If you’re a whiskey lover, you’re probably wanting an updated Jim Beam price guide! Whiskey recipes likely predate any timeline we know. However, the 1700s were the very beginning of the bourbon boom.
The Scotch, Irish, and German settlers were crafting secret family rye whiskey recipes during the late 1700s. Jacob Beam was one of them. By the 1800s, the US government started offering farmers incentives to move west.
The Westward expansion was an economic move to help expand the reach of trade lines, trains, and products. The map had to get made somehow. Jacob Beam, like many others, was using his dad’s whiskey recipe to make spirits, but he also grew his own corn.
Can you see where I’m heading with this? He accepted the incentive, built the Jim Beam foundation, started selling barrels, and there ya have it, folks.
Jacob used the corn he grew; not only did that save him money, but he created a sweeter version of whiskey bourbon anyone had currently made. That’s one of the reasons Jim Beam is a core choice at many bars. It’s flavorful and consistent.
It’s an excellent sipping bourbon, and it mixes well for cocktails.
A Brief History of Jim Beam Bourbon
The “Jim Beam” brand didn’t get where it is today without some bumps in the road. According to the history on the Jim Beam website, it took seven generations, over 200 years, and many challenges to reach one goal; to create the best bourbon on the planet.
In 2021, Jim Beam ranked 4th place on the top 100 bourbon list; I’d say mission accomplished. The first barrel of Old Jake Beam Sour Mash was sold in 1795, only three years after Kentucky became a state. It’s been said that Jacob’s bourbon became a local favorite quickly.
That’s no small feat either, seeing as, by the early 1800s, Kentucky was the home of around 2-thousand distillers. Take a stroll down the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, and I’m sure you’ll find a few other popular bourbon names you recognize.
Here we are in 2022, and Jim Beam’s varieties have expanded. You can find flavored Jim Beam bourbon, classic Jim Beam, refined specialty bottles, and even highballs.
How It’s Made
All whiskey bourbon distillers use a standard process or method to craft their spirits. However, mash recipes will vary, and secret techniques used to make bourbon set them apart from the rest.
Jim Beam’s “mash bill” is a blend of corn (at least 51%), malted barley, and rye. The mash mix is fed into a 10-thousand-gallon cooker. Some “set back” or a portion of the old mash from the previous batch is added to the mix to ensure the consistency stays the same.
The result is “sour mash.” The next ingredient is cold, Kentucky water. They claim that over 95% of bourbon comes out of Kentucky because of the water. The limestone in the area acts as a natural filter to keep the water free of iron.
Iron turns the water black, changing the color of the bourbon, and it also leaves an undesirable, metallic taste behind. The sour mash is transferred to the fermenter, where the yeast is added.
After fermentation, the distillers are left with something they call “distiller’s beer” (it looks, tastes, and smells like beer). The distiller’s beer gets distilled twice to achieve the desired proof, less than 160 proof.
Here’s where the charred oak barrels come in. The bourbon will be aged in new, level-4 charred oak barrels. The minimum age for bourbon is two years. Jim Beam allows their 53-gallon barrels to age in the airy rickhouse twice as long.
The wood used to age the whiskey has a lot to do with the final flavor of the bourbon. Giving it extra time for the seasons to come and go.
As the weather changes, the barrels expand and contract, allowing the bourbon to seep in and absorb some of the flavors from the caramelized sugars brought out during the charring process. This is known as the “breathing process.”
Jim Beam’s deep copper-gold, Kentucky Straight bourbon has a toasted oak scent with a touch of caramel, candied apple, and cinnamon. Your pallet will notice some spice hits right away, but it’s immediately followed by the vanilla.
The middle of your mouth or “midpalate” gets a light-to-medium body with a blast of the flavor elements. I love when it hits the space between the midpalate and the throat. You should be getting an almond, dark chocolate, and an almost-cola bite.
That’s why Jim and Cola are famous. Finally, the finish; you’re going to experience a medium to short finish primarily of spice and oak!
Jim Beam Price Guide – Special Variations
Jim Beam currently boasts a Flavorful Side, High-Balls To-Go, Refined Members, and Limited Time Members. But let’s start with the classic.
|Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon||40%||80||$20|
|Jim Beam Peach||32.5%||75||$18-$23|
|Jim Beam Apple||35%||70||$18-$30|
|Jim Beam Honey||35%||70||$10-$24|
|Jim Beam Orange||35%||65||$18-$23|
|Red Stag by Jim Beam (Black Cherry)||35%||70||$7 and above|
|Jim Beam Kentucky Fire (Cinnamon)||35%||70||$10-$18|
|Jim Beam Vanilla Bourbon Whiskey||35%||70||$18-$30|
|Jim Beam Classic Highball Cocktails||40%||2.5||$10-$13|
|Jim Beam® & Ginger Ale||5%||2.5||$3-$12|
|Jim Beam Rye, Pre-Prohibition||40%||80||$15-$150|
|Jim Beam Black||43%||86||$32-$35|
|Jim Beam Devil’s Cut||45%||90||$14-$78|
|Jim Beam Single Barrel||40%||108||$25-$40|
|Jim Beam Double Oak||43%||86||$25-$35|
|Jim Beam Repeal Batch||43%||86||$17-$23|
Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon
The Original Jim Beam Kentucky Straight bourbon whiskey is a favorite classic. It’s 80 proof, so it shouldn’t knock your socks off.
