Booker’s Small Batch Bourbon [The Complete Guide]

by | Sep 17, 2019 | Distillery, Beam Suntory, Featured, Jim Beam Distillery | 0 comments

Booker’s bourbon is a barrel strength bourbon in the Jim Beam collection. It is uncut and unfiltered. It’s generally aged 6 to 8 years with a proof upwards of 121.

The brand was started by Booker Noe, the late distiller emeritus, who would often choose the best barrels as gift for friends and families. It only launched to the public in 1988 under 1,000 cases. It was originally released for $59.99 and the price increased in 2017 during the bourbon boom (more on that below).

Start shopping for bourbon swag for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

Questions About Booker’s Bourbon


You may have had these questions about Bookers:

Is Booker’s bourbon rare?

It is a small batch bourbon and as you can see from the released below the bourbon boom affected Booker’s as well, but generally if you’re willing to hunt in your area in my experience you can find the four annual released pretty easily.

Now the limited releases . . . that’s another story. Those are rare and hard to come by depending on your location and relationships with local retailers.

How much is a bottle of Booker’s bourbon?

Booker’s was originally $59.99 and there were often up to 6 batches per year. In 2017, that changed. Beam Suntory stated:

As we’ve previously shared, Booker’s Bourbon will experience supply constraints this year. As a result, we must reduce our batch releases to four per year. We apologize to anyone who is unable to locate the product in the future. Because of the rarity and high quality of this liquid, and our need to maintain our supply without sacrificing any production standards, we have decided to increase the price of Booker’s. We’ll be implementing the previously announced price increase over time, and in 2017 you can expect to see Booker’s on shelf for $69.99-$74.99.

We would like to thank our friends and fans for their ongoing support, and we promise to maintain the same quality standards that Booker demanded of his namesake bourbon despite our supply challenges.

How do you drink Bookers Bourbon?

According to Booker and Fred, any damn way you want:

Who owns Booker’s Bourbon?

Booker’s is owned by Beam Suntory, and currently Fred Noe is the master distillery (see the video below where he talks about his father’s legacy and starting the Booker’s brand.

When did Booker Noe die?

As reported by the New York Times:

Frederick Booker Noe II, former master distiller of Jim Beam and the sixth generation of the Beam family to make bourbon, died on Feb. 24[, 2004] at his home in Bardstown, Ky. He was 74.

Is Booker’s a wheated bourbon?

No it is not. Booker’s uses a corn, rye, and barley mashbill. No wheat to be found. There has been one limited edition of Booker’s that was a Rye Whiskey as opposed to a Kentucky Straight Bourbon.

Now without further ado, these are all the batches of Booker’s Bourbon:

Old Booker’s Batches (1979-2007)

