Jim Beam Black was launched in 1978. It was originally called Double Aged, which means double the maturation age of original Jim Beam, so 8 years. Later it’s name changed to Triple Aged, which means three times the time, which is needed for straight bourbon, so 6 years. Anyway, Triple Aged is now withdrawn from the production and it is replaced by Extra Aged, which does not have anymore age statement, but it’s supposed to be as 5 years old. Jim Beam Black was used to be 45% ABV but later they dropped it to 43%. 70cl bottle was discounted to 15.99€ at Maxima.
Jim Beam Black is stated to be on the same base as Jim Beam Original, just matured 2 years longer. Those two extra years have done something but haven’t really changed a lot on the base flavour profile. Black is just more mellow, smoother and creamier than original Jim Beam. There are more vanilla flavours from american oak, but also pepper notes and bitterness on aftertaste. Here where the Jim Beam original is quite sharp, Black is smoother. But when the sharpness has mellowed, there have come spicy pepper and bitter notes from the barrels.
So the basic profile is about the same, toasted corn, ripe banana and corn syrup sweetness. The taste could be still richer, it’s a decent bourbon but still is a bit lame. Difference between Jim Beam white is eventually quite small. It’s smoother, but taste is still narrow, thin and one dimensional, and lacks complexity. So, when Jim Beam white is cheap and good basic bourbon mostly for cocktails, Black is a bit more expensive and suits also for sippin.