gustoforrobusto (gustoforrobusto) wrote in cocktail_lounge,

An Inside Look at the Bourbon Barons of Kentucky: Frederick B. Noe III of Jim Beam

Appropriately enough, we begin our Bourbon Barons series with Frederick B. Noe III, seventh generation distiller of Jim Beam Brands Co. For many, Jim Beam was their introduction into the world of bourbon – from drinking it straight, to its mixibility in shots and cocktails. Many of us can recall in our young and formidable college years when Jim Beam served as a reliable standby to take our minds off the stresses of academia, and just the stresses of life in general. Simple, sweet, and palatable.

As we grow older and our tastes mature, Jim Beam Brands too grows with us offering a wide selection of bourbons. Going down their product line, the bourbon drinker can progress from Jim Beam, to Jim Beam Black, aged 8 years at 86 proof, to Jim Beam Choice, their only charcoal filtered Bourbon, to finally Jim Beam’s Small Batch Collection, boasting four of the finest and most sophisticated Bourbons on the market. I, for one, can say that Booker’s and Basil Hayden’s, both part of Jim Beam’s Small Batch Collection, are two of my absolute favorite Bourbons. If you are not yet privy, please, go out and do yourself the favor of partaking of either one of these fine, fine selections.

Currently at the reigns, and keeper of the family flame, sits Fred Noe, great grandson of the brand’s namesake, Jim Beam. He was instrumental in the creation of the Small Batch Collection in the 1990s, largely helping with promotion and selecting the batches ready for bottling. Since his father, Booker Noe’s retirement, Fred has taken over the much-venerated title Ambassador of The Small Batch Bourbon Collection. He has since gone on to become master distiller and, most recently in late 2007, was honored with the placement of his photo on the Jim Beam label alongside the six family distillers who have preceded him. With his exceptional knowledge and inheritated legacy, Fred continues to expand and reshape the brand, as well as Bourbon as a whole, into a well respected spirit the world wide.

Mr. Noe was kind enough to answer some questions we had sent him, as well as a few other well-respected Bourbon distillers, in hopes of better understanding these great men who produce great Bourbon:

Continue reading for the interview with Frederick B. Noe III of Jim Beam


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