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Did you know that the Japanese began making whisky around 1870. It really didn’t get off the ground until 1924 when the first commercial distillery, Yamazaki went into production. Today most of the distilleries in Japan make whisky that is very similar to Scotch. The first Americans to taste this new Japanese whisky were U. S. soldiers of the American Expeditionary Force Siberia who took shore leave in Hakodate in September 1918. Go figure it would be some Americans fighting men who needed a drink of amber goodness.
What’s all that have to do with Bourbon? I’m getting there, just give this old country boy a second. So that first distillery which was the beginnings of Suntory purchased Beam Inc. in 2014 making it the third largest spirits maker in the world. Now that merger would bring together Fred Noe, the seventh generation Master Distiller for Jim Beam and Shinki Fukuyo, the fifth ever Chief Blender for Suntory. The unprecedented collaboration would bring forth the truly unique LEGENT bourbon.
This finished, blended bourbon, come on, I really don’t know which way to say it or even what to call it. I don’t think Beam Suntory even knew what to call it, look it up Legent isn’t even a word. I say it’s the marriage of talents of two LEgandary GENTalmen. You see they finishes some of Fred Noe’s bourbon that is aged over four years in sherry and red wine casks. Then Shinji Fukuyo blends the sherry, port and Jim Beam’s Kentucky straight bourbon back together and wow you have something amazingly awesome that’s seems to be handed down from the heavens above. Now I’m not one to put ice in my bourbon, but I will say if you’re looking for an alternative to an old fashioned cocktail, then drop in some ice.
I can’t imagine those soldiers back in 1918 drank anything close to LEGENT. So it’s with that I say grab a glass, a bottle of LEGENT and listen as Jim and I take The Bourbon Road to explore the taste of LEGENT with its National Ambassador Adam Harris.