Kentucky’s bourbon distilleries filled more than 1.88 million barrels last year, the most since 1967, according to a news release from the Frankfort-based Kentucky Distillers’ Association trade group. Full story
After Japanese whiskey maker Suntory Holdings bought Beam Inc. to form Beam Suntory in 2014, the company said it would keep its headquarters in suburban Deerfield. Now, however, the company appears to be looking to move some of those corporate employees to downtown Chicago, according to a report by the Chicago Tribune. Full story
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
The still has been designed in the “mirror image” of the distillery’s two other copper stills, which stand at 45-feet tall. Full story
Reported YTD sales for Beam Suntory – the alcoholic drinks arm of Japanese drinks arm of Japan’s Suntory Holdings – grew 36%.
The results were boosted by strong performances across its joint portfolio of Japanese and American whiskey, which was formed following Suntory’s US$16 billion acquisition of Beam Inc in January 2014. Full story
Maker’s Mark is bringing real innovation to the bourbon industry with a first-of-its-kind barrel program, Maker’s Mark Private Select. The new experience will allow retail customers to “make their own Maker’s” by finishing fully-matured cask strength Maker’s Mark Bourbon in a single barrel made up of their custom selection of oak staves. The program will kick off in limited release in November, with bottled product available for sale by retail participants beginning March 2016. Full story
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
Older doesn’t always mean better for whiskey, and neither does more expensive. Phenomenal whiskey deals can be found for those looking to spend wisely by shopping the opposite side of the “Pappy” spectrum. While the availability of wonderful whiskey really explodes at the $40-$45 range, herein we’re digging deeper to find the top 10 best whiskeys under $35. Full story
The makers of Templeton Rye have agreed to settle three class-action lawsuits that disputed claims the company made about the origin and production of its whiskey. Under the agreement, the company must change its labeling on its bottles and language on its website, according to documents filed in Polk County District Court. Templeton Rye also must establish a fund that could be used to pay back customers who bought bottles of the drink, The Des Moines Register reported. Full story
Maker’s Mark Distillery Inc. plans to build a new visitors’ experience dedicated to its Maker’s 46 brand. The center will be located on the company’s campus in Loretto, Ky. It’s estimated to be a $4 million project and the company will seek tax rebates from the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority, according to Gil Lawson, an authority spokesman. Full story
Big bourbon is battling a swarm of lawsuits: Jim Beam, whose white label is the biggest-selling bourbon by volume, was hit Tuesday with a $5 million-plus lawsuit over claims that it is “handcrafted.” Beam is the latest to come under fire. Maker’s Mark, Angel’s Envy, Tito’s vodka and Templeton rye face also court challenges. Full story
The label on a bottle of Maker’s Mark says “handmade,” but any reasonable consumer knows the Kentucky bourbon is not completely made by hand. That’s one way Maker’s Mark parent company Beam-Suntory defends itself against a pair of class-action lawsuits that allege the word “handmade” on a Maker’s bottle is false and misleading because the process is, in fact, “mechanized and automated.” Full story
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
A lawsuit filed in California accuses Maker’s Mark of false advertising by promoting its Kentucky bourbon as handmade. The suit claims the process of making the popular bourbon includes mechanized or automated steps requiring little or no human involvement. Full story
Sales of bourbon and Tennessee whiskey increased 86 percent during the past decade, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. And for the first time, American whiskey exports exceeded $1 billion last year, up from $400 million in 2002. Full story
Well, it looks like the rumors are true. Maker’s Mark is coming out with a Cask Strength Bourbon. In a letter sent to brand ambassadors, Rob Samuels announced the next new product from Maker’s Mark. The whiskey will see a limited release to bartenders around the county and will be sold exclusively at the Maker’s Distillery in Loretto, KY.
The Maker’s Mark distillery has team with world-renouned glass artist Dale Chihuly for a one-of-a-kind installation. View video
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
Think of Dave Pickerell as the Johnny Appleseed of American whiskey. After fourteen years as the master distiller at Maker’s Mark, he left in 2008 to become a consultant for the burgeoning craft-distilling movement. Since then Pickerell, who is based in Louisville, has worked with many of the leading names in the business, including Corsair, Hillrock Estate, and George Washington, the newly reopened distillery at Mount Vernon—and become one of the preeminent figures in modern whiskey. Full story
Lew Bryson of Whisky Advocate waxes poetically on wax closures. Full story
Picking a bourbon isn’t the one-two-three choice it used to be. There’s been a boom in brands, especially from small, premium producers, not to mention a flood of new styles. Will you go for a barrel-aged version? Honey flavoured? How about a bourbon that’s been aged at sea?No doubt about it, bourbon is branching out. Full story
Diageo has long been seen as a potential buyer of newly independent Beam, since Beam’s array of bourbon whiskies would complement Diageo’s two dozen Scotch brands, which include Johnnie Walker, J&B and Talisker. Full story