Founded 25 years after the birth of bourbon in 1795 by Jacob Beam, Jim Beam has consistently produced products of a high quality, its first batch being recommended by friends and family as a "fine dram".
From this humble beginning, the Beam's reputation rapidly grew. In 1820 David Beam (Jacob's son) took over as master distiller of the business. Distribution of the bourbon was simplified in 1825, with the opening of the Erie Canal.
After 30 years in the role, David Beam stepped down from the position as master distiller, and was replaced by his son, David M. Beam. Once again, in a move to maximize the distribution of their product, the distillery was moved to Nelson County, Kentucky to be closer to a railroad.
Prohibition began in 1919, and Jim Beam (the master distiller at the time) closed the business to form a citrus farm. As soon as it was repealed he returned to distilling, rebuilding the distillery and bringing it back into operation in 120 days.
After prohibition, the business continued from strength to strength, and in 1954 demand for the bourbon necessitate the construction of a second distillery in Boston, Kentucky. In 1960, F. Booker Noe is named master distiller emeritus - he is Jim Beam's grandson.
With the construction of the second distillery complete, sales surge to new levels when in 1964 the United States Congress declares that bourbon to be the official native spirit of the United States. The business environment was changed in 1968, when Jim Beam Brands Co (the name the distillery had been operating under) was purchased by Fortune Brands (at the time called American Brands Company.
Using capital supplied by Fortune Brands, Jim Beam Brands begins to diversify its product range. In 1987, the company acquired National Distillers, which included the major brand DeKuyper. The company also purchased two wineries in 1998, Geyser Peak and Cannon Road which where joined in 2003 by Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards.
The company made history in 1988 when the master distiller, Booker Noe released his first Small Batch bourbon named Booker's. Following on the success of Booker's, Jim Beam released three additional members of the Small Batch family, Knob Creek, Basil Hayden's and Bakers.
Due to the success of the Jim Beam's products, the company celebrated the filling of its ten-million barrel of bourbon in 2005. Along with this, Jim Beam's holding company was renamed to Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc as well as acquiring 26 spirit and wine brands as a result of the Pernod Ricard's purchase of Allied Domecq.
Jim Beam is still proud of its production of America's official native spirit which is the leading bourbon brand, and its holding company, Beam Global Spirits & Wine Inc is the fourth largest global spirits company.
Jim Beam has played a large part in New South Wales rugby league since 2003, become the named sponsor of the Jim Beam Cup. The competition is part of the NSW Rugbly League and NSW Country Rugby League competition, which is a semi-professional grouping.
Jim Beam Varieties
- Jim Beam White Label (Aged 4 years, 80 proof)
- Jim Beam Green Label (Aged 5 years, 80 proof)
- Jim Beam Black Label (Aged 8 years, 86 proof)
- Jim Beam Yellow Label (Rye whiskey, aged 4 years, 80 proof)
Beam Global Spirits and Wine Brands