The Jim Beam name, as our readers know, is synonymous with bourbon, and that all started with, according to Beam, Johannes Jacob Beam, the forefather of America’s first family of bourbon. In 1795, Jacob Beam set down roots in the foothills of Western Kentucky. He started with what is described as a sturdy but humble well to draw water from a nearby creek. That water powered a mill – the mill to grind fields of corn – which formed Jacob Beam’s earliest mashes.
That creek – Hardin’s Creek – became the first source of his family’s enduring legacy. It is also the name of a new premium line of American whiskeys from the James B. Beam Distilling Company.
The new Hardin’s Creek line up, according to those behind it, is envisioned as “an ongoing series of annual releases, featuring some of James B. Beam Distilling Co.’s rarest and most unique liquids”. It aims to showcase the breadth and depth of Beam’s whiskey-making credentials inclusive of age, blending, mash bill, distillation, barrels, rackhouse locations, and more.
The first initial releases – Jacob’s Well Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, a “thoughtful blend of two ultra-aged bourbons”, and Colonel James B. Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, a “carefully crafted young whiskey” – come in the recent wake of the opening of the new Fred B. Noe Distillery on the Beam campus in Kentucky and the appointment of Freddie Noe as 8th generation Beam master distiller.
“We couldn’t be more excited to launch Hardin’s Creek, particularly after the refresh of the James B. Beam Distillery and the opening of the Fred B. Noe Craft Distillery,” said Freddie Noe in a prepared statement. “This has been a long time in the making, and I can’t wait to share it with the world. “Every detail, from the blending techniques to the labels, draws inspiration from centuries of our family’s history, paying homage to our heritage while looking towards our future.”
Freddie Noe will continue to work alongside his father and 7th generation Beam master distiller Fred Noe at the James B. Beam Distilling Co. homestead in Clermont.
As for the two new releases, more specifics on each can be found below from Beam, including official tasting notes, but it should be noted in general that both limited-edition expressions will be available on shelves in the United States starting July 1, 2022. Consumers in select markets who are looking to purchase ahead of July 1st can join the waitlist on ReserveBar from May 20, 2022, through May 30, 2022, with pre-orders starting on May 31, 2022.
JACOB’S WELL KENTUCKY STRAIGHT BOURBON WHISKEY
Jacob’s Well is a thoughtful blend of two ultra-aged expressions: one 16-year-old traditional bourbon and one 15-year-old high-rye bourbon blended to achieve a depth of flavor unlike any other in Beam history. This edition pays tribute to the first family distiller, Jacob Beam, and the well he built in 1795. What first served as a water source would later represent a legacy built from one generation to the next as the inspiration behind this premiere, limited-edition bourbon.
Freddie Noe distilled it using precious barrels laid down years ago by other hands, which he then intuitively hand-selected, blending together centuries of expertise with a vision for the future. Old whiskeys passing through new hands – on to yours.
54% ABV – Retail price around $150 per 750 ml bottle
- COLOR – Rich amber with burgundy highlights
- NOSE – Sweet vanilla and caramel paired with hints of rich oak
- PALATE – Oak and char married with stone fruits
- FINISH – Smooth with lingering notes of vanilla and brown sweets
COLONEL JAMES B. BEAM KENTUCKY STRAIGHT BOURBON WHISKEY
The repeal of Prohibition ushered in a new age of opportunity and Colonel James B. Beam was quick to seize the moment. Setting out to rebuild what had been lost and build upon it further. It took just 120 days for Colonel James B. Beam, also known as Jim Beam, to get Clermont Distillery up and running again – proof that quality is not necessarily a function of time. In honor of the Colonel’s legacy, Colonel James B. Beam was crafted.
The limited-edition, two-year-old whiskey achieves a depth of flavor usually reserved for more mature bourbons by taking it off the still at a lower distillation proof, imparting more flavor from the fermentation process and letting the barrel’s characteristics shine through at a younger age. In making this whiskey, Freddie Noe was inspired by the style of bourbon the Colonel was making on day 121: low distillation proof for a fuller flavor, guaranteeing the rich complexity of the young whiskey stays intact.
54% ABV – Retail price around $80 per 750 ml bottle
- COLOR – Amber gold
- NOSE – Robust vanilla and caramel notes
- PALATE – Deep and complex flavors of vanilla, nuts, and oak
- FINISH – Long and full finish
Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...