Booker’s Pigskin Batch 2020-03, bourbon review

Review: Booker's Pigskin Batch 2020-03, photo by Jordon Allison
Review: Booker's Pigskin Batch 2020-03, photo by Jordon Allison /

I put off buying Booker’s for many years.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe it was the higher price tag compared to similarly aged bourbon, or maybe it was me being scared of higher proof offerings early on.  Whatever it was,  I was wrong.  Booker’s has become one of my favorite limited offerings year after year and I look forward to getting a bottle of each new batch.  The third and final installment of the 2020 run, “Pigskin Batch” is no exception.

Booker’s is known for it’s full-on flavor.  It holds nothing back and will welcome you with that familiar, warm Kentucky hug.  Pigskin is fairly straightforward this time around and if you’re looking for anything off-profile or out of character with previous batches, you may want to look elsewhere.  However, if you know what you like and Booker’s is on that list, then this batch will be exactly what you’re looking for.

A rich amber hue, the bourbon is slightly viscous with moderate legs.  The nose definitely reminds you initially of it’s 127.3 proof, but after a sip, the sting subsides and you find strong cinnamon, charred oak, vanilla and a slight hint of caramel.  The cinnamon carries through to the palate and coats the mouth, accentuating the vanilla and oak.  There’s some of that distinct Beam peanut in there as well, but it’s almost overpowered by the cinnamon this time around.  The finish is long and warm, with the cinnamon fading to oak as the heat subsides and coming back around to cinnamon once more before disappearing entirely.

Pigskin is very familiar to other Booker’s batches, but also has an abundance of cinnamon as the primary note all throughout the entire tasting.  However, this is distinctly Booker’s and if you’re familiar with the brand, then you know what you’re signing up for.  For those new to the line, Booker’s is a full flavored, no holds barred bourbon that can pack a punch for newcomers, but also has enough depth and flavor for bourbon veterans as well.  Pigskin lives up to the Booker’s name and I believe it’s a must buy if you’re a Booker’s fan or just want to see what this bourbon is all about.  While the price tag ($90 dollars give or take here in Georgia) may be off putting to some, I feel like Booker’s consistently tastes like a premium bourbon that you can regularly find on the shelves and as such, I don’t mind paying the premium a few times a year.