Batch #Barrel DateProofAgeWax Notes
C07-B-7Feb 7, 2007130.87 Years, 2 Months, 0 daysBlack Roundtable
C07-A-12Jan 12, 2007130.67 Years, 0 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C06-K-08Nov 8, 2006128.56 Years, 2 Months, 0 DaysBlack Kentucky Derby Festival 2013
C06-K-08Nov 8, 2006130.46 Years, 0 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C06-B-15Feb 15, 2006128.97 Years, 1 Months, 0 Days Black
C06-B-15Feb 15, 2006127.17 Years, 1 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C06-B-15Feb 15, 2006127.17 Years, 3 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C05-A-12Jan 12, 2005128.57 Years, 5 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C05-A-12Jan 12, 20051307 Years, 1 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C04-A-28Jan 28, 2004129.17 Years, 4 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C04-A-28Jan 28, 2004128.67 Years, 7 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C04-J-19Oct 19, 2004129.27 Years, 1 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C03-I-17Sep 17, 20031287 Years, 4 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C03-I-16Sep 16, 2003127.47 Years, 0 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C03-A-29Jan 29, 2003127.97 Years, 0 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C02-I-24Sep 24, 2002128.47 Years, 0 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C02-A-18Jan 18, 2002126.96 Years, 11 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C02-A-18Jan 18, 2002130.17 Years, 2 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C01-K-07Nov18, 20011266 Years, 10 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C01-A-18Jan 18, 2001125.77 Years, 3 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C01-A-18Jan 18, 2001125.47 Years, 3 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C01-A-18Jan 18, 2001125.77 Years, 0 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C01-A-18Jan 18, 2001124.96 Years, 7 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C00-K-15Nov 15, 2000126.46 Years, 7 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C00-A-20Jan 20, 20001246 Years, 4 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C00-A-20Jan 20, 20001276 Years, 9 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C00-A-20Jan 20, 20001276 Years, 7 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C99-B-22Feb 22, 1999124.76 Years, 11 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C97-B-07Feb 7, 1997126.98 Years, 6 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C97-A-31Jan 31, 1997126.68 Years, 2 Months, 0 DaysBlack Death Bottle
B96-L-23Dec 23, 1996126.87 Years, 11 Months, 0 Days
B96-C-15Mar 15, 1996125.38 Years, 3 Months, 0 DaysBlack Commerative Bottle 1929-2004
B95-C-31Mar 31, 1995126.67 Years, 3 Months, 0 DaysBlack
B95-C-31Mar 31, 1995126.77 Years, 9 Months, 0 DaysBlack
B-95-C-31Mar 31, 1995126.88 Years, 5 Months, 0 DaysBlack
B-95-C-31Mar 31, 19951268 Years, 9 Months, 0 DaysBlack
B94-E-13May 13, 19941267 Years, 1 Months, 0 DaysBlack
B94-E-13May 13, 1994126.47 Years, 8 Months, 0 DaysBlack
B93-L-16Dec 16, 1993126.37 Years, 1 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C92-K-05Nov 5, 1992125.47 Years, 9 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C92-I-15Sep 15, 1992126.57 Years, 3 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C91-L-20Dec 20, 1991126.67 Years, 5 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C90-K-28Nov 28, 1990126.37 Years, 10 Months, 0 DaysBlack Paper Box
C90-E-14May 14, 1990126.77 Years, 9 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C90-E-11May 11, 1990126.57 Years, 4 Months, 0 DaysBlack Booker's Club (3 Stickers)
C90-D-11Apr 11, 1990126.57 Years, 4 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C90-B-8Feb 8, 1990126.38 Years, 0 Months, 0 DaysGold 10th Anniversary
C89-L-13Dec 13, 1989126.66 Years, 5 Months, 0 Days
C89-E-26May 26, 1989125.67 Years, 10 Months, 0 DaysBlack Regular & Cigar Case LE
C-E-15-89124.6Mini
C88-J-17October 17, 1988125.58 Years, 0 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C87-D-14April 14, 1987126.17 Years, 8 Months, 0 DaysBlack Japan Export
C87-D-21April 21, 1987125.38 Years, 8 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C87-B-19February 19, 1987126.57 Years, 3 Months, 0 DaysBlack
B-C-19-87March 19, 1987126.57 Years, 1 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C-J-06-86October 6, 1986124.97 Years, 0 Months, 0 DaysBlack
B-K-28-84November 28, 1984124.68 Years, 2 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C-E-15-84May 15, 1984124.67 Years, 5 Months, 0 DaysBrown
C-E-15-84May 15, 1984124.66 Years, 7 Months, 0 DaysBlack
B-H-01-83August 1, 1983124.68 Years, 0 Months, 0 DaysBrown Paper Box
B-H-01-83August 1, 1983125.48 Years, 0 Months, 0 DaysBlack Private Stock (Japan Export)
C-C-16-82March 16, 19821267 Years, 0 Months, 0 DaysBrown
C-K-03-82November 3, 1982124.27 Years, 0 Months, 0 DaysBlack
C-B-04-82February 4, 1982125.27 Years, 0 Months, 0 DaysBrown
C-E-19-81May 19, 1981121.67 Years, 0 Months, 0 DaysBrown
C-B-16-79February 16, 1979120.97 Years, 0 Months, 0 DaysBrown First Batch

New Booker’s Batches (2014-present)

