Jim Beam Bonded is a no-age-statement straight Bourbon whiskey from Jim Beam, the bestselling Bourbon makers from America. It is distilled, matured and bottled as per the parameters laid out by the Bottled-In-Bond Act of 1897.
The Bottled-In-Bond Act was passed in order to ensure the quality of whiskey was not tampered with, which was a persistent problem in pre-Prohibition America. Many modern whiskey brands have recreated Bottled-In-Bond whiskeys as an homage to a bygone era.
Jim Beam is an American whiskey brand which was founded more than two centuries ago in 1795 by Jacob Boehm, settlers that arrived in America even before independence. The Boehm family were German by descent, and anglicized their name to Beam many years after arriving in the new country in 1740.
The Beam family were initially farmers, and they moved to Kentucky to grow corn. That is where Jacob Beam relied upon his father’s recipe, distilling whiskey from the excess corn he grew in the fields.
Jacob Beam began selling his whiskey in 1795, and thus began the journey of Jim Beam. He named it Old Jake Beam Sour Mash back then, and the name Jim Beam wouldn’t be adopted until many years later.
Jacob Beam’s son, David, inherited the distillery from his father in 1820. During those days, whiskey was sold directly from the barrel. Whiskey maturation wasn’t big in 1800s America, and distillers were often short on barrels. Used fish and vinegar barrels were soon charred, and put to use by many. David noticed that interacting with charred barrels infused new flavours and aromas into the whiskey, and also gave it a wonderful colour.
The company claims this incident inspired David Beam to regularly mature his whiskey in charred oak barrels from then onwards. The whiskey grew in popularity in local circles, and soon demand burgeoned exponentially. It wasn’t until James B. Beam was in control of the ‘Old Tub whiskey brand’ that Prohibition made things more complicated.
James B. Beam, also known as Jim Beam, oversaw the revival of the company after Prohibition was repealed over a decade later. He rebuilt the distillery in Clermont, Kentucky, producing his first batch of Bourbon in 1935.
He named the whiskey James B. Beam Bourbon, since he did not own the rights to ‘Old Tub’ name anymore. That is how the name Jim Beam came into being, and their popularity snowballed during the Second World War.
Fast forward to the 1990s when Jim Beam’s family still run the distillery and the company. James’ daughter Margaret, married into the Noe family in the early 1900s. This paved the way for her son, Frederick Booker Noe II to join the family business.
Frederick Noe II diversified the Jim Beam line of products during the 1990s, adding Knob Creek, Basil Hayden’s and Booker’s among other brands to the Jim Beam portfolio. Frederick Booker Noe III is the current Master Distiller at Jim Beam, and is in the process of passing the baton to his son, Freddie.
Jim Beam Bonded is one of the company’s most recent products, released in 2015.
The Bottled-In-Bond Act of 1897 dictates that all whiskeys labelled ‘Bottled-In-Bond’ must be distilled in one distilling season. The act specifies that there are two distilling seasons, January to June, and July to December. A mash bill of 51% corn, like all straight bourbons must be used to distil the whiskey.
The whiskey must be produced at a single distillery, and must be matured for at least four years in a federally bonded warehouse. The matured whiskey must be bottled at a 50% ABV (100 US Proof) strength. If all the parameters are met, only then can the whiskey be labelled Bottled-In-Bond.
Jim Beam Bonded Kentucky Straight Bourbon is bottled at 50% ABV (100 US Proof), the standard limit for Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon whiskeys in the United States of America.
Jim Beam Bonded has not won medals or awards at any major whiskey tasting competition.
Balanced sweet and spicy notes. Lots of caramel, butterscotch and oak
Smooth. Some vanilla sweetness, and hints of mocha and peppermint
Warm, short finish. There’s hints of caramel and some more oak