Old Tub Bourbon has a rich history that dates back to the early days of American whiskey production. Its origins can be traced to the founding of the James B. Beam Distilling Company and its iconic Old Tub brand. Here’s an in-depth history of Old Tub Bourbon:
The story of Old Tub Bourbon begins with the Beam family. James Beauregard Beam, known as Jim Beam, was born in 1864 and grew up in Bardstown, Kentucky. He learned the art of distilling from his father, David Beam, who had been producing whiskey since the 1850s.
The Formation of the James B. Beam Distilling Company:
In 1894, Jim Beam and his brother-in-law, T.W. Samuels, founded the James B. Beam Distilling Company. They began producing whiskey using traditional methods in their family distillery. The company aimed to create a high-quality bourbon that showcased the craftsmanship and expertise passed down through generations.
Introduction of Old Tub Bourbon:
Old Tub Bourbon was first introduced by the James B. Beam Distilling Company in the late 19th century. It was named after the original oak tubs used to mature the whiskey. Old Tub quickly gained popularity for its robust flavor and became a staple in the Beam family’s whiskey portfolio.
With the onset of Prohibition in the United States in 1920, the production and sale of alcoholic beverages were prohibited. Like many other distilleries, the James B. Beam Distilling Company was forced to cease its whiskey production. During this time, the company survived by producing medicinal whiskey, which was legally allowed under certain circumstances.
Reemergence and Evolution:
When Prohibition was repealed in 1933, the James B. Beam Distilling Company resumed its operations. The company faced the challenge of rebuilding its production capacity and regaining its market share. Old Tub Bourbon continued to be a flagship brand for the company, representing the tradition and heritage of the Beam family.
The Birth of Jim Beam Brand:
In the 1940s, the James B. Beam Distilling Company decided to transition from the Old Tub brand to the Jim Beam brand, using the name of the company’s founder. The decision was made to help establish a stronger and more recognizable identity in the market. While the Old Tub label was phased out, the legacy of the brand remained a significant part of Jim Beam’s history.
Revival of Old Tub Bourbon:
In recent years, to honor its roots and pay tribute to its heritage, Jim Beam decided to reintroduce Old Tub Bourbon as a limited edition release. The reintroduction aimed to provide whiskey enthusiasts with a taste of the original pre-Prohibition style bourbon that Jim Beam himself had crafted.
Characteristics and Production:
Old Tub Bourbon is known for its unfiltered and uncut profile, reminiscent of the early days of American whiskey production. It is made using a high-quality blend of corn, rye, and malted barley, and aged in charred new oak barrels. The resulting bourbon is rich and robust, with flavors of caramel, vanilla, oak, and spice.
Legacy and Appreciation:
Old Tub Bourbon represents the history and craftsmanship of the Beam family and the enduring legacy of the James B. Beam Distilling Company. It serves as a reminder of the traditional methods and commitment to quality that have been passed down through generations.
In conclusion, Old Tub Bourbon has a storied history that spans over a century. From its origins as a flagship brand for the James B. Beam Distilling Company to its revival as a limited edition release, Old Tub Bourbon showcases the artistry and dedication of the Beam family in producing high-quality bourbon whiskey.