The second release of the Booker’s® Bourbon 2023 Collection is Booker’s Batch 2023-02 “Apprentice Batch.” This batch pays homage to the early days of my dad Booker Noe’s career – far before he was the Sixth Generation Master Distiller – when he first learned the art of making bourbon under the guidance of his cousin Carl Beam.
When Booker started working at the Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont in 1952, Carl became like a mentor to him. Back then, they didn’t have official titles like Master Distiller, but everyone knew Carl was in charge. He didn't put up with any foolishness and made sure Booker was set straight. But even if Booker did mess around sometimes, he was a fast learner and was ready to be put to work, and that quickly got him Carl’s approval.
Two years after Booker started, we purchased a distillery in Boston, KY to increase our production capabilities. Carl and Booker worked closely together to get it up and running, and eventually, Carl handed the reins over to Booker. This is where he was able to experiment and master the bourbon- making process, and later on, the location was renamed the Booker Noe Distillery.
Carl showed Booker the ropes at the distillery, but from there, his approach was sink or swim and it was just the push Booker needed. His apprenticeship under Carl helped him become the Master Distiller and legendary innovator we all remember him as today.
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