American Whiskey - Bourbon
Jim Beam Black 8yr Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
This is a Tier 1 score in the Whiskey category. It means the spirit has won the highest recommendation at least once and probably many times.
Jim Beam--today the largest bourbon producer in the world--was founded by Jacob Beam in the 1790s. He's credited for selling his first barrel of whiskey in 1795 "and the legend was born." It was briefly sold off in 1920 during prohibition but was rebuilt in a mere 120 days following its repeal in 1933. The Beam family has been in continuous position as master distillers for the entire history of the facility; additionally, this prolific family has served as master distillers for most of the bourbon producing distilleries in Kentucky at one time or another--the website contains a "distillers tree" that chronicles the myriad relationships among the bourbon producers of Kentucky. In 2005, they produced their 10 millionth barrel of bourbon. Today, the distillery is one of the landmarks of Kentucky and produces several different hand-crafted bourbons as well as its own flagship labels.
Jim Beam Black label bourbon is aged for 8 years rather than the more well-known Jim Beam white label's four years. It's considered a premium bourbon intended to compete directly with the more boutique bourbons that are gaining popularity but offering the black at a greatly improved value for the customer.
In discussing the bourbon shortage of 2013, Anthony Dias Blue suggested Jim Beam Black as a new bourbon to try claiming, "In blind tastings of bourbons lower than 90 proof, I've never seen $15 Jim Beam Black Lose" (Tasting Panel Magazine, July, 2013).
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