Batch #ProofAgeWax Notes 
2019-03124.76 Years, 4 Months, 2 DaysBlack Counrty Ham
2019-021246 Years, 5 Months, 1 DaysBlack Shiny Barrel Batch
2019-01125.96 Years, 3 Months, 1 DaysTeresa's Batch
30th Anniversary (Limited Edition)125.816-year and 9-yearSilver
2018-041286 Years, 8 Months, 7 DaysKitchen Table
2018-03126.76 Years, 4 Months, 12 DaysKentcuky Chew
2018-02128.86 Years, 2 Months, 10 DaysBackyard BBQ
2018-01127.46 Years, 3 Months, 14 DaysKathleen's Batch
2017-04128.16 Years, 8 Months, 14 DaysSip Awhile
2017-03125.96 Years, 5 Months, 25 DaysFront Porch Batch
2017-02127.46 Years, 3 Months, 3 DaysBlue Knights Batch
2017-01128.56 Years, 4 Months, 6 DaysTommy's Batch
2017-01E125.46 Years, 1 Months, 0 DaysExport
2016-06127.86 Years, 10 Months, 2 DaysNoe Hard Times
2016-05129.76 Years, 7 Months, 23 DaysOff Your Rocker
2016-041286 Years, 5 Months, 28 DaysBluegill Creek
2016-031296 Years, 4 Months, 4 DaysToogie's Invitation
2016 (Limited Edition)136.213 Years, 1 Months, 12 DaysGreen Rye "Big Time" Batch
2016-02126.76 Years, 2 Months, 1 DayAnnis' Answer
2016-01127.96 Years, 11 Months, 0 DaysBluegrass Batch
2016-01E127.76 Years, 1 Months, 0 DaysExport
2015-06128.16 Years, 8 Months, 7 DaysNoe Secret Batch
2015-01E1286 Years, 7 MonthsExport
2015-051286 Years, 7 Months, 3 DaysMaw Maw's Batch
2015-041276 Years, 5 Months, 20 DaysOven Buster Batch
2015-03127.27 Years, 2 Months, 28 DaysCenter Cut Batch
2015-02127.97 Years, 0 Months, 18 DaysDot's Batch
2015-01128.77 Years, 2 Months, 16 DaysBig Man, Small BatchReview
2014-07128.97 Years, 7 Months, 13 DaysBlack
2014-06127.77 Years, 2 Months, 14 DaysBlack Roundtable
C2014-05127.97 Years, 5 Months, 0 DaysBlack
2014-02126.87 Years, 0 Months, 0 DaysJapanese Import
2014-01 (Limited Edition)130.810 Years, 3 Months, 0 DaysGold 25th Anniversary
2013-071287 Years, 0 Months, 0 DaysBlack
2013-06125.97 Years, 6 Months, 0 DaysBlack Roundtable

Booker’s Roundtable Batches

Also, Chuck Cowdery gives a little insight into Booker’s Roundtable and how those batches (which were well received) started what we now as Booker’s Small Batch Bourbon:

These Roundtable batches have apparently been well-received because Beam-Suntory has just announced that 2015 will see a series of specially-labeled batches. The first, Booker’s Bourbon Batch 2015-1, named “Big Man, Small Batch,” features a custom label inspired by the iconic image of Booker sipping bourbon in his rocking chair with his dog Dot by his side. According to the press release, the batch’s name “honors Booker’s role in the creation of small batch bourbons and the larger-than-life personality for which he was known.”

Personality aside, Booker was a big man, as am I. He once said to me, “Chuck, we’re full-growed men.” I’ve never heard it put better.

According to Adventures in Whiskey, participant in 2017 roundtable:

How does the Booker’s Roundtable work? Those selected will meet in person in Kentucky or via a conference call. The latter is the case for this particular Roundtable selection. The distillery usually sends three samples to each participant. The samples are different batches of Booker’s, each with slight differences. Fred leads a tasting and shares some production notes. Our job is to taste each sample and pick the one we believe tastes most like Booker’s. The batch with the most votes then gets bottled and goes to market.

These are all the Booker’s roundtable which are selected by Fred Noe, Master Distiller, and a panel of whiskey writers:

Batch No.AgeProof
C07-B-77 years 2 months130.8
2013-067 years 6 months125.9
2014-067 years 2 months127.7
2015-03 “The Center Cut”7 years 2 months127.2
2015-05 "Maw Maw's Batch"6 years 7 months 3 Days128
2016-01 "Booker's Bluegrass"6 years 11 months127.9
2016-02 "Annis' Answer"6 years 2 months 1 day126.7
2016-03 “Toogie's Invitation”6 years 4 months129
2016-04 “Bluegill Creek”6 years 5 months128
2016-05 “Off Your Rocker”6 years 7 months129.7
2016-06 “Noe Hard Times”6 years 10 months 1 day127.8
2017-01 “Tommy’s Batch”6 years 4 months 6 days128.5
2017-02 "Blue Knights Batch"6 years 3 months 3 days127.4
2017-03 “Front Porch Batch”6 years 5 months 25 days125.9
2017-04 “Sip Awhile”6 years 8 months 14 days128.1
2018-01 “Kathleen's Batch”6 years 3 months 14 days127.4
2018-02 “Backyard BBQ”6 years 2 months 10 days128.8
2018-03 “Kentucky Chew”6 years 4 months 12 days126.7
2018-04 “Kitchen Table”6 years 8 months 7 days128.0
2019-01 "Teresa's Batch"6 years 3 months 1 day125.9
2019-02 "Shiny Barrel Batch"6 years 5 months 1 day124
2019-03 "Booker's Country Ham"6 years 4 months 2 days124.7

Booker’s Limited Edition Releases

Name/Batch No.AgeProofWax
2014-01 "Booker's 25th Anniversary"10 years 3 months130.8Rose Gold
2016-LE "Big Time Batch" Rye13 years 1 month 12 days136.2Green
Booker's 30th Anniversary16 years & 9 years125.8Silver

Start shopping for bourbon swag for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

1 Shares
Pin
Share1
Tweet
Pocket
Email