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Jim Beam fills 15 millionth Bourbon barrel

Kentucky Bourbon brand Jim Beam has filled one million barrels in less than two years and has now filled 15m barrels since the end of Prohibition.

Jim Beam 15 millionth barrel
Jim Beam master distiller Fred Noe (right) and his son Freddie Noe (left) filled the 15 millionths barrel of Jim Beam Bourbon

The milestone barrel was filled by seventh generation Jim Beam master distiller Fred Noe and his son Freddie Noe at the brand’s flagship distillery in Clermont, Kentucky.

“Fifteen million is a big number, but we’re a big Bourbon,” said the master distiller.

“When Jim Beam, my great grandfather, filled his first barrel of whiskey at our Clermont distillery after Prohibition, I doubt he would have predicted that one day we would be a brand known and enjoyed the world over.”

The 15 millionth barrel is a first for Kentucky distilleries, and comes less than two years after the Beam Suntory-owned Bourbon brand celebrated the filling of its 14 millionth barrel – the shortest period of time it has taken the brand to fill 1m barrels.

The growing momentum at the Bourbon producer has been attributed to continued strong sales spurred by rising global demand across the US, Europe and Southeast Asia.

“We’re reaching these milestones faster and faster,” said Craig Christenson, vice president of global marketing at Jim Beam. “From Russia and Germany to Japan and China, not to mention the United States where Jim Beam is gaining substantial market share, Bourbon has become the spirit of choice around the world and we’re happy to oblige them by making more. We’re the first to reach 15m and we’re not slowing down.”

The 15 millionth barrel has been signed by employees at the company’s Clermont, Boston and Frankfort plants, and will join the nearly 2.3m barrels of Bourbon currently ageing in Jim Beam’s rackhouses across Kentucky.

The brand’s owner, Beam Suntory, posted mid-single-digit growth in 2017, which it said was driven by market share gains in the US and Japan.

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