Red Stag Lowers Proof

In a move that should shock nobody, the proof of Red Stag by Jim Beam will be dropping from 80 to 70 beginning March 1st.  Prices will remain unchanged, as you probably imagined.  This move follows a recent history of shortages and price increases by Four Roses and Jim Beam.  In fact, many of you probably remember two years ago when Maker’s Mark (another Beam brand) proposed cutting the proof of their product instead of risking a shortage.  In that case, they saved face by reversing the decision, but we can’t imagine there will be as much pressure on the Red Stag brand.  We recommend you buy in the next two days if you are a fan!


Booker’s Limited Edition Collection

Beam Suntory posted a press release last week indicating that it will be releasing a collection of Booker’s Limited Edition bottlings throughout 2015.  As big fans of “regular” Booker’s ($59.99), and even bigger fans of last year’s Booker’s 25th Anniversary Edition ($99.99), this is very exciting news to us!

While very few details are available, the first of the Limited Editions will be inscribed as batch “2015-1” and called “Big Man, Small Batch.”  Judging by the picture in the press release, we are assuming this will be released alongside the “regular” Booker’s and priced somewhere in the $79.99 range.  With the age being similar to the “regular” stuff (6-8 years) indicating a lower range price, and the stained wooden case indicative of the 25th Anniversary Edition indicating a higher range price, this seems to be the middle ground.  Further details from the press release:

  • Proof: 128.7
  • Age: 7 years, 2 months and 16 days
  • Batch Notes:  Culled from seven different rack houses, Batch 2015-1 blends the flavor tendencies of several small groups of barrels to create a complex bourbon with a vanilla nose.
  • Sipping Suggestions: With ice or cut with water

As of now it’s not on the books in Michigan, and doesn’t appear to be slated to hit them in March either.  We would guess it will be available to the Michigan market in April.

Jim Beam Prices on the Rise!

If you’re a fan of Jim Beam, you may want to consider stocking up on some of your favorites in the next couple of weeks.  Beginning February 1, 2015, Jim Beam products will cost an average of 4.5% extra in the great state of Michigan!

Most products are rising by $1.00 to $2.00 per 750 mL bottle, including brands such as Baker’s, Booker’s, Knob Creek, Old Crow, and Old Grand Dad.  One notable exception is Jim Beam Single Barrel which is set to rise by $5.00 (14.3%) to $39.99 for a 750 mL bottle.  The only good news in the price changes is for fans of Red Stag who will receive a $2.00 discount per bottle!  A full list of price changes follows.

Product Name Size (mL) New Price  Price Change Percent Change
BAKER’S BOURBON 750 49.96       2.97 6.3%
BEAM’S CHOICE 750 20.99       1.00 5.0%
BEAM’S CHOICE 1750 38.99       2.00 5.4%
BOOKER’S 750 59.99       1.00 1.7%
JIM BEAM 200 5.99         .20 3.5%
JIM BEAM 375 10.48         .49 4.9%
JIM BEAM 750 19.99       1.00 5.3%
JIM BEAM 1000 25.99       1.00 4.0%
JIM BEAM 1750 37.99       1.00 2.7%
JIM BEAM HONEY 375 10.48         .49 4.9%
JIM BEAM HONEY 750 19.99       1.00 5.3%
JIM BEAM HONEY 1000 25.99       1.00 4.0%
JIM BEAM HONEY 1750 37.99       1.00 2.7%
JIM BEAM KENTUCKY FIRE 375 10.48         .49 4.9%
JIM BEAM KENTUCKY FIRE 750 19.99       1.00 5.3%
JIM BEAM KENTUCKY FIRE 1000 25.99       1.00 4.0%
JIM BEAM MAPLE 375 10.48         .49 4.9%
JIM BEAM MAPLE 750 19.99       1.00 5.3%
JIM BEAM SINGLE BARREL 750 39.99       5.00 14.3%
KNOB CREEK BBN 375 19.99       1.00 5.3%
KNOB CREEK BBN 1000 44.99       1.00 2.3%
KNOB CREEK BBN 1750 71.99       2.00 2.9%
KNOB CREEK SINGLE BARREL 750 47.99       2.00 4.3%
OLD CROW 375 4.99         .20 4.2%
OLD CROW 750 8.99         .50 5.9%
OLD CROW 1000 11.99       1.00 9.1%
OLD CROW 1750 19.99       1.70 9.3%
OLD GRAND DAD 375 8.99         .50 5.9%
OLD GRAND DAD 750 16.99       1.00 6.3%
OLD GRAND DAD 1750 31.99       2.00 6.7%
OLD GRAND DAD BONDED 750 19.99       1.00 5.3%
RED STAG BY JIM BEAM 1750 37.99     (2.00) -5.0%
RED STAG BY JIM BEAM 750 17.99     (2.00) -10.0%

New Jim Beam Products Available in Michigan

Okay, so the Lions lost a heart breaker yesterday, winter weather finally arrived just in time to mess up your Monday morning commute, and it’s also the first work day of the New Year for many of you.  Let’s face it – you could use some good news, right? Right!  It just so happens that I have some for you, and it comes in the form of two Jim Beam products that are new to the Michigan market.

The first is their latest release (third overall) in the Signature Craft line, which is called Jim Beam Signature Craft Quarter Cask.  It may be a mouth full, but I wouldn’t write it off as it is a fairly new idea in the Bourbon market.  This blended product all starts with the flagship Jim Beam aged a minimum of 4 years, which is then blended with a number of other Straight Bourbons.  Each of these additional Bourbons go through the normal aging process, then are finished or re-aged in smaller barrels (“quarter casks”) for a minimum of another 4 years.  By using the smaller casks, it allows each Bourbon to have a drastically different taste profile due to the variations in surface area of the staves that the liquid is exposed to compared to the internal volume.  Generally speaking, the smaller the barrel the more of an oak flavor the Bourbon will acquire over a shorter period of time.  In this case, since Jim Beam has used multiple sizes of smaller casks, some new and some used, and presumably stored them in different methods for different periods of time, it gives them a wide range of flavor profiles to blend.  Think Four Roses (which is a blend of 10 unique Bourbons), but with a wider range of flavors available to choose from prior to blending.  At a state minimum price of $39.99 for a 750 mL bottle of this 86 proof blended Bourbon, it may be worth trying this for the new concept alone.

The second new product is Jim Beam Bonded.  “Bonded” or “Bottled in Bond” is a special label that means that the Bourbon is aged and bottled under the supervision of the U.S. Government.  This was the way all U.S. liquor was produced in the pre-prohibition era, but the rules have since loosened up.  To qualify to use this label today, as always, the liquor must be aged in a Government supervised warehouse for a minimum of 4 years, and then bottled at 100 proof.  Accordingly, this is essentially your standard Jim Beam “white label,” but bottled at 100 proof instead of 80 proof. If you enjoy stronger Bourbons it may be worth picking up a bottle, and at a minimum price of $24.99 for a 750 mL bottle it is the same price per alcohol content as the 80 proof offering.

Jim Beam Straight Rye Whiskey

Even with the recent surge in the popularity of Bourbon, 2015 may be shaping up to be the “Year of the Rye.” With Woodford Reserve already announcing the addition of a Straight Rye Whiskey, it’s no surprise that Jim Beam is following suit.

As was the case with Woodford Reserve, Jim Beam also made the product announcement via Facebook on New Year’s Day.  However, those with a taste for Rye won’t be forced to wait months for this new product!  750 mL bottles of the 90 proof Rye are already in the Michigan distribution channel with a state minimum price of $19.99, and are already on the shelves at many area bars and stores.