Jim Beam celebrates industry first with 15 millionth barrel

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Jim Beam Bourbon filled its 15 millionth barrel of bourbon since the end of Prohibition.

The milestone barrel, a first for Kentucky distilleries, was personally filled and sealed by Seventh Generation Master Distiller Fred Noe and his son Freddie Noe, Eighth Generation Beam Distiller, at the brand’s flagship distillery in Clermont, Kentucky.

“Fifteen million is a big number, but we’re a big bourbon,” said Fred Noe. “When Jim Beam, my great grandfather, filled his first barrel of whiskey at our Clermont distillery after Prohibition, I doubt he would have predicted that one day we would be a brand known and enjoyed the world over.”

The historic milestone, achieved less than two years after the filling of Jim Beam’s 14 millionth barrel, the shortest period of time between milestone barrel fills, serves as a testament to the continued global bourbon boom.

The growing momentum can be attributed to continued strong sales spurred by rising global demand of Jim Beam across the United States, Europe and Southeast Asia.

“We’re reaching these milestones faster and faster,” said Craig Christenson, vice president global marketing, Jim Beam. “From Russia and Germany to Japan and China, not to mention the United States where Jim Beam is gaining substantial market share, bourbon has become the spirit of choice around the world and we’re happy to oblige them by making more. We’re the first to reach 15 million and we’re not slowing down.”

The 15 millionth barrel, signed by employees at the company’s Clermont, Boston and Frankfort plants, will join the nearly 2.3 million barrels of bourbon currently aging in Jim Beam’s rackhouses across the Commonwealth.

It will be stored inside the distillery’s historic rackhouse D, a nine-story warehouse rebuilt by Jim Beam after Prohibition on the Clermont distillery grounds.

The rackhouse is open to visitors as part of the Jim Beam American Stillhouse tour.

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(This story was originally published on March 13, 2018)

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