Jim Beam Bourbon Whiskey
COME AS A FRIEND, LEAVE AS FAMILY.
The Jim Beam family has been making bourbon in Kentucky for more than 200 years. Now it’s your turn to experience how our legacy comes to life each and every day. It’s our family secret—and now it’s yours too.
THE WORLD’S FINEST BOURBONS.
Jim Beam has a full family of bourbons, each unique and expertly made by the Beam family, who has perfected the art of bourbon making over the last 200 years. Explore what makes each of our products special and worthy of the Beam family name.
A FAMILY HISTORY OF TRUE PASSION.
A lot’s changed in the world over the past 220 years. But here at Jim Beam, we’re proud to say things have remained more or less the same. We’ve spent all that time perfecting Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Scroll down and we’ll let you in on our secret.
GO WITH THE GRAIN.
We start with a secret mix of corn (at least 51%), rye and barley malt—our “Mash Bill”. We feed that into a 10,000-gallon cooker. Here we add limestone-filtered Kentucky water along with some “set back”—up to 40% of the old mash from the last distillation.
JUST ADD THE UNIQUE KENTUCKY WATER.
This is the “Sour Mash” part of our bourbon-making process, ensuring the same Jim Beam® bourbon from batch to batch. It gets its own special taste from our pure Kentucky water, famous for making a particularly good bourbon. Because we’re sitting on top of a limestone shelf, our water has a natural filter. This creates an iron-free, calcium-rich water that’s perfect for making bourbon. Perhaps that’s why more than 95% of all bourbon comes from Kentucky.
THE SECRET IS YEAST.
Our jug yeast is a closely guarded family secret. It’s the same strain of yeast we’ve used in our bourbon-making process since Prohibition ended, so it’s more than 75 years old. And it ensures our Jim Beam® bourbon is consistent from bottle to bottle.
THE FINE ART OF FERMENTATION.
From the cooker, the mash heads to the fermenter. We cool it down to 60-70°F and add our 75-year-old yeast strain to the mix. And yeast is hungry. It eats and eats, feeding on sugars in the mash, heating the fermenter as it eats and multiplying as it goes.
DISTILLED TWICE FOR ONE SMOOTH FLAVOR.
The beer travels into a 65-foot-tall column still. We heat it to around 200°F—enough to turn the alcohol into a vapor but not so hot that the beer boils. The vapor then turns back into a liquid. This “low wine” is 125 proof (62.5% alcohol) of goodness.
USE NEW CHARRED OAK BARRELS.
After distilling, we tap the high wine into brand new charred oak barrels. We like our barrels to have what we call “alligator char”—that is, they’re fired enough that the insides take on the scaly, bumpy look of a gator’s skin.
CREATED ACCORDING TO FAMILY LAW.
Jim Beam® Kentucky Straight Bourbon is aged for at least 4 years, twice as long as the law requires. Over time, this aging produces a mellow, smooth bourbon flavor—the world’s finest, made to be enjoyed by bourbon enthusiasts all over the world.