Review: 1981 Ducks Unlimited Decanter


1981 Jim Beam Ducks Unlimited "Green-winged Teal" 100 months old - 40%


Last week I ran into a rough Beam decanter. Today's also comes from the Ducks Unlimited series released the following year. Decanter bourbon is often a quality dice roll. Most weren't displayed or stored with concern for the contents. The seals often weren't great. And the bourbon inside was likely an afterthought. At this point, I wouldn't be able to confidently purchase most opaque decanters. That said, I get their function as an easier access point into the world of dusties and their decorative appeal. Expectations are low given it bears the same age statement and proof and was released just one year after the 1980 misfire.

Nose: Way more candy bar driven than the 1980. Rich caramel. Peanuts. Strawberry hard candies. Chocolate. More layered oak than the 1980. Very enjoyable.

Flavor: Salted milk chocolate. Caramel. Peanut. Light vanilla. Oak. Touch of red fruit at the end.


Structure: Rounded. No heat. Light. Slow moving with decent length. Oak softly lifts the palate in the finish.


Alcohol Integration: Light all the way around. Could use a boost.


Score: 6 (Solid) Flavors are dessert-y. Drinks mature. Leaps and bounds ahead of the 1980. Proof is still a detriment. At the end of the day, it's an enjoyable blend of rich notes in a light package. My ability to predict whether these will be good or bad continues to be wildly inaccurate.

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Roll with some Knob Creek and enjoy the proof bump.


Archived Scores

Rating System

10 - Reevaluate The Budget

9 - Stash Two (If Able)

8 - Stash One (At The Right Price)

7 - Highly Recommend It To Strangers

6 - Solid - Above Average

5 - Acceptable For The Situation

4 - Not Vocally Complaining

3 - Anything Else To Drink?

2 - Nothing Nice To Say

1 - Drain Pour

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