American Still Life: The Jim Beam Story and the Making of the World's #1 Bourbon

( 3 )

Overview

The untold story of the world's premier bourbon and the family that made it #1

American Still Life tells the intertwined true stories of America's favorite whiskey and the family dynasty that produces it to this very day. Jim Beam is the world's top-selling bourbon whiskey, with sales of over five million cases per year. Not a day has passed in the 207 years of Jim Beam's existence when a Beam family member has not been master distiller. Dedicated to quality, and dedicated to ...

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Overview

The untold story of the world's premier bourbon and the family that made it #1

American Still Life tells the intertwined true stories of America's favorite whiskey and the family dynasty that produces it to this very day. Jim Beam is the world's top-selling bourbon whiskey, with sales of over five million cases per year. Not a day has passed in the 207 years of Jim Beam's existence when a Beam family member has not been master distiller. Dedicated to quality, and dedicated to the family legacy, the Beams have shepherded their particularly American spirit to the top of their industry. And they've done it in an industry beset by challenges, from government regulation and prohibition, to changing consumer tastes, to fierce new global competition. By creating a brand of unparalleled quality and consistency, and by tying the success of their product with the good name of the family, the Beams have established a lasting legacy as perhaps one of the greatest family business dynasties in American history. Not just a simple history of "America's native spirit" (so named by an act of Congress in 1964) or a simple family history, American Still Life is a story of business success based on quality and attention to detail, constant innovation, revolutionary branding and advertising, and adaptation to the business environment.

F. Paul Pacult (Walkill, NY) is recognized the world over as his generation's most accomplished and respected authority on beverage alcohol. He has written for many magazines, including Playboy, Wine and Spirits, Connoisseur, Whisky, Drink, Men's Journal, Cheers, Country Inns, Travel and Leisure, Bon Appetit, Decanter, and Food and Wine. Among his many accomplishments, he has hosted and coproduced two syndicated talk-radio programs and served as the primary expert on whiskey, beer, and wine for the History Channel documentary America Drinks: History in a Glass.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
How does a sour mash corn whiskey brand go from being a Kentucky family's "adjunct farming activity" to founding a corporation that ships over five million cases worldwide each year? Pacult (Kindred Spirits: The Spirit Journal Guide to the World's Distilled Spirits and Fortified Wines) extensively researched the story of the Beam family, which is just as much a 19th-and 20th-century American history. The young country's struggles with slavery, Prohibition and war, its sociopolitical maturation and its shift from the agricultural to an industrial economy all come into play. A prolific spirits writer, Pacult has an expert's grasp on the topic, which carries the book through its slow periods. Upstanding citizens to a man, the Beams don't always make for scintillating reading - no scoundrels, no scandals - and only Jim Beam's grandson Booker Noe, the refreshingly blunt, six-foot-four, 360-pound former master distiller, emerges as a character with any color. Trying to keep all the Beams straight might make readers feel like they've just downed a few shots of the bourbon itself. Most interesting is Pacult's examination of American popular culture and its effect on the bourbon business: how bourbon became declassified in the 1970s, the venerable spirit losing out to sexy newcomer vodka (and its inadvertent pitchman, James Bond), and how scotch whiskey's rising popularity in the 1980s fueled the production of bourbon's answer to the single-malt, the small-batch bourbon. The book could use a few more colorful details, however, such as the bit about temperance activist Carry Nation and her ax attacks on taverns. (Aug.) (Publishers Weekly, June 16, 2003)

"...It's a fascinating glimpse of American political history..." (Drinks International, December 2003)

Publishers Weekly
How does a sour mash corn whiskey brand go frombeing a Kentucky family's "adjunct farming activity" to founding a corporation that ships over five million cases worldwide each year? Pacult (Kindred Spirits: The Spirit Journal Guide to the World's Distilled Spirits and Fortified Wines) extensively researched the story of the Beam family, which is just as much a 19th- and 20th-century American history. The young country's struggles with slavery, Prohibition and war, its sociopolitical maturation and its shift from an agricultural to an industrial economy all come into play. A prolific spirits writer, Pacult has an expert's grasp on the topic, which carries the book through its slow periods. Upstanding citizens to a man, the Beams don't always make for scintillating reading-no scoundrels, no scandals-and only Jim Beam's grandson Booker Noe, the refreshingly blunt, six-foot-four, 360-pound former master distiller, emerges as a character with any color. Trying to keep all the Beams straight might make readers feel like they've just downed a few shots of the bourbon itself. Most interesting is Pacult's examination of American popular culture and its effect on the bourbon business: how bourbon became d class in the 1970s, the venerable spirit losing out to sexy newcomer vodka (and its inadvertent pitchman, James Bond), and how scotch whisky's rising popularity in the 1980s fueled the production of bourbon's answer to the single-malt, the small-batch bourbon. The book could use a few more colorful details, however, such as the bit about temperance activist Carry Nation and her ax attacks on taverns. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471444077
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 8/15/2003
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 825,587
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Cited in April 2002 in the Shuttle Sheet as "the world’s greatest wine and spirits (and everything else with an alcoholic content) critic," F. PAUL PACULT is recognized the world over as the most accomplished and respected authority on beverage alcohol today. Pacult’s writing credits include the New York Times Magazine, Sky, Wine Enthusiast, Playboy, Whisky Magazine, Decanter, Wine & Spirits magazine, Men’s Journal, Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Connoisseur, Cheers, and Spirits & Cocktails Magazine. In 2001, Pacult was the recipient of the Award of Excellence from the Academy of Wine Communication.

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Table of Contents

Foreword.

Preface.

Acknowledgments.

PART ONE: THE FOUNDATIONS.

1. Jacob Beam and Surviving in a Harsh Land.

2. David Beam and Pre-Civil War Kentucky.

3. David M. Beam and the Debris of War.

PART TWO: THE DYNASTY.

4. Jim Beam and the Making of a Bourbon Whiskey Brand.

5. T. Jeremiah and Carl Beam: Jim Beam Bourbon Steps onto the World Stage.

6. Booker Noe: Big Man, Small Batch.

7. Other Beams: Behind Every Good Bourbon Whiskey.

8. Finding a Crown for the Jewel.

Appendix A: Tasting Notes on Jim Beam Bourbons.

Appendix B: The Jim Beam Bourbon Timeline.

Bibliography.

Index.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2003

    'Still writing'

    Not exactly the fast paced, action packed thriller I was hoping for... Finally picks up speed in the last two chapters only to end abruptly. Almost as if seven generations of Beams lived uninteresting lives. If I were mister Pacult I would give it two stars 'indicat[ing] average, acceptable quality but not quite good enough to warrant a recommendation.' Cheers

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2014

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