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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. Still not sure what bourbon is and how it is made? 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”. It feeds 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.

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.

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.