The world's top bourbon producer is dipping into moonshining's colorful past to create its own white whiskey.
Beam Inc.'s newest spirit is called Jacob's Ghost in honor of Jacob Beam, founding distiller of its flagship Jim Beam brand. Jacob's Ghost resembles the concoction that flowed from the pioneer's still in the 1790s or from a moonshiner's still today.
But this is no run-of-the-mill, backwoods hooch. Jacob's Ghost is an 80-proof whiskey aged at least one year in a charred, white oak barrel. The aging adds flavors from the wood that's missing in unaged whiskies and moonshines.
Beam, based in Deerfield, Ill., is tapping into a white whiskey category that amounts to a drop in the bucket compared to bourbon. But white whiskey is finding a niche, thanks to craft distillers.