This text was produced in partnership with Hardin’s Creek
Within the bourbon pantheon, there’s no identify extra well-known than Jim Beam. Whereas most drinkers acknowledge it as a whiskey model, Jim Beam—or, extra exactly, Colonel James B. Beam—was an actual particular person, a descendant of Jacob Beam, considered one of Kentucky’s earliest distillers. The Jim Beam identify is legendary all through the world for its top-quality bourbon, however there was a time when Colonel Beam made no whiskey in any respect—a low level that nearly wiped his legacy off the map.
We’re speaking about Prohibition, the 13-year span of American historical past that shut down nearly each distillery within the nation, together with the one owned by Beam. Pressured to dump his beloved enterprise, Beam turned his hand to all types of different ventures, together with citrus farming, coal mining, and limestone rock quarrying. None of them labored out, and his coronary heart all the time lay with bourbon.
So when Prohibition was lifted with the passage of the twenty first Modification, Beam, then 70, threw his vitality into beginning a brand new distillery in Clermont, Kentucky. Inside 120 days, it was up and working, producing bourbon to the identical exacting requirements as earlier than, with one preliminary catch: Since they have been increase shares from scratch, the whiskey may solely be aged for a brief time period earlier than being bought. That didn’t make a distinction to its high quality, although; Beam knew how one can create nice taste in bourbon no matter its time in barrel.
His efforts succeeded in re-establishing the Beam household’s lengthy legacy of whiskey-making that extends all the best way again to 1795, and is now cemented as America’s main bourbon distiller, the James B. Beam Distilling Co. The distillery is at present led by father-and-son grasp distillers, and Beam descendants, Fred and Freddie Noe. They’ve launched a brand new line of limited-edition whiskeys referred to as Hardin’s Creek that pays tribute to their heritage whereas trying forward with improvements in getting older, substances, manufacturing processes, and extra.