JimBeamBarrelJim Beam is one of the biggest names in bourbon, so it comes as no surprise that they recently achieved a “first” in the bourbon industry. Since the repeal of Prohibition, Jim Beam has officially filled its 13 millionth barrel of bourbon. That is so many millions. We also like to think we helped contribute to that success a little bit because we’re pretty sure we’ve consumed at least a few barrels of Jim Beam in our lifetime.

Demand for Jim Beam, and bourbon in general, has been on the rise in the past few years; in a press release about the milestone, the company says it filled it 12 millionth barrel less than three years ago. They expect an even shorter amount of time to pass before they fill their 14 millionth barrel. Bourbon exports have topped $1 billion and sales have increased by 40 percent in the past five years.

As for the 13 millionth barrel, it was filled and sealed by Jim Beam’s great-grandson and our old pal Fred Noe at the company’s flagship distillery in Clermont, KY. Noe is a seventh generation master distiller and Freddie Noe, an eighth generation Beam, was also there to celebrate the family’s big achievement.

Just how much bourbon goes into 13 million barrels? Noe says that 13 million barrels of bourbon would:

  • Yield more than 285 million cases of Jim Beam Bourbon
  • Fill more than 3 billion bottles of Jim Beam Bourbon
  • Create more than 56 billion bourbon cocktails. That’s enough for every person on earth to have one cocktail every day for a week straight.
  • Stretch from the U.S. to China via the Pacific Ocean, when stacked end to end.
  • Reach the top of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, 14,000 times when stacked end to end.

The 13 millionth barrel will be aged inside the distillery’s historic rackhouse D, a nine-story rackhouse re-built by Jim Beam and his son, T. Jeremiah, after Prohibition.