Jim Beam, The Stuff Inside Matters Most
February 14, 2006 was a historic day, but the reality of how great it was will not be discovered until 2009. You see that was the day that the 10 Millionth barrel of Jim Beam was ceremoniously sealed by Jim Beam's great grandson, Fredrick Booker Noe III and then racked to enable it to cure to perfection.
In 1795, Jacob Beam, farmer and grain-mill operator, sold his first barrel of "Old Jake Beam Sour Mash." In 1894, James Beauregard Beam, Jacobs grandson, takes over the family business and runs it until 1919 when prohibition begins. During this time Jim moves to Florida and raises citrus, then becomes a coal miner and later runs a limestone quarry. Prohibition is the only time that Jim Beam Bourbon was not distilled.
Prohibition was repealed in 1933 and in 1934 at the age of 70, Jim Beam rebuilt his distillery by hand in just 120 days. It is said that he was so dedicated to protecting the family recipe that Jim would take a jar of the yeast home with him each weekend.
For a spirit to be called "bourbon" it must be made from a mash mixture of at least 51% corn and must be aged in new, charred oak barrels.
Jim Beam is the only American whiskey that has been distilled and sold by the same family for seven generations, and throughout these 211 years the family recipe has remained the same.
As whiskey ages in the barrel a portion evaporates. 6th generation Beam family distiller, Booker Noe referred to this portion not as a loss but as the "Angel's Share- the portion that the angels would get to enjoy.
Next time you sit and enjoy some Beam you can appreciate that it was made by hard working men for hard working men. Me, I will be waiting for that 10 Millionth barrel to be opened and available for purchase because I will want to raise a glass of it for my hard working guy Kilo and toast him with one of the official Jim Beam toasts- The stuff inside matters most.
Indeed it does!
To read more about Jim Beam click here.