Five Jim Beam Alternatives for the Patriotic Bourbon Drinker

what a sad thought that two american family run institutions are sold to the highest bidder


On Monday, Suntory Holdings Ltd., a privately-owned Japanese company that produced the country’s first whiskey (and was introduced to many Americans through Bill Murray’s ads in the movie “Lost in Translation”), reached a $13.6 billion dollar deal to acquire Beam Inc., which makes Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark, two of the world’s most prominent bourbons. The acquisition—which will make Suntory the third-largest spirits-maker in the world—may come as a shock to American drinkers, but does little to diminish bourbon’s status as the national spirit of the U.S.

Though bourbon has long been associated with the bluegrass fields and limestone caves of Kentucky, the companies that make it aren’t always based there. Though Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark and the company’s other American whiskies are distilled in Kentucky, Beam Inc. is headquartered in Deerfield, Ill., outside of Chicago. If the Suntory deal takes the patriotic flavor out of Beam whiskies for you…

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