Jim Beam ‘Jacob’s Ghost’ will replace vodka

Jim Beam announced its new white whiskey, “Jacob’s Ghost,” late last year. I finally had a chance to try the young spirit, and my preferred use may surprise you.

Colin Joliat

As a general rule, I hate white whiskey almost as much as I hate group dinners. Given that most sell at a premium to their aged counterparts, it’s safe to say that it’s a hipster spirit. The only two that I actually enjoy, Beam now being a third, are FEW Spirits’ white whiskey and Still630’s “Big Jake.” Unlike most though, which go directly from still to bottle, “Jacob’s Ghost” spends a little over a year in oak barrels. That had a big hand in edging it in to the favorable category for me.

While it was certainly manageable on the rocks, there are plenty of things I’d rather drink straight than Ghost. For one, Beam Black for the same price is a much better option. Not all whiskey needs to be drank straight though. The surprising strong suit of this spirit came in cocktails typically made with vodka.

I’m always looking for ways to improve the Bloody Mary, and this was the perfect solution. The sweetness of the corn-heavy mash paired with the kick of a young whiskey takes some of the tomato bomb that people hate out of the cocktail. While I still added the standard forty-five garnishes because I like meals in a drink, just a basic mix and the booze would have sufficed. Who needs more spice than whiskey?

Whiskey & soda isn’t normally my cup of tea, obviously because it’s not tea, but it works well with Jacob’s Ghost. The soda (I poured 2:1) really brings out the sweetness of the whiskey, and the crispness of both go well together. Think of it like drinking a Vodka Soda, only with flavor.

Word on the street is that it makes a decent margarita, but I wouldn’t feel right substituting for tequila. The only reason I drink ‘ritas in the first place is as an excuse to consume Mexico’s finest spirit without having to take shots. “Jacob’s Ghost” should be on shelves nationwide in a few months with a $22 price tag, so if you feel like getting frisky with your standard cocktails, it’s certainly worth a shot.

Colin Joliat