Interview met Fred Noe – Master Distiller van Jim Beam

Het bestaat uit minimaal 51% maïs, geproduceerd in the USA en moet verplicht rijpen op nieuwe vaten. Ik heb het natuurlijk over Bourbon! Jim Beam is de grootste producent van bourbon TER WERELD en ik mocht de 7e generatie Master Distiller Fred Noe een aantal vragen stellen. 


Thanks for taking the time to talk with me Fred Noe. So what brings you to The Netherlands?

“Educating the Dutch people what our bourbon is all about. I think the story behind our products is sometimes more important than the product itself. Telling our family history and the story of Jim Beam is an important part of the job as a Master Distiller.” 

Interview met Fred Noe - Master Distiller van Jim Beam

What was the best moment for you in your long career as a Master Distiller?

“Probably when I had my picture added to the bottle of Jim Beam. That was a heck of a moment for me. And watching my son came into the business was a pretty proud moment for me too.”

Interview met Fred Noe - Master Distiller van Jim Beam

And what has been the biggest challenge?

“Protecting the legacy of the product, not letting anybody change anything. Sometimes when you get new employees and they become higher up, they are trying to put their mark the product, like a marketing director. Suntory not so much; not yet. If they do come forward and tell us they want us to change things, I will be against it and my son Freddy is the same way. So I think they don’t really want to change anything. I’m more worried about somebody coming in who wants to try to reinvent the wheel.”

How does a typical day look for you?

“Pretty much like anybody else, first thing I do in the morning is look at emails, to see if anything happened overnight that I need to address, and then I go down to the distillery to look around a little bit. And I go to the visitor centre and see the visitors, maybe sign a bottle or take a picture. I think it’s important to engage with our customers, and do what we do. And thank them for their support. After that I probably go by the lab, have some meetings and talk about new products.”

What is your favorite moment in the whole process of making Jim Beam Bourbon?

“I’d say when you’re watching the new make spirit coming out of the still. Cause right then if it’s good there, than you can make it good on the backend. The barrels are going to do their job. If there are any defects, you can tell it right there. The barrels are pretty predictable.”

On the website it is mentioned that Jim Beam took home a jug of yeast every week, do you still do that too?

“We keep some at home now. My son and me have a mancave in our garage with a big refrigerator that contains a stainless steel jug which contains our yeast. It was something Jim Beam did, something my dad did and something me and my son do now. We switch out that jug every few weeks, when Freddy makes a new batch of yeast he’ll take our jug down their, clean it out, sterilize it and fill it up with some fresh yeast. In case something happens, we got it. Jim Beam used to do it every week and bring it home in the front seat of his car. He wanted to protect that yeast.”

What is your favorite Jim Beam to drink?

“My most favorite is probably Jim Beam Black, the one I drink a lot. Others are the Knob Creek and the Bookers Bourbon of course; my dad passed that to me before he died: “take care of my Bookers Bourbon” he told me. So I do that. Those are the ones I really concentrate on, at the moment.”

Interview met Fred Noe - Master Distiller van Jim Beam

And what is the best way to drink a Jim Beam Bourbon?

Fred Noe: “Any damn way you want to!”

Ayla Rotterdam Interview met Fred Noe - Master Distiller van Jim Beam Stay on the Beam

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