Imagine talking with the man of whiskey himself…Jim Beam…namely Frederick Booker Noe III, the seventh in a continuous succession of generations distilling Jim Beam Bourbon since 1795 in Clermont Kentucky. Jim Beam Straight Up takes you to the bar, slaps you with a few whiskey shots, and sits you down for Noe’s humbly mesmerizing life story.
Noe’s calm and down to earth narrative ensures authenticity while taking you on some wild adventures infused with Jim Beam wisdom. Milestones like walking the Beam distillery floor for the first time at age 7, serving as road manager for Hank Williams Jr. after college, and finally getting serious about learning the business give you a sense of the many challenges involved with successfully carrying on a family enterprise…especially one as popular as Jim Beam whiskey.
This small book is a remarkably multi-faceted read that all at once showcases the making of a man from a care free partying youth to a man who began learning the business on the plant floor working his way to master distiller and globe trotting brand ambassador. On another level, it’s a study in the evolution of American whiskey culture. And sprinkled throughout are Noe’s personal philosophies like how to never suffer a whiskey hang over again, advice on How to Build a Company That Lasts, and Cooking With Bourbon recipes.
Photo courtesy of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.