Every Jim Beam Flavor Ranked From Worst To Best

According to Jim Beam, the story of one of America's most iconic bourbons spans two centuries, and this impressive distillery has produced and perfected some of the greatest flavors and variations in the United States. From the original blend to fruitier or even creamy renditions, Jim Beam isn't afraid to step outside the bourbon barrel and take a chance on new iterations of its signature blend.

It's also expanding operations throughout the U.S., creating both jobs and thrilling new flavors (via Team Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development). While you certainly can't go wrong with traditional Jim Beam, there are many oft-overlooked blends that deserve a prominent place on your bar and a few that you can give a pass. So whether you love sipping your Jim Beam straight, atop a few super-cold whiskey rocks, or stirred into a cocktail, there's a bottle (and flavor) with your name on it in the company's impressive lineup.

16. Jim Beam Orange

Although orange-flavored bourbon is an interesting concept, Jim Beam misses the mark with this combo, going way heavy on the orange flavor and producing a brew more reminiscent of a citrusy, acidic mixed drink than a bourbon. Jim Beam Orange is a creative but semi-clunky blend of orange liqueur and bourbon, but unlike some of the company's other flavor fusions, the two tastes don't necessarily play well together. Instead, you'll get a full shot of bright orange with just a few chaotic bourbon notes on the back end.

Since the orange and bourbon compete, sippers won't be able to enjoy either flavor fully. Instead, the orange is dulled by the bourbon, and the oaky, smoky flavors of Kentucky's finest are lost in the citrus blast. As a result, although Jim Beam Orange makes a decent mixer for club soda or tonic water, it doesn't provide as much bang for your bar buck as some others on our list.

15. Jim Beam Repeal Batch

According to Jim Beam's website, Jim Beam Repeal Batch is a celebratory blend, barrel-aged, batched, and bottled to herald the end of Prohibition. It's an excellent idea that uses the original aging formula with a few twists. Unfortunately, those variations are not totally successful. Instead of chill-filtering, the bourbon undergoes a different aging process, yielding a lot more smoke and oak, plus plenty of caramel and some brown sugar.

Although all of the flavor notes are right, the combination seems off. The caramel is super bold, leaving you with a cloying mouthfeel and an overly sweet end note. If you're really paying attention, you might be able to pick up on some nuttiness, but it tends to get lost among the rest of the noise. Although we love the idea of a special Prohibition-era bourbon batch, taste-wise, Jim Beam Repeal Batch doesn't pass the palate test.

14. Jim Beam Red Stag

Jim Beam Red Stag is a nice nod to cherries, and while the brew does this stone fruit some justice, there's a bit to be desired as well. Jim Beam Red Stag is far from a subpar bourbon, but it doesn't really stand out among some of the brand's other greats. Instead, you get a cherry liqueur with some bourbony elements, and the dark cherry flavor is not for the faint of heart. If you love those tart, ruby-colored fruits, you mind find Jim Beam Red Stag a pleasant sip, but if you're looking for a straight-up tasty bourbon with traditional flavors, look elsewhere.

The mouthfeel is a bit off too. Jim Beam Red Stag tends to linger, and you can't drink too much of it without veering into territory that's more reminiscent of cough syrup than a grown-up beverage. For its faults, Jim Beam Red Stag isn't a bad bottle to have around because it makes a killer bourbon and coke.

13. Jim Beam Honey

If you like your bourbon sweet and sassy, Jim Beam Honey can fit the bill nicely, but beware: The saccharine flavor of this bourbon is no joke. It's a honey-heavy bourbon that's a bit of a one-trick pony, walloping you with super sweetness but not bringing too much more to the table. On the other hand, Jim Beam Honey is a very drinkable bourbon, ideal for spiking your lemonade or iced tea, and there are no out there or funky notes to throw off bourbon novices.

Although you could drink Jim Beam Honey straight, true bourbon connoisseurs could find it boring. The honey is flavor-forward and runs throughout the entire sip. Although you'll get minor notes of vanilla and oak here and there, the honey dominates and clutters some of the more nuanced tastes. Jim Beam Honey also finishes strong, with a big, sweet burst at the end that can linger long after you've swallowed your drink.

12. Jim Beam Peach

A summery sipping bourbon, Jim Beam Peach pays proper homage to the distillery's southern roots with a juicy take on your standard bourbon. As with many of Jim Beam's flavored blends, this one pairs peach liqueur with the stalwart classic bourbon for a fruit-forward drink that might not please all bourbon lovers but will make an excellent addition to your lemonade or sparkling soda water.

What works with Jim Beam Peach that doesn't necessarily work with other offerings, like Red Stag, is the playful combination of peach and super woody bourbon. Neither flavor overpowers the other, and combined, they're more delicious than they would be on their own. Jim Beam Peach tends to skew seasonal in terms of flavor, making it an excellent addition to your spring and summer bar collection but a bit out of place when the mercury drops. It's not totally versatile, but it is an excellent pick for bourbon lovers.

11. Jim Beam Vanilla

Since vanilla is one of the standard flavor notes in a great bourbon, it stands to reason that Jim Beam Vanilla would be a harmonious hit for the distillery. Despite the serious vanilla notes, it manages not to be overly saccharine. Even better, there's not much artificial flavor in the bottle. Instead, you'll get a premium vanilla taste with a lot of oak and bit of caramel to really tie it all together. If Jim Beam Vanilla has one Achilles heel, it's that it's not as flexible as other Jim Beam blends. As a result, you have to be more judicious with what mixers you use to avoid clashing flavors and sugar overload.

According to PR Newswire, Jim Beam Vanilla uses Madagascar vanilla, which could account for its lack of artificiality. Enjoy it in a chilled rocks glass or mixed with Coca-Cola for a nostalgic and interesting riff on your classic bourbon and coke.

10. Jim Beam Double Oak

Heavily oaky and smoky, Jim Beam Double Oak appeals to a particular taste palate. If you like your bourbon tinged with campfire goodness, pick up a bottle. Otherwise, you might find the oak-heavy notes in this bottle a little bit overwhelming. According to Jim Beam's website, the brew goes through two-barrel aging processes, absorbing all of the richness from each one and yielding a bourbon with a strong point of view.

In addition to all of that oak, you'll get a bit of traditional caramel flavoring and vanilla here and there. It's toasty and warm, the ideal beverage for sipping around a raging fire in winter. Those who love their bourbon straight up and strong will gravitate toward Jim Beam Double Oak, but it's not as universally palatable as some of Jim Beam's other offerings. Plus, the strong oak can overpower other flavors in mixed drinks, making it a touch one note.

9. Jim Beam Kentucky Fire

Jim Beam Fire is one of the brand's tastiest flavored bourbons because it nails the beautiful balance of cinnamon and familiar bourbon flavors. It's got a bold taste, cleverly shot through with tons of spicy cinnamon, yet it manages to remain nuanced at the same time. Jim Beam Fire is a fantastic fusion of hot cinnamon liqueur and the company's flagship bourbon (via Jim Beam website), and it's oh-so-good in your favorite rocks glass or as a single shot with a heck of a kick.

Bourbon purists may find the sugar content of this blend a little over the top, but it's mostly offset by the bold cinnamon and spicy flavor. The mouthfeel is on point, never cloying, and it finishes strong but adeptly with an assertive spicy final note. The only problem is that you might have some trouble finding proper mixers for Jim Beam Fire, so it's best enjoyed on its own whenever you're looking for a feisty end to a tough day.

8. Jim Beam Original Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Jim Beam Original Kentucky Straight Bourbon is a must-have for every home bar worth it's salt. This classic formula hasn't changed much over the ages, and you can expect the same smooth, fiery burn out of every bottle. Better still, Jim Beam Original Kentucky Straight Bourbon has a pleasant, universally appealing taste. It's got your standard notes of oakiness, quite a bit of sweetness, and a nice finish. It plays well with other liquors and mixers, and you can serve it any time of the year.

Although some refined bourbon lovers might see this offering as being a bit pedestrian, it's still a good idea to have a bottle or two on hand to swap in for your bolder bourbons from time to time. Then, serve it neat, over whiskey rocks, or stirred into a tall, ice-filled glass of chilled soda or iced tea for a classically simple and refreshing drink.

7. Jim Beam Apple

If you're searching for a great fall mixer or vibrant shot of juicy apple and bourbon, Jim Beam Apple is a serviceable choice. There's nothing super special about this bourbon, but it does deliver on its promise to bring the green apple taste paired with solidly good bourbon. A pleasant combo of bourbon and apple liqueur, it's a lovely little marriage with a nearly universal appeal. Jim Beam Apple's charm and power come from its humility. It's not trying to overpower your palate with complex flavors or appeal only to serious bourbon lovers. It's just good.

It's also a great mixing bourbon. Enjoy it ice-cold as a shot, stirred into some tonic water or club soda, or even paired with lemony sodas like Sprite. For a fall classic, serve it in warm apple cider with a cinnamon stick stirrer. Jim Beam Apple is a good one to have on hand, as it's always a party pleaser.

