Updated to include more information about the Jim Beam Signature Craft series.
Jim Beam unveiled a new premium product that will be released in August and followed by other brand extensions.
The Jim Beam Signature Craft 12-year-old comes at 86 proof, sells for $39.99 for a 750 ml and is the company’s oldest-in-age bourbon. Executives told me the new whiskey series is partly in response to the popular collections from other distilleries, including Buffalo Trace’s Experimental Collection, Heaven Hill’s Parker’s Heritage Collection and Woodford Reserve’s Master’s Collection. Beam innovation manager Don McGrew said the product opens doors to new limited editions.
The 12-year-old Kentucky Straight bourbon will be a mainstay to the series, officials said. Jim Beam will launch a second expression in September, but did not reveal the limited edition offering. One Internet rumor indicates it could be a brandy-cask finished product, but Beam has not substantiated that claim.
“We’ve been waiting to get that 12-year age statement,” Adam Graber, global innovation director for Beam, told me. “This has been in development for a long time.”
Since Jim Beam is keeping the August-release bourbon as a staple, the 12-year-old Straight Kentucky Bourbon will likely be the base juice for future barrel finishes.
I don’t care why they created it; I’m glad it’s here. The bright nose just opens right up, delivering caramel, praline and toasted oak, leading to a creamy mouth feel with spice and fruit. I found the long finish with a hint of cinnamon kick to be quite enjoyable. I expect the Jim Beam Signature Craft series to be a huge hit. The whiskey’s great, the packaging stands out and the market demands affordable premium whiskeys.