It was definitely big news when two major whisk(e)y powerhouses merged to create a massive East/West giant! Beam and Suntory merging was an exciting time for the whisk(e)y world, wondering what the marriage between Japanese and American giants could bring us in the form of golden liquid! Well, that came to fruition with Legent Bourbon.
Legent Bourbon is the love child of two whiskey legends from opposite ends of the globe and years of quiet collaboration between the both of them. Fred Noe, Jim Beam’s Master Distiller, and Shinji Fukuyo, Suntory’s Chief Blender. Both men bringing their expertise to the table and ultimately learning from each other! Fukuyo learning the art of the bourbon mash bill in a continuous still, along with intricacies of how Kentucky’s climate plays a role in the maturation. Noe on the other hand learned, what Japan is great at, how to use different cask finishes and blending them expertly! Unlike in Japan, blended whiskey can sometimes have a negative connotation in the United States. This is a bottling that will help shed that perception.
Legent is the blend of three different versions of Jim Beam. All three start out as Jim Beam’s standard Kentucky Bourbon mash bill, then 2 versions are secondary cask finished. The standard being the bourbon barrel finished giving the traditional oaky vanilla and caramel flavours which represents a big portion of the final product. The other two versions have that same bourbon transferred to secondary casks. One, California red wine casks, and the other, sherry casks. The sherry gives the nutty, slight spice, dried fruit flavours and the wine casks showcase the more mild red fruit flavours. At the end of all that, Fukuyo works his magic and blends them all together in this beautiful final product.
This whiskey is a perfect addition to the bourbon world and represents what two cultures working together can yield! A wonderful product of innovation.
As you drink Legent neat or on the rocks you’ll notice it change quickly as it sits on your tongue. It starts like a bourbon – rich, warm and oaky. Then, like a Japanese whisky, it features both complex layers of dried fruits and spice. Adding an ice cube or two accentuates Legent’s already bright, smooth and unexpectedly long finish.