Booker’s 2017-02 “Blue Knights Batch”
The second 2017 release of Booker’s Small Batch, now four batches a year, “Blue Knights Batch,” is named after the Blue Knights® Motorcycle Club, an organization of retired and active law enforcement officers who love motorcycles. Wait, what? I thought Booker Noe made whiskey, I didn’t know he was a cop?!? Calm down… he did, but he ended up making some police offer friends in the process. As Mr. Now put it, ” You can never have too many police officer friends!” Read the full transcript below:
Many years ago, my dad, Booker Noe, was invited to attend a Blue Knights’ rally in Kentucky. He eagerly accepted because, as he put it, you could never have too many police officer friends. Dad made fast friends with the Blue Knights, and before you know it, he’d invited all 300 of them over to our house the next day for a BBQ lunch. You can imagine Mom’s face when he told her at breakfast the next day. But, that was Dad – larger-thanlife and always making new friends.
We must have gone to every grocery store in town to host lunch for a crowd that size, but we did it, and it became an annual event each Memorial Day weekend. The Blue Knights even went on to name Dad an honorary member of their club.
I know Dad would be proud to honor the Blue Knights with their very own batch of his namesake bourbon as a tribute to the many years of friendship they shared. I hope you’ll join me in raising a glass of Booker’s “Blue Knights” and toasting to brotherhood and great bourbon.
— Fred Noe, Beam Family’s 7th Generation Master Distiller
2% came from the 4th floor of 7-story warehouse ONE
38% came from the 7th floor of 9-story warehouse D
33% came from the 4th floor of 9-story warehouse F
27% came from the 6th floor of 9-story warehouse J
This batch racks up 63.7% of alcohol content, or 127.4 proof. The youngest whiskey in the batch is 6 years, 3 months, and 6 days old, and according to Fred Noe, a few barrels were more than nine years old.
Tasting Notes: Booker’s 2017-02 “Blue Knights Batch”
Contents: 63.7% alc/vol (127.4 proof) Barrel Strength Small batch bourbon
MSRP: $70 for a 750ml bottle
Appearance: African Mahogany
Nose: Lots of oak spice right away followed by butter and vanilla bean. Faint cherrywood.
Palate: Rich and well balanced. Not very hot for 127.4 proof, but due to the range of age in the blend bringing out the sweetness of the sugars. Vanilla and sweet corn gently mingle with the sugar with a dry cherry on the backend.
Finish: Long but light finish. Medium tingle. Sweet wood.
Whenever analyzing a specific batch of Booker’s, anyone who is a fan knows that comparing it to other batches is the only way to judge each release. That, and seeing how they stack up to the Roundtable picks. Seeing as the 2017-02 comes after newest roundtable release (2017-01 Tommy’s Batch) it’s only right to put em side by side. Many of my friends have told me they think 17-02 is better than roundtable pick 2017-01, but they’re wrong and i’ll tell you why. Blue Knights Batch is rich and robust, with tingling cinnamon spice and charred sweet corn accompanied by it’s classic vanilla bean caramel. It’s definitely one of the most well-rounded releases in a while, but it lacks what makes Booker’s beautiful, which is the jam packed vanilla and almond butter bomb. Don’t get me wrong though, this release is damn good. The palate comes across as rich and has moments of sweet buttery vibrancy. I have no criticisms on the bottle alone and even though we’re at the second release since Beam-Suntory announced their price hike for the top of 2017, I’d still pay the $70-80 price tag for these if they keep making them this good.
Good or bad? Excellent!
Worth buying again? Yes, but this a readily available bottle in most states, so just get multiples for the bunker.
Editor’s Note: This whiskey was purchased by Superfly Bourbon Club. In no way, does acquiring the bottle in any form manipulate the direction of this review.