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The Big Man of Jim Beam: Booker Noe And the Number-One Bourbon In the World



The Big Man of Jim Beam: Booker Noe And the Number-One Bourbon In the World

Jim Kokoris

ISBN: 978-1-119-32000-5 August 2016 240 Pages


Lessons on product, quality, innovation, and longevity from the "First Family of Bourbon"

The Big Man of Jim Beam delves into the life and times of legendary distiller F. Booker Noe III, grandson of Jim Beam and father of the bourbon boom. A true American original who left his mark on everything he did and everyone he met, this charismatic, opinionated man turned the Jim Beam company into the world's largest bourbon distillery and secured his product's place in the cultural psyche. This book tells his story, from growing up in the "First Family of Bourbon" to becoming master distiller, offering insights and guidance for creating brands and products that stand the test of time. His commitment to innovation and quality earned him legendary status and tremendous business growth; the discussion keys in on some of his most prized creations, including one of the first super-premium bourbons on the market, and the small batch collection that laid the groundwork for bourbon's modern resurgence.

Jim Beam is a distinctly American brand that has tapped into the collective consciousness and leveraged vision into growth. This book tells the story of the man behind the brand, and his approach to his work, his product, his company, and his people.

  • Read colorful stories about growing up as "bourbon royalty"
  • Trace Booker's journey from apprentice to world's largest bourbon distiller
  • Learn how innovation and a commitment to quality delivers product longevity
  • Gain deep, personal insight on creating a brand that becomes a legend

Booker was the sixth generation of the Beam family to make bourbon, and he grew an empire. Driven by commitment, vision, and a singular sort of ambition, his success offers many lessons to anyone in business. The Big Man of Jim Beam tells the story, and digs out the wisdom and insight from this legendary leader.

Foreword vii

Prologue: Booker Noe: The Big Man of Bourbon ix

CHAPTER 1 Boyhood 1

CHAPTER 2 College Ain’t for Everyone 17

CHAPTER 3 Fork in the Road 25

CHAPTER 4 Starting Out 35

CHAPTER 5 The Student 47

CHAPTER 6 Sweet Home Boston 53

CHAPTER 7 Proving Himself 59

CHAPTER 8 Dark Clouds on the Horizon 73

CHAPTER 9 The Party’s Just Getting Started 81

CHAPTER 10 The Shutdown Years 93

CHAPTER 11 Mules on the Fifth Floor 103

CHAPTER 12 Santa Claus Is Coming to Town 115

CHAPTER 13 Booker’s Bourbon 123

CHAPTER 14 Mr. Ambassador 129

CHAPTER 15 Emeritus Man 137

CHAPTER 16 The Road Years 145

CHAPTER 17 Traits and Attributes 159

CHAPTER 18 Sunset 167

Epilogue 179

Author’s Note and Acknowledgments 181

Jim Bean’s Current Bourbon Lineup 183

Favorite Booker Quotes 184

Bourbon Glossary 185

Favorite Food and Cocktail Recipes 189

Cocktails 190

Appetizers 199

Sides 202

Entrées 204

Desserts 217

Index 223