The first release of Booker’s 2018 Batch Collection will be known as Booker’s Batch 2018-01 and also “Kathleen’s Batch.”
The name pays tribute to Kathleen DiBenedetto who, together with founding distiller Booker Noe, helped launch Beam’s Small Batch Bourbon Collection in the early 1990s.
Bottled uncut and unfiltered, “Kathleen’s Batch” is now available nationwide in limited quantities with a suggested retail price of $69.99-$74.99 for a 750-m. bottle. Last year the brand’s owner, Beam Suntory, had toyed with raising the price of the base Bookers to around $99.99.
Kathleen’s Batch is 127.4 proof, aged 6 years, 3 months and 14 days. The whiskey has a nose with notes of caramel, vanilla, leather and floral honey, the company says, plus flavors of toasted oak and caramel.
As in previous years, the Booker’s 2018 Batch Collection will include four bourbon releases named in tribute to people, places and pastimes important to Booker Noe. In addition to “Kathleen’s Batch,” this year’s collection will include Batch 2018-02 “Backyard BBQ;” Batch 2018-03, “Kentucky Chew;” and Batch 2018-04, “Kitchen Table,” in tribute to a family heirloom of the Noe family.
This batch was selected by Fred Noe, Beam’s seventh generation master distiller, DiBenedetto and the Booker’s Bourbon Roundtable, a group of whiskey experts, enthusiasts and writers, during a live tasting in New York City earlier this year.
Kathleen DiBenedetto started her career with Jim Beam Brands Co. in 1991. She was the brand manager during the launch of the Small Batch Bourbon Collection, helping introduce brands including Knob Creek Bourbon, Basil Hayden’s Bourbon, Baker’s Bourbon, and Booker’s Bourbon. She apprenticed under Noe and, for the last 26 years, has promoted, sold and traveled on behalf of the Small Batch Bourbon brands.
In 2015, her contributions to Beam’s bourbons and her commitment to developing a bourbon education platform were recognized when she was inducted into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame. Today, Kathleen serves as Senior Director of On-Premise and Luxury Marketing for Beam Suntory.