he first release of the Booker’s® Bourbon 2021 Collection is Booker’s Batch 2021-01 ‘Donohoe’s Batch.’ This batch is named in honor of retired Jim Beam employee Mike Donohoe who was also a close friend to my dad, Booker Noe. Without Mike, Booker’s Bourbon wouldn’t exist today.
In 1982, Mike joined the Jim Beam Company as a sales manager in Chicago – a ‘suit’ as Dad would say – after retiring from a seven-year career in the NFL. Mike first met Dad on a company trip to Kentucky. After taking a liking to Mike, Dad invited him to his office for a glass of bourbon. It was unlike any Jim Beam Bourbon he had tasted before. Booker let Mike in on his secret – he’d been playing with something different, and he’d share a bit of it with friends from time to time.
A few years later, Mike approached Booker with the idea to give bottles of his special stash as holiday gifts to their most important distributors and industry partners. With little time and almost no budget, Booker sourced wine bottles from a warehouse in Bardstown and wrote the labels himself to get the job done. Based on the hundreds of letters they received raving about that uncut, unfiltered whiskey, it’s safe to say the rest is Booker’s Bourbon history.
Dad always had the final say when it came to his Booker’s, but he trusted Mike to help him build it into the brand that it is today. ‘Mike gets it,’ he used to say. Now, I’m proud to honor Mike with a batch of his own.”
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