Jim Beam, the James B. Beam Distilling Co. for those more into proper titles, has unveiled its first American Single Malt Whiskey, Clermont Steep. Developed by 8th Generation Master Distiller Freddie Noe,, this venture into an emerging category explores the full potential of a single grain, American Malted Barley.
While the American Single Malt category is still defining an exact definition, Noe took it upon himself to develop his own guidelines, making intentional production choices to celebrate the flavor of this single grain at every step of development. Clermont Steep is a five-year-old liquid distilled and aged in Clermont, Kentucky, and matured in bespoke barrels to deliver warm toffee sweetness on the palate without overshadowing the delicious, bready taste of American barley.
“As a new venture, crafting Clermont Steep has been one of the toughest challenges I have ever faced in the distillery, and I am incredibly proud of where we’ve landed,” said Noe. “This American Single Malt Whiskey is smooth, sweet and incredibly balanced, and it deserves a spot on any whiskey lover’s bar cart, right alongside their bourbons and ryes.”
Similar to the concept of terroir in wine, this whiskey speaks of Clermont, Kentucky–the location of the James B. Beam Distilling Co. Noe and his team hand-selected the American malted barley for the mash and used Beam family jug yeast in the fermentation process. It’s the same yeast that is used in all Beam products, adding a sense of familiarity to the end result. The single malt was then distilled on a column still and aged for five years in barrels that were toasted, then quickly charred to a char level 1.
“I’m always looking toward the future of American Whiskey, and the boundless runway in this category intrigued me,” said Noe. “We don’t just want to participate in American Single Malt Whiskey; we want to help define it for the future of the category.”
The foray into an American Single Malt Whiskey is proof of the innovation possible within the Fred B. Noe Distillery under Freddie Noe’s guidance. The Fred B. Noe Distillery was named after 7th Generation Master Distiller Fred Noe and serves as the home to legacy small batch brands, such as Booker’s Bourbon, as well as new-to-world whiskies, including Little Book Whiskey, Hardin’s Creek Bourbon and, in the future, Clermont Steep.
Clermont Steep will be available in select states across the US, in-store and on ReserveBar, beginning June 2023. For more information, head over to the brand’s official website.