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Jim Beam Selling to Suntory

We’ve noted many times that bourbon is in demand.  Here’s $13.6 billion proof.  Suntory Holdings Limited of Osaka, Japan has offered that sum of money to Jim Beam Inc., the maker Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark and Knob Creek American whiskeys. The deal includes other major Beam brands such as Courvoisier cognac, Canadian Club whiskey and Sauza tequila.  Suntory is the family owned maker of Japanese whiskeys.  The two companies have had a long relationship distributing each other’s products.


Bourbon is quintessentially American.  One of its icons, Jim Beam, dates back to 1795 when Jacob Beam sold his first barrel.  Seven generations and 30 family master distillers later, Jim Beam was recreated by James Beam at the end of Prohibition in 1933.


What does it mean to the American consumer?  Not much – unless you own Jim Beam stock in which case a celebration would be appropriate.  The current Jim Beam management team will stay in charge and while we wish them much success, we hope they don’t sell so much of our favorite bourbons overseas that we run out of product here in the US.