Bourbon Growth Leads Beam Suntory To Americas Sales Rise

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Beam Suntory posted a mid-single-digit sales increase in its Americas region for 2015, led by strong progress for its Bourbon stable. Maker’s Mark showed robust volume growth in the Americas during the year, while fellow Bourbons Knob Creek and Basil Hayden’s were up by double-digits. Full story

Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse Experience

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This city continues to find engaging ways to celebrate its state’s proud bourbon heritage aside from the plentiful availability of the beverage. The Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse provides those frequenting Louisville’s downtown area with another convenient opportunity to learn more about one of the world’s most popular whiskeys without committing to a daytrip with tour costs to see its rural origins. Full story

Kentucky Bourbon Trail® Visits Skyrocket With 900,000 Guests in 2015

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With more distilleries participating than ever before, the world-famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail® and Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour® adventures set an all-time attendance record in 2015 with nearly 900,000 guests touring the best of the Bluegrass.

That means the popular tourism attraction has more than doubled its attendance in just five short years, said Eric Gregory, President of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association that created the landmark journey in 1999. View full press release

Bill to allow some distilleries to serve cocktails advances

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Bourbon tourists taking in the sights and smells of Kentucky distilleries could start sipping cocktails as part of the experience if a bill that cleared a legislative panel on Tuesday becomes state law. The measure would allow distilleries in wet territories to offer by-the-drink sales to visitors. It also would let the distilleries sell more of their whiskey and offer slightly larger amounts of free samples. Full story

The Jews Who Made American Whisky

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Many of the iconic bourbon and rye brands on store shelves are or were once owned and operated by Jews, including Jim Beam, I.W. Harper, Rittenhouse, Elijah Craig, Four Roses and Dickel.

From ubiquitous bagels and cream cheese to restorative matzo ball soup to decadently rich pastrami, Jews are famous for contributing a number of delicious dishes to the menu of American food favorites. But when it comes to drinks, the item that usually pops into people’s minds first is, sadly, the sickly sweet kosher wine Manischewitz. Full story

Jim Beam® Bourbon Transforms Historic Rackhouse Into Massive 3-D Holiday Display

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Jim Beam®, the world’s No. 1 bourbon, is making history once again by transforming a barrel rackhouse at its flagship distillery in Clermont, Ky., into a nine-story 3-D canvas for a multimedia celebration that’s as bold as Jim Beam itself. Featuring state-of-the-art digital projection imagery, 3-D animation and special effects that highlight more than 220 years of Jim Beam tradition, the holiday lights spectacular marks the first time a spirits company is using projection mapping technology to create a fully, immersive visitors experience. Read the full press release

Jim Beam Supports Military Families With $100,000 Donation To Fund Holiday Meals Program

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Jim Beam® Bourbon, the world’s No. 1 bourbon, proudly salutes military men and women with a $100,000 donation to Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. The donation, which was presented last weekend by seventh generation Jim Beam Master Distiller Fred Noe in support of Operation Homefront’s Holiday Meals for Military program, underscores Jim Beam’s ongoing commitment to America’s service men and women. Read full press release

Rye Adds an Authentic Touch to the Holidays

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Three men sitting in a Midtown Manhattan restaurant one recent afternoon represented three generations of the Kentucky clan whose hand has been on the tiller of the Wild Turkey distillery for more than half a century. There was Jimmy Russell, the legendary distiller; Eddie Russell, his son, a veteran distiller in his own right; and Bruce Russell, Eddie’s 26-year-old son, a relatively new addition to the firm. Full story

Review: Jim Beam Signature Harvest Bourbon Collection

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The fifth and sixth shoes have dropped on the long-in-coming (12 years) Jim Beam experiments with varied secondary grains in Bourbon. These last two (available now) of the Jim Beam Signature Harvest Bourbon Collection are among the most interesting of the trials, using a barley variety most often found in beer and a hybrid grain previously not found in whiskey. Full story

Urban Stillhouse is Louisville’s latest monument to ‘bourbonism’

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Bourbon tourism has been given a name by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer: Bourbonism.

The mayor defines that as the act of coming to Kentucky and enjoying good bourbon and food. We’ve seen Fischer drop this term here and there. Today he got a big reason to use it when Deerfield, Ill.-based Beam Suntory Inc. opened its new Jim Beam Urban Stillhouse at Fourth Street Live in downtown Louisville. Full story

Everything You Need to Know About Bottled in Bond Bourbon

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An often-overlooked category of whiskey is bottled in bond bourbon. This is probably mostly due to the fact that not very many brands actually carry expressions that fit the stringent criteria, part of which involves minutiae like government-certified warehouses. Obviously, the rules that classify bourbon as bonded aren’t mandatory, so why would a brand even bother? Well, there’s a bit of history behind it. Full story

A guide to the new Kentucky bourbons being released this fall

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Every fall, bourbon lovers make a pilgrimage to Kentucky for two things: the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, which runs through Sunday in Bardstown, and the fall bourbon releases. Kentucky is ground zero for new bourbon — it’ll be released here if it’s anywhere, typically — so collectors come hoping to stock up. Bourbon sleuths scout the new labels approved by the federal government months in advance for inklings of what might be coming. Full story

