The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2013

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Page 156 of 164

INNOVATION Improving on Tradition story and photos by Fred Minnick PHOTO COURTESY OF BEAM INC. Seventh-generation bourbon distiller Fred Noe, Colonel James B. Beam's great-grandson. AT BEAM INC.'S NEW GLOBAL INNOVATION CENTER, JIM BEAM SIGNATURE CRAFT STEALS THE SHOW W hen Beam Inc. invited me to its newly opened Innovation Center, I figured a special "media" tour would garner stereotypical canned press release comments. Forgive my cynicism, but publicly traded companies rarely open their $30-million science labs to journalists. Boy, I was wrong. In February, I joined several national writers at Beam's Global Innovation Center in Clermont, KY, and had unfettered access to Beam's scientists and product developers. MaryKay Bolles, Vice President of Global Research & Development, even shared her past experiences attempting a "taco flavored" sports drink for a previous employer and lamented how flavor companies are constantly trying to sell quicker and supposedly better ways to age bourbon. 156  /  the tasting panel  /  april 2013 Jim Beam Signature Craft 12 Year Old is Beam Inc.'s foray into the ultra-premium bourbon category.

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