Yes, another new product on the way from the folks at Jim Beam. Chuck Cowdery discusses this new release on his very good blog about the whiskey world and points out that this follows on the heels of several other new releases including Jim Beam Signature, Old Crow Reserve, and Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve. Devil’s Cut is a trade marked term that Beam invented. It is essentially the opposite of the Angel’s Share. The Angel’s Share as you know is the whiskey that evaporates from the barrel during aging.
Beam coined the term Devil’s Cut to mean the whiskey that is left in the wood of the barrel after it is dumped. Beam is using a proprietary process to extract more of the whiskey that is trapped deep inside the wood of the barrel. This process yields a whiskey with a flavor that is far more mature and woody than its age might suggest.
I have talked to several people who have gotten used bourbon barrels for the distillery and every one of them has said that the barrel had a bout a 1/2 gallon of uncut whiskey left in it. Every one of them has also told me how flavorful that uncut whiskey was. However this goes beyond just collecting the bit of whiskey left in the bottom. Through a proprietary an apparently secret process Beam is actually pulling the whiskey out of the fibers of the wood barrel staves and mixing it with other product to come up with this new and innovative product.
So innovation, Huh? This is an interesting twist as well, because of the artisan whiskey movement. Could it be that Beam is worried about loosing market share to these regional upstarts? Perhaps that is what is fueling the innovative juices over at Beam. I really don’t care what the motivation is, I just hope they keep producing newer and better products for a long time to come.