The Amazing Booker Noe

The Amazing Booker Noe

  I can’t stress this enough.  Booker Noe was an incredible man. The titans that paved the way for the modern bourbon age that we find ourselves in were not CEOs or marketing strategists.  They were country boys with a love for bourbon.  Before Prohibition, wealthy tycoons like Colonel Blanton, Colonel E.H.Taylor, Isaac Wolfe Bernheim and Samuel Bronfman led the way.  After the bourbon collapse of the brown spirits market in the 60’s and 70’s, it was largely the perseverance of a few (now legendary) Kentucky distillers that brought bourbon back.  Booker Noe was one of those men. Frederick Booker Noe II was the grandson of the famous Jim Beam.  He was born in 1929 and was the son of Jim Beam’s daughter, Margaret Noe.  Booker began helping at the distillery as...

Jim Beam’s “Small Batch” Collection

Jim Beam’s “Small Batch” Collection

Jim Beam is one of the most famous names in the American whiskey world. The historic roots of the Beam family cover over 200 years in bourbon making, but the Jim Beam brand name actually dates back to 1933 when James Beauregard Beam (Jim Beam) built the family’s Clermont distillery (after Prohibition) near Bardstown. Jim Beam, the great-grandson of the patriarch of the Beam family, Jacob Boehm, was responsible for keeping the Beam’s bourbon legacy alive after Prohibition ended. A second, larger distillery was later built about 9-10 miles away in Boston, KY in 1953. Jim Beam’s grandson, Booker Noe Jr., was responsible for launching Jim Beam’s small batch collection. Blanton’s (created by Elmer T. Lee in 1984 at the George T.Stagg Distillery) had created the first...

Angel’s Share Effect

How does the angel’s share affect my whiskey? A lot of different things affect the flavors in whiskey, not least of which is the addition of water or loss of ethanol from the barrel. The “angel’s share” is the loss of alcohol from evaporation during the aging process. Depending on where and how a whiskey is aged will determine how much is lost. (or how much water is gained) Barrels “breathe”. They are watertight, but molecules of water and ethanol will move in and out. If the microclimate within the barrel changes due to external temperature or humidity changes, the pressure within the barrel will change as well. Anyone who owns a glass barometer knows that pressure affects liquids. The change in the microclimate pushes water and alcohol into or out of the wood....