Is Jim Beam Whiskey or Bourbon? (2023 Updated)

Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Lydia Martin

Whiskey and bourbon are two of the most popular types of alcohol in the world. Some people say that Jim Beam is a bourbon, while others claim that it is a whiskey.

So, is Jim Beam whiskey or bourbon? The answer may surprise you, so read on. 

Jim Beam – Is It Bourbon or Whiskey? 

Jim Beam Bourbon

Jim Beam is both bourbon and whiskey. Bourbon is a type of whiskey; however, not all whiskeys are bourbons. There are different types of bourbon, but it must be made from at least 51% corn and aged in new oak barrels [1].

The recipe for Jim Beam includes at least 51% corn, rye, and barley, which are typically used to make bourbon whiskey.

Also, Jim Beam is aged for four years in charred oak barrels. The resulting bourbon whiskey is smooth and distinctive, with a robust flavor.

Read: Jim Beam & Wild Turkey Comparison

Brief History of Jim Beam

The Jim Beam Distillery is a historic site located in Clermont, Kentucky. The distillery was founded in 1795 by Jacob Beam, and the Beam family has operated it for seven generations.

Jim Beam is best known for its line of bourbons, but the distillery also produces other types of liquor, including rye whiskey and brandy.

In 1795, Jacob Beam, a young farmer became a Master Distiller and began producing what would become known as bourbons.

Jim Beam is now one of the most widely-recognized names in the bourbon industry, and the Beam family has been making whiskey for over 200 years. 

Read: Why Bourbon is Called Bourbon

Some Interesting Facts About Jim Beam

Some Interesting Facts About Jim Beam

Jim Beam is one of the most popular types of alcohol globally.

Here are some interesting facts about Jim Beam:

  • Jim Beam was founded in 1795 by Jacob Beam; a young farmer turned Master Distiller.
  • The distillery was passed down through seven generations of the Beam family before being sold to Japanese conglomerate Suntory in 2014.
  • The company sells over 11 million cases of Jim Beam bourbon each year. That’s a lot of whiskeys!
  • Jim Beam is aged for four years in oak barrels, giving it a smooth and distinctive flavor.
  • The Jim Beam Distillery is open to the public for tours and tastings, and it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state.

What’s the Best Way To Drink It?

Bourbon on the rocks

The best way to enjoy Jim Beam bourbon whiskey is to drink it neat. It means pouring a glass and enjoying the flavor of the whiskey without adding any ice or mixers. When enjoyed neat, the bourbon flavors are allowed to shine through, making for a truly enjoyable experience. 

Of course, if you’re looking for a way to enjoy your bourbon with a little more kick, there are always cocktails. Whichever way you choose to enjoy your Jim Beam bourbon whiskey, you’re sure to have a good time.

Read: Can You Replace Whiskey With Bourbon?

How is Jim Beam Compared To Other Brands? 

Jim Beam with cocktail

There are a lot of different brands of bourbon out there, but Jim Beam is one of the most popular. And for a good reason – it’s a great-tasting, high-quality spirit that’s perfect for sipping neat or mixing into cocktails.

But how does Jim Beam stack up against other popular bourbons like Maker’s Mark and Evan Williams?

Jim Beam is a bit cheaper than some of the other brands mentioned, so that’s always a plus. But in terms of taste, Jim Beam is up there with the best of them. It’s got a nice, smooth flavor with a hint of sweetness that makes it very drinkable.

Jim Beam is also an excellent mixer – it works well in both simple drinks and more complex cocktails. 



Is Jim Beam real whiskey?

Yes, Jim Beam is a real whiskey. It is a distilled liquor made from fermented rye, corn, and malted barley before aging in wooden containers.

It has a distinct aroma and has a woody, smoky, smooth, and rich flavor. Also, Jim Beam has a rich amber color because of its maturation in oak barrels. 

How strong is Jim Beam?

There’s no denying that Jim Beam is a strong bourbon. Jim Beam’s bourbons range from 80 to 100 proof (40%-50% ABV), making them one of the strongest on the market.

Also, Jim Beam’s bourbons are one of the most well-rounded and drinkable spirits worldwide. 

Is Jim Beam top shelf?

Not really. Jim Beam’s flagship bourbon product is often considered the gatekeeper of bottom-shelf bourbons

Final Thoughts

Jim Beam is bourbon, a type of whiskey that makes the spirit both bourbon and whiskey. The bourbon whiskey has a smooth, distinctive flavor that makes it perfect for sipping neat or mixing into cocktails.

Also, Jim Beam has a great value, so you can enjoy it without breaking the bank. If you’re looking for a delicious whiskey to enjoy, Jim Beam is definitely worth trying. Cheers!



Lydia Martin

Lydia Martin hails from Redmond, Washington, where you’ll find some of the best cocktail bars and distilleries that offer a great mix of local drinks. She used to work as a bar manager in Paris and is a self-taught mixologist whose passion for crafting unique cocktails led her to create Liquor Laboratory. Lydia can whip up a mean Margarita in seconds! Contact at [email protected] or learn more about us here or feel free to give Lydia a tip.

4 thoughts on “Is Jim Beam Whiskey or Bourbon? (2023 Updated)

  • May 20, 2022 5:19 am at 5:19 am

    Jim Beam is my favorite and go to bourbon. I’ll have to try their straight rye soon
    I enjoyed reading this article, proofing myself correct.

  • May 23, 2022 5:37 am at 5:37 am

    Very nice article! I’ve been enjoying Jim Beam for a long time! It’s a little hot for me to drink neat.

  • May 23, 2022 6:51 pm at 6:51 pm

    Well in Australia JB is bottled and sold at 37.5% alcohol which would not class it as a bourbon right?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *