The Cocktail Lovers Magazine Issue 48



Jim Beam Original and Red Stag

ByThe Cocktail Lovers


Jim Beam Original BottleIn A Nutshell

Jim Beam Original and Red Stag by Jim Beam. We all know the former – its been around for over two centuries. The other is a bit of a new kid  launched earlier this year.

Jim Beam Original
Red Stag by Jim Beam

What they say

Jim Beam Original
“American as apple pie and a testament to quality, tradition and passion, Jim Beam is the best-selling brand of bourbon in the world. Seven generations of craftsmanship go into every bottle, along with corn, rye, barley malt, water, time and pride.”

Red Stag by Jim Beam
“It’s a brilliantly bold combination: through a slow infusion process, our distillers start with fine four-year-old Jim Beam Bourbon and then complement its distinctive taste with hints of natural black cherry flavour.”

What We Say:

Ms S

The Original Jim Beam has its fans for a reason: it’s a lovely rich spirit with delicious caramel and toffee notes on the nose, going on to wake up the mouth rather nicely with a creamy, luxurious taste of fudge. It’s a winter drink for me – ideal for sipping by the fire, either over ice or in an Old-fashioned.

Red Stag is a different animal altogether. It’s distinctive in its fruitiness – even from the initial inhalation from the glass you can tell its going to be sweet, this is confirmed in full by the taste. They say its infused with natural flavours which it may well be, however, to me it tastes rather synthetic – sorry. It’s obvious this is aimed at a very different market – much younger and definitely female.

It works better in the Cherry Manhattan, although there’s no getting away from that cherry – either in the aroma or the taste. It probably wouldn’t cut it with true Manhattanites but the sweeter, softer, fruitier Red Stag works rather nicely here, in fact I rather like it and I imagine other women would do, too.

Mr G

Jim Beam Original comes with a wealth of heritage but let’s park that for now. There’s some appealing sweetness on the nose with hints of caramel and oak. The taste is satisfying full and round in the mouth with a little sweetness, giving way to the oak. The power of the alcohol is strong but with a smoothness which lasts all the way through the long finish. According to Fred Noe (seventh generation Beam family distiller) who we met on a recent visit, you can enjoy Jim Beam anyway you like “Cut it with water, orange juice, coke, whatever brings the taste you want – anyone asks why, tell them Fred said so.” A refreshingly unpretensious approach, but I liked it best in a Manhattan – big flavour, the JB sitting well with a little sweetness from the red vermouth.

As for the Red Stag, well this is a whole different proposition. The sweetness of the black cherry is what hits you in the aroma straight away, though the characteristic richness of the Jim Beam does come through. Likewise the taste is predominantly that fruit then the JB. Similarly I tried it in their Red Manhattan and the overall sweetness was too much for me. I can see the cleverness of introducing this expression of the classic – the rich sweet fruitiness will probably go some way to bringing new people into the category but it’s all a bit too much for my palate. I’ll be sticking to the original thanks.

Fun Fact

Seven generations of the same family have presided over Jim Beam since Jacob Beam sold his first barrel of whiskey back in 1795. It became known as Jim Beam Bourbon thanks to the 4th generation gentleman of the same name who rebuilt the distillery in 1933, after 13 years of prohibition wilderness, in just 120 days.



1-3/4 parts Jim Beam Bourbon
3/4 part sweet vermouth
dash bitters

Add 3/4 part sweet vermouth to 1-3/4 parts Jim Beam Bourbon in a manhattan glass. Add a cherry. Optional: add 1 dash bitters.

Red Manhattan

2 parts Red Stag by Jim Beam® Infused Bourbon
1/2 part dry vermouth
1/2 part sweet vermouth

Prepare in shaker over ice. Strain into Martini glass with long stem. Black Cherry Garnish.

The Details

Jim Beam Original

Red Stag by Jim Beam

Jim Beam Original 40% ABV, £19.19 for 70cl bottle. Red Stag by Jim Beam 40% ABV, £26.57 for 70cl bottle. Available nationwide.

Picture of The Cocktail Lovers

The Cocktail Lovers

The Cocktail Lovers are Mr G and Ms S, a man and a woman who share a passion for cocktails. (We also happen to be married, so we’re cocktail lovers in more ways than one…)


Be the first to hear the latest news, get sneaky peeks inside upcoming issues of The Cocktail Lovers magazine, receive special offers and lots more. (And we promise we won’t share your details with anyone else).

To get the latest copy of our gorgeous print magazine just click on the cover!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The Cocktail Lovers magazine is packed with features, fashion, food, travel, interviews, news, recipes – all written from a cocktail lover’s perspective. Published four times a year, take your pick from the luxurious print edition or get your fix in the page-turning digital format – either way, it couldn’t be easier to start a subscription or order back issues. And why keep all the cocktail goodness to yourself? Share the love by setting up a gift subscription. We ship pretty much everywhere in the world, so we’ve got you covered. Start your subscription today!

The Cocktail Lovers Magazine Issue 48
The Cocktail Lovers Magazine Issue 47
The Cocktail Lovers Magazine Issue 46
The Cocktail Lovers Magazine 45 Cover
The Cocktail Lovers Magazine Issue 48
The Cocktail Lovers Magazine Issue 48

JOIN us!

Join us at The Cocktail Lovers and be the first to hear the latest news, get our new magazine and receive specials offers. (And we don’t share your details with anyone else.)