Today, for the first time, the James B. Beam Distilling Co. brings its 227 years of whiskey-making expertise and excellence to the American Single Malt Whiskey category with the launch of Clermont Steep™. Developed by Freddie Noe, 8th Generation Master Distiller of the Fred B. Noe Distillery, this venture into an emerging category explores the full potential of a single grain – American Malted Barley.
With little to no definition in the American Single Malt category, Noe developed his own defining guidelines, making intentional production choices to celebrate the flavor of this single grain at every step of development. Clermont Steep is a five-year-old liquid distilled and aged in Clermont, Kentucky, and matured in bespoke barrels to deliver warm toffee sweetness on the palate without overshadowing the unique, bready taste of American barley.
“As a new venture, crafting Clermont Steep has been one of the toughest challenges I have ever faced in the distillery, and I am incredibly proud of where we’ve landed,” said Noe. “This American Single Malt Whiskey is smooth, sweet and incredibly balanced, and it deserves a spot on any whiskey lover’s bar cart, right alongside their bourbons and ryes.”
Clermont Steep is a whiskey steeped in influence from both process and place. Just as single malt couldn’t exist without steeping the grain, this whiskey couldn’t exist without Clermont, Kentucky – the soul place of the James B. Beam Distilling Co. and the heartland of American Whiskey distilling culture. Noe and his team hand-selected the American malted barley for the mash and used Beam family jug yeast in the natural fermentation process. It’s the same yeast that is used in all Beam products, adding a sense of familiarity to every sip. The single malt was then distilled on a column still and aged for five years in barrels that were toasted, then quickly charred to a char level 1.
The launch of Clermont Steep marks a significant milestone in the American Whiskey landscape as James B. Beam Distilling Co., the world’s largest producer of Bourbon, takes a stake in a rapidly growing segment that has yet to be fully explored.
“I’m always looking toward the future of American Whiskey, and the boundless runway in this category intrigued me,” said Noe. “We don’t just want to participate in American Single Malt Whiskey; we want to help define it for the future of the category.”
The foray into an American Single Malt Whiskey is proof of the innovation possible within the Fred B. Noe Distillery under Freddie Noe’s guidance. The Fred B. Noe Distillery was named after 7th Generation Master Distiller Fred Noe and serves as the home to legacy small batch brands, such as Booker’s® Bourbon, as well as new-to-world whiskies, including Little Book® Whiskey, Hardin’s Creek® Bourbon and, in the future, Clermont Steep.
Clermont Steep will be available in select states across the US, in-store and online, beginning June 2023.