Trekking the Bourbon Trail should include distillery tours, sampling

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Kentucky’s Bluegrass Country, a scenic expanse of rural agriculture communities between Lexington and Louisville, is most famous for its horse farms with white picket fences surrounding lush green pastureland — and rightly so, with a postcard photo stop around almost every bend in the country road. But growing in many of those farm fields is corn, just the right corn to make a good mash, the precursor to the second most famous attraction in the region: bourbon whiskey. Full story

Kentucky Bourbon Trail: Distillery tours offer taste of region’s spirit

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The bad news for bourbon drinkers is that the brown spirit has become so popular that shortages loom. The good news is that the surging popularity has spurred distilleries to add or expand visitors centers and tasting rooms in Kentucky’s bourbon-making region, where more than 95 percent of the world’s supply is produced. Not surprisingly, the biggest and most elaborate of the new sights along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail belongs to the best-selling bourbon, Jim Beam. Full story

Work starts on Jim Beam’s downtown visitors center

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Work is under way on Jim Beam’s Urban Stillhouse at Fourth Street Live in downtown Louisville. This project was announced in December after Jim Beam Distillery owner Beam Suntory Inc. was approved for tourism tax credits for the facility. The stillhouse is supposed to be a highly visible visitors center that will include a small working distillery, a bottling line, a tasting experience and merchandise for sale. Full story

Suntory Puts Asia’s Biggest Booze Buyer on 3-Year Hold

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After a $16 billion whiskey binge, Suntory Holdings Ltd. is keeping its wallet in its pocket. Suntory, Asia’s biggest-spending beverage acquirer over the past five years, plans to hold off on buying overseas companies for three years, President Takeshi Niinami said in an interview.Suntory’s $16 billion purchase of U.S. spirits maker Beam Inc. last year has helped raise the portion of revenue from overseas, while boosting debt and causing its credit rating to drop. Full story

Review: Jim Beam Bonded Bourbon

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Here’s a new release that really came out of the blue. Bonded whiskey was a big deal before Prohibition — when heavy tampering with spirits was a major problem — but it is rarely seen these days because of the cost involved and, surely, limited demand. (Rittenhouse 100 is one good example that’s still around.) Full story

Cigar Spirits: Jim Beam Signature Craft Quarter Cask Finished Bourbon

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Small barrels can be a bit controversial when it comes to American whiskey. Some say small barrels are the key to making young whiskey taste like old whiskey, while others say it just makes lousy whiskey. Small barrels don’t necessarily make lousy bourbon, just a different style. But small barrels certainly aren’t a substitute for extended traditional barrel aging. Full story

Jim Beam Taps Fans’ Own Personal “Statements” To Help Co-Create Bottle Labels For Its New Single Barrel Bourbon

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Each bottle of Jim Beam Single Barrel, the first-ever single barrel offering from the world’s No. 1 bourbon brand, exemplifies individuality – not only with the distinct flavor and personality of the bourbon itself, but also with its hand-crafted and hand-written bottle labels. And to celebrate its launch, Jim Beam announces today that it’s giving fans across the U.S. the opportunity to take part in the craft-making process with the launch of the Jim Beam® “Single Barrel, Single Statement” Contest. Read press release

The American Whiskey Trail will benefit from Bourbon’s Billion-Dollar Boom

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Bourbon and whiskey are enjoying what Fortune Magazine calls “The Billion-Dollar Bourbon Boom” noting that American whisky and bourbon is now an $8 billion-dollar global industry.  At home the amber liquid is enjoying a resurgence thanks to popular television stories like Mad Men but for fans of the brown spirit, it has always been a favorite, even if the rest of the world is just starting to catch up. Full story

Jim Beam Partners With Mila Kunis For Its First-Ever Global Marketing Campaign, Make History

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Jim Beam and award-nominated actress Mila Kunis are teaming up to “make history” in 2014 and beyond. Kunis joins the Jim Beam family as a global partner and spokesperson, and will play a leading role in Jim Beam’s new Make History multi-media brand campaign that will reach more than 100 markets worldwide. Make History is the first-ever global marketing campaign for the iconic American brand, which traces its history to 1795. Read the full press release

How Beam drives new ideas in bourbon

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MaryKay Bolles has helped invent hundreds of products working for companies from PepsiCo to Sara Lee Corp. As vice president of global research & development and innovation for spirits giant Beam Inc., she has overseen the creation of 40 beverages in three years, including Devil’s Cut and Red Stag bourbons. Bolles explains how Beam is capitalizing on the world’s growing taste for whiskey, bourbon and cocktails. Full story

Suntory and Jim Beam: Lessons from Kirin and Four Roses

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Before Suntory and Jim Beam , there was Kirin and Four Roses.

William Faulkner said he drank Four Roses bourbon because it was “affordable and easy to find.” That’s until Seagram’s took the best-selling American bourbon off U.S. shelves for 40 years.

Here’s the good news. Kirin bought Faulkner’s go-to bourbon, and according to Four Roses master distiller Jim Rutledge, things continued as they always had, even with the new owner. Kirin did not mess with the bourbon, the recipe, the making of the sour mash. Full story

The bourbon family tree

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Kentuckians like to tell you that 95 percent of the world’s bourbon comes from their state. What they won’t tell you is that pretty much every last drop of that bourbon comes from a handful of conglomerate distilleries. In this chart—excerpted from The Kings County Distillery Guide to Urban Moonshining, on shelves now—the guys behind Brooklyn’s oldest craft distillery parse out, once and for all, the complicated kissing cousins of the bluegrass state’s bourbon industry. Full story