TAKE A KENTUCKY MASTER DISTILLER, THEN BLEND HIS PROWESS WITH SUNTORY’S CHIEF BLENDER, AND YOU WIND UP WITH SOMETHING GLOBE SPANNINGLY WONDERFUL
BY TIA KIM
In early March, Beam Suntory announced the launch of Legent, a unique bourbon with an East meetsWest sensibility. It starts as a Kentucky Straight Bourbon in the classic Beam style, but is then aged in wine and sherry casks before being blended with more whiskey, resulting in a balanced, complex, and layered pour. Created by seventh generation Jim Beam Master Distiller, Fred Noe, then artfully blended by Shinji Fukuyo, only the fifth chief blender in Suntory history (considered the founding house of Japanese whiskey), Legent is, explained Takeshi Niinami, CEO of Suntory Holdings, “the perfect articulation of the amazing things that can be achieved when two great cultures come together as one, sharing a unified vision to bring true innovation. is bourbon honors the Beam family’s proud traditions while showcasing Shinji’s award winning blending capabilities. Quite simply, it’s a bourbon no one else could create.”
“Crop to bottle” aspects of note include high quality grains, calcium rich limestone water, and newly charred white oak. The resulting Kentucky Straight Bourbon is then aged in wine and sherry casks that were handpicked for best flavor, then rested over a warm Kentucky summer, pulling spice and fruity undertones from the wood.
Rich on the nose yet approachable and well balanced on the palate with a bright, smooth, and unexpectedly long finish, “Legent is something special,” noted Noe. “As a bourbon distiller, I enjoy breaking rules and creating new traditions. It was a real honor collaborating with Shinji on what I think is different from anything out there in the bourbon world,” with Fukuyo adding that “…using the historic recipe of Fred’s family as a solid foundation, I was able to explore new taste pro les and reach a nal product that reimagines what the future of bourbon can be.”