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Jim Beam Jim Beam Family

Jacob Beam immigrated from Germany and arrived in Kentucky in 1778, carrying the necessary parts to make a copper still. Jacob settled near Dardin Creek, the original site where he first made his bourbon. He was selling his whiskey by 1795.

In 1820, Jacob passed his recipe to his son, David. As David maintained the distillery as a master distiller, the nation was entering the industrial age. The Erie Canal opened in 1825, and the Mississippi river transportation gave him an easy way to reach new customers around the nation.

David M. Beam, son of David took over the distillery in 1850, just before the Civil War was about to break. After his father died in 1854, David moved the distillery to Nelson County, Kentucky in order to have a closer access to the railroad. He called his new home the "Clear Spring Distillery." Today Jim Beam Distillery is still open in Clermont. (Jim Beam American Post)

David's son, James "Jim" Beauregard Beam joined the family business when he was 16 years old. Jim took over the business in 1894 when he turned 30 and he remained in the business for the next 52 years.

During the prohibition in America, Jim Beam's company sold all the liquor holdings to take up citrus growing in Florida, then coal ming and running a limestone quarry. When the Prohibition ended in 1933, Jim Beam was 70 years old and was returning to the distillery. He then incorporated the company as the James B. Beam Distilling Co. on August 14, 1934. Jim died in 1947 at the age of 83 then his son Jeremiah Beam became the head of the company.

In 1951, Jeremiah Beam began teaching his nephew, Booker to become a master distiller. Booker was 21 years old then. About 10 years later, he became the master distiller and increased production 12 times bigger in 40 years. In 1987, Booker introduced his own signature bourbon, Booker's True Barrel Bourbon, aged for 6 - 8 years and bottled at its natural proof of between 121 - 127.

Other "Small Batch Bourbon Collection" portfolio includes Baker's, Knob Creek and Basil Hayden's. After retiring as master distiller in 1992, Booker followed in his grandfather's footsteps, traveling the world to personally introduce people to his family's bourbon. In 2000, his son Fred Noe took over the role.

Sixth generation in the family business, Frederick Booker Noe II passed away on February 24, 2004 in his home in Bardstown Kentucky. He was 74 years old. A man of great generosity and humor, Booker touched the lives of thousands of people. Many remember meeting him at the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival in his home town, Bardtown.

"A respectable amount of bourbon to pour in a glass is about two fingers' worth. Lucky for me I have big fingers."
- Booker Noe, December 7, 1929 - February 24, 2004

How to taste Jim Beam bourbons

1. Color: Begin by looking at the bourbon's color. The deeper and darker the color, the more complex and sophisticated the bourbon. Aged nine years, Knob Creek reveals a cooper to medium amber coloring lending way to its rich, sweet and full-bodied taste.

2. Smell: Nosing the bourbon goes a long way toward enhancing your tasting experience. To properly nose a bourbon, put your nose deeply into the glass and inhale with your lips parted. Keeping your mouth open is essential to the hosing process. When nosing Knob Creek, you may sense a hint of toasted nuts, grain and oak.

3. Taste: After evaluating the color and nosing the bourbon, put a bit on the tip of your tongue and roll it around inside your mouth then chew it a bit before swallowing. This will allow you to experience the full flavors of the bourbon.

4. Finish: The finish is the lingering sensation bourbon leaves in the back of your throat and mouth. Knob Creek finishes with a long, rich and glowing flavor.

Related Links:
  • Jim Beam Distillery
  • Making Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey
  • Bourbon Drinks
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