6. Jim Beam Devil's Cut

Jim Beam's Devil's Cut lives up to its name, with a fiendishly inviting bouquet of rich, spicy cinnamon and caramel notes, shot through with plenty of vanilla. The bourbon itself is a deeply-hued amber that looks smashing in a rocks glass. Overall, Devil's Cut is potent and proof-heavy, with a 90% ABV, according to Jim Beam's website. The name itself is a riff on the so-called "angel's share," the booze lost through natural evaporation (via Merriam-Webster).

The name implies that the Devil's Cut is the opposite — the vigorous, deeply-hued liquid left over that's absorbed all of the flavors from its barrels. According to Drink Spirits, Jim Beam's Devil Cut is chock-full of tannins. Tannins can cause irritation and even allergic reactions in some people (via Healthfully), so this big, bold booze might not be appropriate for everyone. Sip wisely, but keep this fact in mind: It's not called Devil's Cut for nothing.

5. Jim Beam Rye

Jim Beam Rye is an epic sipping bourbon with a heady, peppery burst in the beginning and nice oaky notes to mellow things out. Savvy sippers will quickly pick up on vanilla and warmer tones, but this bourbon is far from a sweet sip. Instead, it's a decades-old recipe that relies heavily on spicy rye. Although you could pour a glug or two of Jim Beam Rye into your Sazerac or Rye Manhattan, this bourbon stands on its own and is best savored straight and chilled.

According to PR Newswire, Jim Beam Rye has a good, long comedown, which cuts through the bite and yields a vigorous but velvety close to the drink. So if you're serious about beefing up your home bar or simply want a nice bottle to tuck into after a long day, Jim Beam Rye is an excellent option.

4. Jim Beam Black

Perfected in American White Oak Barrels, Jim Beam Black is ultra-aged and high octane. It's an 86-proof, round, robust bourbon with plenty of luxe, oaky notes, and an underlying foundation of caramel. However, despite its caramel-heavy tones, Jim Beam Black avoids skewing too overly sweet. Instead, it's a sophisticated drink with a lot of heft that goes down smooth just the way it is. Celebrated at the 2016 Wine & Spirits Competition (via Jim Beam website), Jim Beam Black is a sultry force to be reckoned with.

According to PR Newswire, this moderately-priced bourbon is a popular taste test winner ideal for sipping. Since the flavor palate is accessible and tasty, even for bourbon novices, Jim Beam Black is a solidly good bottle to keep in pride of place on your home bar. It also makes an excellent gift for the bourbon lover in your life.

3. Jim Beam Old Tub

Jim Beam Old Tub is a limited-edition blend that leans heavily into warm, grainy notes, lots of caramel, and some gorgeous premium honey on the end. If you like your bourbons full of mighty but mellow flavors, this is a good one to snatch up while you still can. The graininess, oak, and sweeter honey, vanilla, and caramel elements all sing — and the rich buttery color of the bourbon itself looks fabulous in any glass of your choosing.

According to Paste Magazine, Jim Beam Old Tub has a lovely and light peanut nose, with some brown sugar to tempt the palate when you take that first sip. There's also a bit of cinnamon and some creamy peanut butter running throughout. Old Tub is a real gem, and the old-school bottle will look smashing on your home bar. It's a good investment for any true bourbon lover.

2. Jim Beam Single Barrel

A good single-barrel bourbon is a unique thing of beauty, and Jim Beam doesn't disappoint with its rendition. Jim Beam Single Barrel has plenty of warm, saturated flavors that are both bold and versatile at the same time, dancing harmoniously over your palate from the first sip on. Of course, there's also the novelty factor. Due to the single barrel aging process, every bottle will be just a little bit different so that you can have several on your home bar for special occasions.

Expect conventional and pleasant bourbon-based notes like toffee, vanilla, and a shot of oak. If you're really adept at picking up taste profiles, you might even get a little dark cherry mid-sip. There's also a fair amount of spice in most of these bottles and a bit of rye and corn to really open things up properly. Jim Beam Single Barrel is pretty close to perfection with a satiny mouthfeel and gentle finish.

1. Jim Beam Bourbon Cream

With extra-festive, limited edition treat Jim Beam Bourbon Cream, you can toast the holiday season in style. It's satiny and sweet, a more chic alternative to conventional holiday faves like Baileys or Kahlúa, and the authentic bourbon taste is still prominently there. Although Jim Beam Bourbon Cream stands up on its own merit, served over whiskey rocks or neat, you can also use it as an effective mixer for hot chocolate or even a boozy milkshake.

One of the important things that puts Jim Beam Bourbon Cream into true, rarified company is that it's a very sweet drink — but sweetness isn't the only thing you taste. Instead, you'll get distinct ribbons of caramel and vanilla shining through your sip. Since Jim Beam Bourbon Cream does have a sweet and approachable foundation, it's great for everyone, and bourbon lovers will specifically appreciate the artistry and flavor layering.