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Suntory buys Beam

My grandpa will be turning over in his grave. Jim Beam will lose a lot of faithful customers. Legally they won't be able to call it bourbon anymore either.
 
Sunbeam???

My dad had a Sunbeam electric shaver. It was terrible. There was the Sunbeam Alpine sportscar. Better than the shaver.

Biggest surprise for me on this M&A is that Jim Beam also owned Laphroaig.
 
I'm not entirely pleased that one of my favorite brands will now be foreign-owned either, but it will absolutely still be bourbon. Why would it not be?
Legally to be called a bourbon it must be corn whiskey distilled IN KENTUCKY, and be aged in unused charred oak barrels. This stuff will be distilled in Japan of god knows what probably sugar, and stored in some strange wood barrels (they don't have many oak trees over there.) I see the quality dropping off significantly.
 
Legally to be called a bourbon it must be corn whiskey distilled IN KENTUCKY, and be aged in unused charred oak barrels. This stuff will be distilled in Japan of god knows what probably sugar, and stored in some strange wood barrels (they don't have many oak trees over there.) I see the quality dropping off significantly.

I see nothing in the article that indicates any plans to relocate the production facilities.
 
Legally to be called a bourbon it must be corn whiskey distilled IN KENTUCKY, and be aged in unused charred oak barrels. This stuff will be distilled in Japan of god knows what probably sugar, and stored in some strange wood barrels (they don't have many oak trees over there.) I see the quality dropping off significantly.

First of all, you are incorrect. There is absolutely nothing ANYWHERE that says bourbon has to come from Kentucky, period. There are many bourbons that are distilled in other states, and they are quite good.

Second of all, they bought the company and the brands associated with it. Why in the name of anything would you assume that meant they are moving production to Japan? That doesn't even begin to make any sense. THEN they couldn't legally call it bourbon, as the only geographic restriction on bourbon is that it has to be distilled in the United States.

Are they also going to produce scotch in Japan?

Do you consider Wild Turkey a bourbon?
 
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Legally to be called a bourbon it must be corn whiskey distilled IN KENTUCKY, and be aged in unused charred oak barrels. This stuff will be distilled in Japan of god knows what probably sugar, and stored in some strange wood barrels (they don't have many oak trees over there.) I see the quality dropping off significantly.

Every so often this comes up...here's the LAW-

The Laws of Bourbon

To legally be a bourbon, at least 51% of the grain used to make it must be corn. No less. Further, the whiskey cannot be distilled at a proof higher than 160, and when put into the barrels for aging, it cannot be higher than 125 proof. The aging must take place in fire-charred oak barrels that have not yet held any spririts. If the whiskey is distilled and aged in this way, it can be called straight bourbon. Finally, nothing can be added during the bottling other than water, making bourbon a very "natural" drink.
 
These deals in the spirits industry are more about economies of scale in logistics, distribution and marketing than they are about moving bourbon manufacturing from Kentucky to Japan. They bought some good brands. They're smart. They probably won't mess with those brands except in how and where they sell 'em. Messing with how they make 'em would be senseless and counterproductive. So, I'll +1 what Steve says.

Of course, if they can drop the price on Laproaig, I will not complain.
 
Legally to be called a bourbon it must be corn whiskey distilled IN KENTUCKY, and be aged in unused charred oak barrels. This stuff will be distilled in Japan of god knows what probably sugar, and stored in some strange wood barrels (they don't have many oak trees over there.) I see the quality dropping off significantly.

No, Bourbon has to be distilled in the USA, but not Kentucky. To be Kentucky Straight Bourbon it has to be distilled in Kentucky, but that's it. And I seriously doubt that anyone will move JB to Japan. If they do, they'll have to change the name. Now, Suntory could use the JB name in Japan and make a Jim Beam Japanese Whiskey, but it would be a completely different product.
 
"No, Bourbon has to be distilled in the USA, but not Kentucky"

Close, but only "Bourbon" intended for for US consumption must be distilled in America to be legally called bourbon. Suntory can produce a beverage and market it as bourbon anywhere they want, but it will not be allowed to be called "bourbon" in the US unless it was made here (and meets the other required criteria).

Ironically, Jack Daniel's and George Dickel both are "bourbon" under ATF criteria but are marketed as Tennessee Whiskey.

Japanese "Bourbon"...sigh; the apocalypse is near.
 
First of all, you are incorrect. There is absolutely nothing ANYWHERE that says bourbon has to come from Kentucky, period. There are many bourbons that are distilled in other states, and they are quite good.

,... the only geographic restriction on bourbon is that it has to be distilled in the United States.


Sorry, but just for full facts and disclosure, this statement is also false. If the 51% corn, 160 d, 126 b, new fire charred barrel, and nothing added but water, requisites or met, there is no geographic restriction. There are bourbons being made around the world.

They, many Jim Beam brands, have made statements that nothing is changed except where their money comes from.

Rob Samuels, son of Bill Samuels (Makers Mark), resounded this statement on his Facebook.

So no worries!
 
Sorry, but just for full facts and disclosure, this statement is also false. If the 51% corn, 160 d, 126 b, new fire charred barrel, and nothing added but water, requisites or met, there is no geographic restriction. There are bourbons being made around the world.
Depends on who signed what trade agreement. If you want to sell your product as Bourbon in USA, Canada or EU, it has to be US made. Other countries may vary.
If Jim Beam factories all went to Japan, Mali or Upper Volta they would not be able to call it bourbon here.

But you are correct, no worries!
 
"Sorry, but just for full facts and disclosure, this statement is also false. If the 51% corn, 160 d, 126 b, new fire charred barrel, and nothing added but water, requisites or met, there is no geographic restriction. There are bourbons being made around the world."

but Jim Beam begs to differ (well kind of) http://www.jimbeam.com/about-bourbon/bourbon-ingredients

Just like Early Times (NOT Early Times 354-that's a different product) cannot be called "bourbon" anymore since they began re-using barrels. Never did like Early Times anyway....
 
Sorry, but just for full facts and disclosure, this statement is also false. If the 51% corn, 160 d, 126 b, new fire charred barrel, and nothing added but water, requisites or met, there is no geographic restriction. There are bourbons being made around the world.

Show me a spirit that meets the bourbon guidelines, but is distilled outside of the U.S. and I will show you a spirit that cannot legally be called bourbon in this country. It absolutely has to be made here, that is indisputable.

The Federal Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits (27 C.F.R. 5) state that bourbon made for U.S. consumption[3] must be:produced in the United States;[4]
made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn;[4]
aged in new, charred-oak barrels;[4]
distilled to no more than 160 (U.S.) proof (80% alcohol by volume);[4]
entered into the barrel for aging at no more than 125 proof (62.5% alcohol by volume);[4] and be
bottled (like other whiskeys) at 80 proof or more (40% alcohol by volume).[5]
 
"Made for US Consumption"!!!

i am a bourbon advocate and I had a band that was sponsored by Jim Beam and spent much time with Freddie Noe, also spent much time with Heaven Hill and Four Roses reps. However much we, I included, want to deny it, bourbon is being made all over the world, but at least it can only be called Bourbon if made here in US. Can only be Kentucky Straight or Bonded if it is made in Kentucky.
 
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