It’s that time again: I am allowed to present a whisky barrel that we all don’t know yet.

The Jim Beam Rye select barrel!

Why is this barrel now different from the bourbon barrels that our portfolio already offers?

The "forefather" of the Jim Beam brand

When I started my research, I came across the name Jakob Böhm relatively quickly. Never heard of him? Neither have I – but he is the “forefather” of today’s Jim Beam brand.

In 1752, at the tender age of 8 years, he emigrated with his parents from Germany to North America, where he would later write history.

When he was 18 years old, he moved from Pennsylvania to Maryland and took up the profession that today would probably be best described as farming. Legend has it that he made his first whiskey from surplus grain in 1788. In 1790 he moved to Kentucky where he started a mill where he received part of the harvest as a wage from the other farmers. From this surplus grain he produced his whiskey and sold his first barrel in 1795.

As it had to happen, Böhm became Beam – a brand was born.

And so the story took its course, Böhm, his children and grandchildren continued to build up the brand; it has survived to this day. Only one thing could stop this success: prohibition. From 1920 to 1933, no alcohol was allowed to be sold in the USA. Also, or perhaps because of the ban on alcohol, today, 100 years later, everyone is talking about a whisky that refers to this time: the Jim Beam Rye – Pre Prohibition Style! As the name suggests, this whisky is made according to a recipe that is over 100 years old. And just like over 100 years ago, it was stored in 190 l American oak casks.

Now let's come to my initial question: Why is this cask now different from the bourbon casks that our portfolio already has to offer?

First there is the recipe: while an American bourbon is made from at least 51% corn in the mash, the rye is made from at least 51% rye. The rest is a mixture of different types of grain (e.g. wheat, oats, corn). Bourbon and rye do not take anything away from the storage period – as a rule, this is 3 years. Before the prohibition, rye whiskey was mainly drunk in the USA, the mild brother bourbon only became popular later. And yet there are signs that the rougher variety is on the rise again.

Then - and this is the decisive criterion:

The sensor technology:


The spice so characteristic of rye is already omnipresent in the aroma. Light notes of nutmeg, cloves and freshly ground pepper appear. The whiskey seems rather piquant, but not too spicy. This is due to a fruity note of maraschino and a hint of soft caramel sweetness.


The Rye Whiskey from Jim Beam tastes of spices, vanilla and caramel and offers an irresistible balance of spicy and sweet notes. A fiery warmth contrasts with the charming softness of the spirit.


Rye and pepper slowly turn to cherry, with a great finish that is not too spicy. A hint of sweetness and citrus fruit is also noticeable.

So if you are curious about something new and would like to finish your beer or distillate in an exceptional cask, now is your chance: We just got these casks fresh from Kentucky!

See you,

Angela Pfahler