04 The Storyteller Batch Tasting Notes
Booker’s “The Storyteller” Label Inspiration

This is from the inspiration card that comes with each batch of Booker’s.

The fourth release of the Booker’s® Bourbon 2023 Collection is Booker’s Batch 2023-04 “Storyteller Batch.” This batch is named after the way my dad, Booker Noe, could turn just about anything he talked about into an interesting story.

Dad was a natural storyteller. While out on the road to promote his namesake bourbon, he would tell anyone who would listen about how Booker’s Bourbon came about. Distributors and other industry folks thought Jim Beam hired an actor – that’s how good he was. He told a lot of different stories, but one of his favorites took place during a visit to Chicago. While eating at a nice restaurant, Booker was served a so-called “country ham.” However, it didn’t quite match up to his idea of a true, bona fide country ham. So he leaned over to his publicist and right-hand man and asked him to retrieve the ham he had stashed in his trunk for an upcoming Alaska fishing trip. Booker wanted to show the chef what genuine country ham tasted like. After a bit of back and forth, the ham made its way into the restaurant, where Booker generously shared it with both the chef and the other diners. That story always got the whole room laughing.

Booker enjoyed telling stories just as much as he loved making bourbon. He would strike up a conversation with a stranger, and by the end of it, they would feel like lifelong friends. Dad would always say, be yourself and talk about the things you’ve actually lived, and I think my son Freddie and I do a good job at this. Storytelling is certainly a Noe family trait.

I hope you take the opportunity to share stories with family, friends, and even strangers while you sip this batch, just as Booker would’ve done.

— Fred Noe, Beam Family 7th Generation Master Distiller

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