Jim Beam-brand bourbon to offer mandatory relaxing Suntory times

“Suntory of Japan to Buy Maker of Jim Beam”

Source: nytimes.com, excerpt below:

Few spirits are as American as bourbon. But the maker of some of whiskey’s most iconic brands, including Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark, will soon belong to an acquisitive Japanese beverage maker.

In a deal announced on Monday to buy Beam Inc. for $13.6 billion, Suntory of Japan struck one of the biggest takeovers in the liquor business in years, transforming it into the third-largest distiller globally.

The acquisition may also signal the last mega-deal in the spirits industry for some time. Beam has long been considered the most attractive big target for consolidation. Rivals like Brown-Forman, the maker of Jack Daniel’s, are controlled by families, performing well on their own and have shown little interest in potential takeovers.

Beam instead was claimed by Suntory, a privately held concern whose beverage empire already encompasses Yamazaki Japanese whisky and Bowmore Scotch. If completed, the deal will add not only Jim Beam, but also pricier higher-end brands like Baker’s and Knob Creek bourbon, Laphroaig and Teacher’s Scotch and Courvoisier cognac.

First baseball, now bourbon! When will those inscrutable Orientals stop?!

Seriously though, this isn’t really a surprise given the level of consolidation that already exists in the spirits industry.

It’s like the 80s all over again.

Just wait, some studio is going to reboot Rising Sun!

As long as label regulations regarding the resale of bourbon and whiskey in the US remain intact, I’m cool with whomever owning the distilleries. Capitalism, baby!

I’m not surprised, Beam has long been the Budweiser of bourbon.

That was my reaction, besides the Japanese will respect the brand.

Don’t forget our delicious ham.

IANAdrinker: was that a compliment, or an insult?

It’s basically pointing out the generic utilitarian nature of Jim Beam. If you’re mixing Manhattans or bourbon and coke, Beam is fine. It’s also cheap enough that in a lot of decent bars it’s the well bourbon.

However, I believe buy buying Beam they also get Knob Creek, Basil Hayden, and Booker’s. Those are all very nice bourbons.

They also get a lot of other spirits too.

Including Laphroaig, Sauza, Courvoisier, Cruzan and a ton of other random brands I’ve never heard of.

Full List

I’ve had the Yamazaki 12. Pretty good, though not quite as nice as some of my favorites.

The 18 is pretty amazing.

— Alan

I had no idea they owned Cruzan. Let’s hope they don’t fuck that up too badly.

This. I really like Cruzan rum.

Yeah, Cruzan is about as good a mass-produced industrial rum as there is. Their silver is very good, and their single-barrel can be excellent.

Doubt they will mess up anything. The Japanese seem to really like their Western whiskies, so I’d suspect they’d treat 'em right.

Kiryu Kazama approves.

I had a tiny taste of the 18 at a bar. Bartender offered it to me after they revealed that the price of a shot of the 18 was $40, which would have been maybe 1/2 the price of the meal we were having. It was quite good, but not $40 a shot good. If I could pick up a bottle for ~ 100 or so, I might consider it as a birthday present to myself, but there are a lot of scotches in that price range that are also really good.

My father in law, who loves single malts, seemed to really enjoy the 12. I brought an almost full bottle down to his house for the weekend, and it was mostly gone by the time we came back.

Scotch shot prices are always way overvalued. It’s kind of the reason why I hate going to scotch-oriented bars.

Yeah, I had the 18 along with a few other beauties for our recent Scotch club holiday extravaganza:

— Alan

This is only semi-related, but didn’t seem worth starting a new thread. There’s an interesting article in the current issue of the Smithsonian magazine entitled, “How Japan Copied American Culture and Made it Better,” about…well, you can probably work it out from the title. :) The first anecdote is about bourbon, in particular the obsessive lengths to which a couple of Japanese bourbon enthusiasts went in order to obtain old / rare bourbons for their bars.