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View Full Version : School me on Jim Beam's operations!



ethangsmith
10-02-2010, 14:59
How vast is Jim Beam's distilling, warehousing, and bottling operations? What are their locations and what does each location distill, age, and bottle? I'm a huge fan of Old Grand Dad, which I would assume comes from the OGD plant, but where do the other products come from?

barturtle
10-03-2010, 09:27
IIRC, the Old Grand Dad plant is now just bottling and storage, with no distilling going on. The two distilling plants are Boston, KY and Clermont, KY (plus Lorreto,KY if you wanna count Maker's Mark)

Josh
10-03-2010, 12:21
And II also RC, Clermont (only about 20 miles from Bardstown) is where most of the better expressions are produced, including the OGDs, The Small Batch Collection, Black and Distiller's Series. White Label and Old Crow are made at the Boston plant.

The first distillery on that site was the Murphy Barber & Co distillery, founded in 1880, which was purchased by the S. Grabfelder Co. of Louisville. Jim and Jere Beam bought the site during prohibition (allegedly for a rock quarry), tore down most of the buildings. They rebuilt and got things rolling again in 1934 and the rest is history. All according to Sam Cecil's book, p 55.

ethangsmith
10-03-2010, 13:04
Interesting. I would be interested to know which labels come out of which plants and compare their flavors. I'm wondering if there is a way to tell which distilling location they came from.

cowdery
10-03-2010, 15:27
Interesting. I would be interested to know which labels come out of which plants and compare their flavors. I'm wondering if there is a way to tell which distilling location they came from.

The previous posters answered your questions but let me see if I can be more clear. Beam has three working distilleries in Kentucky and serveral other facilities. Here's what they do.

Clermont. The most complete facility as it has distillation, maturation, bottling and tourism. All of the brands are made here except Maker's Mark.

Booker Noe (Boston). Distillation and maturation only. Can make any of the whiskeys but primarily makes Jim Beam white.

Frankfort. Formerly Old Grand-Dad. Maturation and bottling only.

Maker's Mark. Like Clermont it has distillation, maturation, bottling and tourism but strictly for the Maker's Mark brand.

Miscellaneous Maturation. Beam operates several maturation facilities on the sites of defunct distilleries.

Based on that line-up, there really is no way to "know which labels come out of which plants and compare their flavors." It is very likely that a given batch of Beam white label, for example, will contain whiskey from both Clermont and Boston. As Josh noted, the whiskey set aside for Booker's, Knob, etc. is typically distilled and aged at Clermont. Likewise OGD/BH and the ryes are generally made at Clermont although they can be made at Boston.

ethangsmith
10-03-2010, 16:05
That does clarify it. Thank you. I, for some reason, was under the assumption that the old OGD plant was still distilling. Not sure why. It always seemed like a complex operation and that helps simplify it. Are there other distilleries that have separate bottling or aging locations? I know HH has Bernheim for distilling and Bardstown for aging and bottling. Are there others?

callmeox
10-03-2010, 16:15
Four Roses distills in Lawrenceburg and ages/bottles in Coxs Creek. They use tankers to transfer the newmake spirit.

Wild Turkey has been distilling and aging in Lawrenceburg and they bottle out of state (Ft. Smith, Arkansas) due to a contract with their former owner Pernod Ricard. I believe that they plan on eventually moving their bottling operation back to Kentucky.

barturtle
10-03-2010, 17:27
Sazerac now owns two operating distilleries: Buffalo Trace (Frankfort) and Tom Moore (Bardstown) as well as bottling and aging facilities in Owensboro (formerly Glenmore)

Josh
10-03-2010, 18:34
There are loads of defunct distilleries all over Kentucky. Chances are, if a closed distillery has warehouses still standing (e.g. T.W. Samuels, Stitzel-Weller), somebody is using those warehouses for aging.

jburlowski
10-05-2010, 15:30
Sazerac now owns two operating distilleries: Buffalo Trace (Frankfort) and Tom Moore (Bardstown) as well as bottling and aging facilities in Owensboro (formerly Glenmore)

What about A. Smith Bowman?

cowdery
10-06-2010, 12:47
What about A. Smith Bowman?

Yes, they still own Virginia's A. Smith Bowman, which you technically would have to call a rectification, maturation and bottling facility since they don't distill anything from scratch.

jburlowski
10-07-2010, 15:37
Yes, they still own Virginia's A. Smith Bowman, which you technically would have to call a rectification, maturation and bottling facility since they don't distill anything from scratch.

I thought they did the second distillation there... or does that fall under rectification?

cowdery
10-07-2010, 15:47
I thought they did the second distillation there... or does that fall under rectification?

Re-distillation is considered rectification. What ASB does is actually a third distillation.

SMOWK
10-08-2010, 09:03
What ASB does is actually a third distillation.

They also use a copper pot still, correct? I always thought the Fox had an Irish Whisky quality to it.

cowdery
10-08-2010, 09:26
They also use a copper pot still, correct? I always thought the Fox had an Irish Whisky quality to it.

The pictures I've seen are of what I call a hybrid still. It is a pot on the bottom, so it is a batch still, but instead of an alembic it is topped with a rectification column, giving it some characteristics of a column still too.

Most micro-distilleries that claim to use pot stills are actually using these hybrids.