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Booker’s Bourbon Batches 2018 Ranked

Last updated Jan 13, 2021 | Published on Dec 23, 2020

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by Matty Sims

The Booker’s Bourbon Batches 2018 were the 2014 Detroit Pistons of Booker’s releases. Solid team and taken together championship level. The sum was better than the parts though. Does that even make sense with bourbon? I think so. If my analogy stands, Booker’s 30th Anniversary was the Rasheed Wallace of 2018. It joined the other batches at the end of the year and pushed them over the top.

Booker’s 30th came with no lack of fanfare. The original release was announced as a 16-year-old bourbon but later changed to a blend of 70 percent 9-year-old and 30 percent 16-year-old bourbon. People were, to say the least, salty. I’m less skeptical than most especially when it comes to Fred Noe and Booker’s. He cares way too much about his dad’s legacy to moneygrab. I can’t imagine any other reason other than the taste that the 9-year-old bourbon was added. In Fred’s own words:

Instead of a standalone 16-year-old bourbon — as I had originally planned and communicated — this limited time offering will now feature a mingling of uncut, unfiltered 9-year-old bourbon and uncut, unfiltered 16-year-old bourbon. Presented on its own, I found the oak notes from the 16-year-old whiskey overpowered the flavors of vanilla that are so characteristic of every Booker’s release. My son Freddie agreed, too. So, I made the call a couple weeks ago to scrap our original plans and change up the liquid. Because, at the end of the day, honoring Dad and keeping his Booker’s just the way he would have liked it is something that I won’t compromise on.

At the end of the day, all I care about is what it tasted like. Booker’s 30 didn’t disappoint as you can see because it topped my favorite Booker’s releases from 2018.

Booker's Bourbon Batches 2018 Ranked
Batch #ProofAgeWax Notes
Limited Edition125.816-year and 9-year30th Anniversary
2018-041286 Years, 8 Months, 7 DaysKitchen Table
2018-03126.76 Years, 4 Months, 12 DaysKentucky Chew
2018-02128.86 Years, 2 Months, 10 DaysBackyard BBQ
2018-01127.46 Years, 3 Months, 14 DaysKathleen's Batch

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#1 – 30th Anniversary


Booker’s 30 is superb — with Booker’s signature flavors magnified with the 16-year-old bourbon in the batch.

Nose – 95 out of 100 Points

The nose is fantastic with caramel corn and butterscotch playing the lead. It also lets you know it’s a barrel proof bourbon, so you do get some alcohol. Don’t forget to let it breathe for a minute before going all in.

Taste – 95 out of 100 Points

That luscious Booker’s caramel came to play with a great buttery mouthfeel, sweet corn, and just a pop of tart, early fall apples.

Finish – 95 out of 100 Points

This finish has got some heat. The spice is on a cross country road trip. And it ain’t stop.

Verdict – 95 out of 100 Points

#2 – 2018-01 Kathleen’s Batch

2018-01 Kathleen's Batch

This release comes in at number two because of the unusual amount of red fruit I tasted. It’s one of my favorite flavors as added complexity in bourbon and combined with Booker’s signature caramel and spice it was perfection. What’s more, this was drinkable. We cracked a bottled on a cool fall night at a friend’s and his wife who doesn’t usually drink bourbon was enjoying this neat — no idea of the proof.

#3 – 2018-03 Kentucky Chew

2018-03 Kentucky Chew

As the name suggests, this bourbon was full-bodied and full of flavors like leather, smoke, and char.

#4 – 2018-04 Kitchen Table


Full review coming soon

#5 – 2018-02 Backyard BBQ

Full review coming soon

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Written by Matty Sims

Matty Sims is the Editor-in-Chief at a digital media company. LeAnn (his wife) and his daughters Claire, Maddy, and Adele along with a brand new pup Booker live in Taylors, SC, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He enjoys cracking a well-aged bottle of bourbon with friends and sharing stories, or cracking one of his favorite daily sippers on the back porch while the pup and his kids play in the backyard. He is a storyteller at heart, and Bourbon has deep roots in storytelling.

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