Dec 10, 2020

5 min read


the best selling whiskey

Let’s talk about a bourbon whiskey which is Jim Beam White Label, although Jim Beam has many Varieties of Bourbon Whiskey but white label is most popular amongst them. As we all know it’s a bourbon whiskey that means an American Whiskey. American whiskeys nowadays have gained huge and different kind of popularity among the whiskey countries for example if you compare it with Irish Whiskeys, scotch, Japanese or Canadian whiskeys it’s quite different. While Jim Beam White Label is the largest selling bourbon whiskey in the world and is made by Beam Suntory which comes under fortune brands earlier it was known as Beam Distilling which is located in Kentucky and more than 95% of the world’s Bourbon manufacturing distilleries are located in Kentucky region of the United States, that’s why you may have seen a label called Straight Kentucky Bourbon on many of the bourbon Whiskey bottles but this label contains a lot more information than the region of production, it actually indicates the whole manufacturing process of any bourbon whiskey that we will discuss in later in this article

Johannes “Jacob” Beam (1760–1834) was a farmer who began producing whiskey in the style that became bourbon. Jacob Beam sold his first barrels of corn whiskey around 1795 then called Old Jake Beam Sour Mash. And Beam Distilling was the first Distillery to introduce bourbon whiskey to the world in 1795. Since 1795 (interrupted by Prohibition), seven generations of the Beam family have been involved in whiskey production for the company that produces the brand. The brand name became “Jim Beam” in 1943 in honor of James B. Beam, who rebuilt the business after Prohibition ended. Previously produced by the Beam family and later owned by the Fortune Brands holding company, the brand was purchased by Suntory Holdings in 2014.

Let’s talk about some manufacturing facts about bourbon whiskey. Most of the whiskeys like Scotch, Irish, Indian, Japanese etc, are matured in the barrels which are bought whiskey treated by the distilleries but Bourbon Whiskey is always matured in a freshly made and charged oak barrels. This barrel after 2 years is sold to other whiskey manufactures that use whiskey treated barrels. Interestingly the no. of barrels filled for maturation process of bourbon in Kentucky whiskey is more than the population of the region and even more than the population of some small countries added together. And if Kentucky manufactures could decide to stop manufacturing their barrels still they have stock for around next 30–40 years. Getting back to manufacturing process, Jim Beam is always made up of at least 51% of corn while other ingredients may be cereals, rye, grains or even malted barley but 51% corn is necessary only then it will be called Bourbon Whiskey. This criterion makes bourbon stand apart from other whiskeys, giving it some sweet flavors. Now let’s talk about Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey this label has its own criterions the brand should follow as per the American Whiskey Law, If the distillery is using the label of “Kentucky Straight Whiskey” or “Straight Whiskey” then they should have to maintain lots of criterions together for example during fermentation of corn the alcohol generated through distillation should not cross the 80% limit, scotch sometimes makes it to 100% while distillation but for American whiskey it should be maximum 80%, while before pouring the distilled whiskey into maturing barrels then the alcohol percentage should be at least 62.5% and should be aged/matured in a freshly charged oak barrel for at least 2 years. Although bourbon whiskey by nature do not require any age statement but if its labeled “straight” then its matured for at least 2 years while our Jim Beam is matured for 4 years in the freshly charged oak barrels and the last point is that if the brand is labeling it as straight whiskey then they are not allowed to add any ingredient to it, Most of the time flavoring agents or coloring agents are added to the whiskey after distillation for modifications and then they are aged or bottled but in case of straight whiskey all these are prohibited after distillation. Although chilled filtration and addition of water is allowed after distillation. The reason behind adding water is that 80% alcohol (mother spirit) is inconsumable and must be reduced to 40% although Jim Beam is 42.8% alcohol by volume. These were the criterions that distilleries must follow to add label of Straight Whiskey.

Talking about the blend Jim Beam White Label is 77% Corn Whiskey that’s what make it sweet and is one of the prime choices of youngsters while 13% is rye whiskey and contains 10% malted barley whiskey. It apart of the blend it gives a smooth flavor of honey and Vanilla.

Going to the notes while nosing unlike most of the whiskeys it’s not overpowered some gentle notes of honey, vanilla, corn and caramel sweetness. In the pallet it seems to have a good body, with slight notes of oak wood (in which it is aged), sweetness of honey, caramel and corn can be felt

And smooth, mellow and medium lengths finish with after notes of honey and cinnamon.

Also the people whose pallet doesn’t support sweet alcohols or who like bitterness in drinks can’t refuse for bourbon, especially if it’s Jim Beam White Label

Making it fit for being on the position of world’s best selling bourbon

Even If you haven’t tried any bourbon yet, you can’t find a better start that Jim Beam

Different people have different ways of drinking Bourbon some like it on the rocks, some add water, people use it for sweet and fruity cocktails but the most common and appreciated way is drinking it neat and enjoying the complexity of flavors.

Coming onto the food pairings, then people generally prefer paring it with dry fruits, cured meat(like hams and salamis),different kinds of cheese, desserts etc

And as I always say there is no rule of food pairing with any alcohol, the best pair is the one you like most and there is no method of drinking any alcohol the best is again what you like.


-Vatsalya Bhatnagar