Fred Noe on Craftsmanship

JIM BEAM’S MASTER DISTILLER, FRED NOE, SPEAKS HIS MIND

Everything we do is a craft. Even though we’re a big operation, we still break it all down to what we call ‘The Beam Way.’ We only use the best ingredients. We check every single load of corn, rye, and malted barley that shows up. We’re still using the same ‘jug yeast’ my great-grandfather Jim Beam cultivated right after Prohibition. A lot of bourbon producers today just buy powdered yeast and dump a bag into their mash. Our way is not the most efficient way, obviously not the most practical, and it’s a little more expensive, but we feel it’s the best way.

I wouldn’t say our craftsmanship is any better today than it was in the past. But, I would say we’re more consistent. A loyal Jim Beam supporter enjoys a certain taste. It’s our family legacy. And that’s why I have to keep that consistency going day after day at Jim Beam.

Tasting Tip:
If you taste a bourbon and make a face it’s probably too strong. Start with something lower-proof and then work your way up.

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