Age twice as long
as the law requires.
After filling our barrels (each one holds about 53 gallons of bourbon), we roll them into one of our airy, hilltop rackhouses to rest. As the seasons change, Kentucky’s climate expands and contracts the barrel wood, allowing bourbon to seep into the barrel and extract the caramelized sugars, oak flavor and beautiful, golden-brown color from the charred wood. Throughout this “breathing” process, a fair portion of the 53 gallons of bourbon escapes the barrel through evaporation. This is known as the “angel's share,” and the longer a bourbon ages, the more the angels take. According to bourbon law, two years gets you Straight Bourbon Whiskey. But only four years gets you the smooth, mellow flavor of Jim Beam.