Booker’s® Bourbon from the Jim Beam Distillery has announced its first release of the year, Booker’s® Batch 2018-01, also called “Kathleen’s Batch.” This release is named in tribute to Kathleen DiBenedetto who, together with founding distiller Booker Noe, helped launch Beam’s super-premium Small Batch Bourbon Collection® in the early 1990s. This batch was selected by Fred Noe, Beam’s seventh generation master distiller, DiBenedetto and the Booker’s Bourbon Roundtable, an esteemed group of whiskey experts, enthusiasts and writers, during an exclusive live tasting in New York City earlier this year.
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“I’m thrilled to honor Kathleen as someone who has poured her heart and soul into our brands for more than 25 years, especially our super-premium bourbons,” said Fred Noe. “She is probably too young to be called a pioneer, but that’s exactly what she was back in the ‘90s. Kathleen is like the daughter Dad never had, and I know he’d be proud to name a batch of his namesake Booker’s Bourbon in her honor.”
Kathleen DiBenedetto started her career with Jim Beam Brands Co. in 1991. She was the brand manager during the launch of the Small Batch Bourbon Collection, introducing the world to brands including Knob Creek® Bourbon, Basil Hayden’s® Bourbon, Baker’s® Bourbon, and Booker’s Bourbon. Under Booker Noe’s watchful eye, Kathleen embarked on a unique apprenticeship in Clermont, Ky., learning nearly every job at the distillery so she could fully understand the ins and outs of crafting bourbon, the Beam way. Every night, Booker and Kathleen would sit at his kitchen table, where he would quiz her on what she had learned that day so she could speak to what made each bourbon brand so special.
“I’m humbled to have a batch of Booker’s named in my honor and to celebrate the many years that Booker and I worked together,” said Kathleen DiBenedetto. “He was my mentor and teacher – a challenging one at that – and over time, he became like family to me. Booker cared so deeply about his namesake brand, and I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to gather with the Booker’s Roundtable to select this special liquid and share a few of my favorite memories with them.”
With Booker’s blessing that Kathleen had learned the business, the pair traveled nationally and across the globe with the mission of broadening bourbon’s appeal and introducing spirits enthusiasts to small batch, super-premium bourbons. During her 26 years promoting, selling and traveling on behalf of the Small Batch Bourbon brands, Kathleen laid a foundation for the growth of not only Beam’s super-premium portfolio, but the bourbon category as a whole. In 2015, her contributions to Beam’s bourbons and her commitment to developing a bourbon education platform were recognized when she was inducted into the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame. Today, Kathleen serves as Senior Director of On-Premise and Luxury Marketing for Beam Suntory.
As in previous years, the Booker’s 2018 Batch Collection will include four bourbon releases named in tribute to the people, places and pastimes that were important to Booker Noe. In addition to “Kathleen’s Batch,” this year’s collection will include Batch 2018-02 “Backyard BBQ;” Batch 2018-03, “Kentucky Chew;” and Batch 2018-04, “Kitchen Table,” in tribute to one of the most treasured family heirlooms of the Noe family.
The company says Booker’s “Kathleen’s Batch” has the following characteristics:
Age: 6 years, 3 months and 14 days
Tasting Notes: Booker’s “Kathleen’s Batch” offers a nose with notes of caramel, vanilla, leather and floral honey. The finish is well-balanced with flavors of toasted oak and caramel for a rich, strong and sweet finish.
Bottled uncut and unfiltered1, “Kathleen’s Batch” is now available nationwide in limited quantities with a suggested retail price of $69.99 – $74.99 for a 750 mL bottle.