Fun Fact: The brand name, Jim Beam, became what it was in 1943, in honor of James B. Beam, the man responsible for rebuilding business after the prohibition. It took seven long years to reach that point.
The Flavorful Side
Flavored liquors line many liquor store shelves, for good reasons. One of them is that they’re delicious, and another is that the options are versatile when making mixed drinks or cocktails. Oh, the delicious concoctions to be had. The mixed drinks and cocktails using Jim Beam’s Flavorful Side list are extensive and ever-changing. You’re going to pay about the same price for a fifth of a flavored Jim Beam bourbon as you would the Kentucky Straight.
Jim Beam Highballs To-Go
In the spring of 2021, Jim Beam launched two ready-to-drink cocktails in a can.
Highball cocktails have been a classic cocktail for many years. However, this modern twist will have you sipping on the Classic Highball or the Jim Beam & Ginger Highball that’s perfectly proportioned by the pros.
The Classic Highball starts with a base of Jim Beam bourbon. Add to that some citrusy seltzer with bright orange and lemon flavors. The Jim Beam & Ginger Ale brings crisp ginger ale together with Straight bourbon whiskey.
The subtle hints of vanilla and oak add a surprising sweetness.
Ever wonder what Jim Beam bourbon was like pre-prohibition? Try their Jim Beam Rye, Pre-Prohibition style bourbon. You’ll be paying a bit more for these variations than the classic fifth.
Jim Beam Black: An extra-aged bourbon with a full-bodied flavor. The rich and flavor character profile produces light notes of warm oak and caramel, including cinnamon and vanilla.
Jim Beam Rye: This variety uses the Beam family’s oldest rye whiskey recipe to recreate a version founded in 1795.
Jim Beam Devil’s Cut: The Devil’s Cut is robust and bold. This 90-proof bourbon comes with the complexity of an extra-aged liquor. The bourbon that gets absorbed is extracted using a unique process to bring you everything the bourbon has to offer.
Jim Beam Single Barrel: The Single Barrel experience will be a bit different every time. That’s because no two barrels are the same. That means every barrel pours off a bit of a different flavor, finish, and spiciness. Every bottle is individually labeled and hand-numbered to indicate the batch its greatness came from!
Jim Beam Double Oak: You can experience a batch of bourbon that’s been aged for at least four years in charred American oak barrels. After four years, it’s poured off into fresh oak barrels until it reaches the desired taste. You get a rich caramel flavor with deep hints of spicy oak. It makes excellent cocktails and can be sipped over ice.
Limited Time Members
Alternative & Comparisons
Let’s say you’d really like to have a cocktail or mixed drink with a bourbon base, but you’re all out. Rum, cognac, and brandy are excellent alternatives that have worked well. As far as other brands, there are many.
|Eagle Rare||Eagle Rare bourbon isn’t as old as Jim Beam or Evan Williams, but it’s popular. Eagle Rare was launched back in 1975 as a part of the Four Roses Brand but eventually sold to the owner of the Buffalo Trace Distillery.||$15-$220|
|Evan Williams||Evan Williams has roots buried deep in the history of Kentucky Straight bourbon. Regarding variety and pricing, Williams and Beam are mostly neck and neck. I’d say they’re pretty even across the mark.||$9-$35|
|Wild Turkey||In 1855, Austin Nichols started selling his crafted drinks. Little did he know, his recipes and the brand it was to become would be on a top 30 list of best bourbons.||$15-$60|
|Booker’s||You have to be willing to be high-dollar for this premium top-shelf bourbon brand. Elegant and rare, Booker’s bourbon is only released in a few small batches each year; you’d be lucky to get your hands on one.||$50-$400|
How To Drink Jim Beam Bourbon
The Glass Is a Part of the Experience
The Glencairn Glass is the standard top choice for whiskey and bourbon sippers. Aroma plays an essential role in bourbon tasting, and the glass structure has a significant impact. One key element is a thick bottom with a wide rim. Bourbon needs room to breathe!
Bourbon connoisseurs assure us that the liquor is indeed delicious for sipping. That isn’t the only way to enjoy this spirit. Mix it, blend it in a cocktail; the sky’s the limit, and the flavors pair well with just about everything. Don’t believe us? Take a look for yourself.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Jim Beam gluten-free?
Yes, Jim Beam is gluten-free. Even though bourbon is made using wheat and other grains that contain gluten, the distillation process removes any gluten present.
2. Is Jim Beam vegan?
Jim Beam is entirely vegan. No animal or animal by-products are ingredients used to make this liquor.
3. Is Jim Beam better than Jack Daniels?
The answer depends on the person drinking the bourbon. Jim Beam is less sweet and spicier than Jack Daniels. Jack tends to have more intense vanilla flavor and sweetness than Jim. Jack also seems to have a longer-lasting finish.
4. Is Jim Beam a bourbon or whiskey?
OK, so here’s the deal; all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon! Whiskey is made by fermenting rye, corn, wheat, or barley. Bourbon is considered an American whiskey. The variety of whiskey varies depending on the area.
Still, the foundation for using a sour mash is present with each.
5. How do you drink Jim Beam?
You drink Jim Beam however you enjoy it best. Take a shot, sip it on the rocks, mix it with some cola; it’s up to you.