How to spot real Jim Beam bourbon

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Under the Jim Beam brand, the world-famous American bourbon is produced. He earned popular love thanks to his refined taste and special manufacturing technique based on long-term aging of raw materials in oak barrels. The popularity of bourbon has led to the fact that counterfeit products are often sold under its guise. In order not to buy alcohol of unknown origin instead of an expensive drink, you need to figure out how to distinguish Jim Beam from a fake.

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Bourbon Jim Beam
Jim Beam is a popular American bourbon that is often counterfeited.

Brand history

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"Jim Beam" is from the USA. The history of the trademark began more than 2 centuries ago, when in 1788 Jacob Beam, who emigrated from Germany, bought a plot of land in Kentucky. On the territory of the acquired land, he built a distillery and began to produce bourbon (corn whiskey), which he called Old Jake Beam Sour Mash.

After Jacob's death, his descendants took up the production of corn whiskey. At the end of the XIX century. management of the family business passed to the 30-year-old great-grandson of Beam Jim. He followed the production process of an alcoholic beverage for more than half a century, making the company one of the most prosperous in the States. In honor of him, the brand later got its name.

Today, the management of the company, as before, is in the hands of the descendants of its founder. It supplies its products to different countries, including Russia.

Jacob Beam
The founder of the Jim Beam brand is Jacob Beam.

Features of the original Jim Beam bourbon: hallmarks

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For more than 200 years of history, the technology for making bourbon has never changed. The basis of the drink is corn wort. Barley, rye and filtered water are also used in its production. Before reaching the consumer, the drink is aged in charred white American oak barrels for at least 4 years. Thanks to this, it acquires a woody-caramel aroma and an amber hue of varying degrees of intensity.

Under the trademark "Jim Beam" today produce different varieties of whiskey. Each of them has its own recipe and degree of exposure, but at the same time it has a rich and mild taste with hints of spicy oak and spices.

After drinking the drink, there is no bitter aftertaste, hangover and burning effect. Despite the softness, bourbon has a high strength - from 35 to 45%.

Varieties of the drink

To learn how to distinguish a Kentucky-made Jim Beam from a counterfeit, you must first understand what varieties of bourbon are produced under this brand, as well as how they differ.

Types of bourbon
There are a large number of types of bourbon, which differ in aging time and additives.

For ease of perception, the information is presented in the form of a table.

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Bourbon brand Jim Beam Fortress (%) Aging period (years) Aroma Taste Color
white label 40 4 Caramel and burnt wood Caramel with a hint of smoke transparent golden
Black 43 4 Caramel, honey and oak notes Vanilla, citrus fruits, fresh pastries and honey Dark amber
Signature Craft, 12 YO 43 12 Spiced oak, caramel, dried plum and spices Baked apples, caramel and spices Golden
Devils 45 6 Oak notes and spices Chocolate, caramel, vanilla and cherry Intense amber
Apple 35 4 Apple, vanilla and creamy caramel caramel and apple Deep dark hazel
Red Star Black Cherry 40 4 Fruity with vanilla and other spices Black cherry, caramel and citrus fruits Deep dark hazel
Honey 35 4 Honey Vanilla, honey and caramel Intense amber apricot
double oak 43 8 (double exposure) Vanilla-caramel with hints of burnt wood Caramel and spices Amber

Ways to recognize a fake

American bourbon is expensive, so it is often counterfeited. You can distinguish counterfeit from branded alcohol from Kentucky without opening the bottle. To do this, you need to pay attention to the features of its design.

Inscriptions on the label

Before buying American alcohol, consider its label. All inscriptions on it must be clear and without errors.

Illiterately composed text is the first sign that under the guise of imported bourbon they are selling a handicraft fake.

In addition, the label must be glued evenly. If it has bubbles, bevels, traces of glue and other imperfections, it means that it was applied to the bottle by hand, which is unacceptable in the production of branded alcohol.

The inscriptions on the original label must be clear, without errors and typos.


The container of authentic bourbon is stoppered with a smooth top lid. Counterfeit manufacturers do not pay attention to this detail and twist the bottles with caps, in which the upper part often has ribs.

Golden stripe under the lid

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Under the lid of the original drink is the inscription Jim Beam, surrounded at the top and bottom by 2 golden edging. Counterfeit bourbon can be sold with or without 1 strip.

Fake and original Jim Beam
A brief description of the differences between the original bourbon and the fake.


The container in which the original drink goes on sale has many distinctive features:

  1. The neck is slightly convex barrel-shaped with edges at the base. On fake bottles, this element is completely faceted, since it is difficult to create relief in only one place without special equipment and additional financial investments.
  2. The authenticity of the bottle is indicated by 4 embossed Jim Beam inscriptions applied in its upper part along the perimeter.
  3. There are protrusions on the glass above and below the label.
The original packaging has Jim Beam embossed on each side.

Unique serial number

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Each bottle has its own serial number. It is printed in black on the bottom. The same code is located in the central part of the container. These numbers must be identical.

Serial number
The bottom of the original bottle must have a unique serial number.

Excise stamp

An indispensable attribute of any imported alcohol is an excise stamp. The volume indicated on it must match the actual capacity of the bottle. If this requirement is not met, then the originality of the drink is out of the question.

Excise stamp
The volume indicated in the excise stamp and the actual volume of the bottle must match exactly.

Nuances of use

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"Jim Beam" should not be drunk like a simple alcoholic drink.

Americans consume it in several ways, each of which allows bourbon to fully develop its taste and smell:

  1. In its purest form. A drink at room temperature is poured ¼ into a wide glass with a thick bottom. If desired, add a few ice cubes to it. Before drinking, the glass is held a little in the hand to warm the contents with its warmth, then slowly inhale the aroma, hold the breath and take a small sip. The bourbon is left in the mouth for a few seconds, after which the air is swallowed and exhaled. Snack Jim Beam with fruit, cheese or meat.
  2. Diluted. To reduce the strength of the drink, it is diluted with natural juices, still water, soda or cola. The ratio is chosen at your discretion, but most often adhere to a proportion of 1:1 or 1:2.
  3. As part of alcoholic cocktails. "Jim Beam" is added instead of whiskey to cocktails, the recipe of which provides for the use of a second drink.

Bourbon Jim Beam will brighten up a festive feast and a quiet secluded evening. It will give an unforgettable taste experience, help you relax and have a good time. But in order to enjoy a true American product, you must remain vigilant during its purchase so as not to purchase a counterfeit.

What to do if you sold a fake?

Where to go if you sold a fake?


Andrey Kozhevnikov

Blog author. 7 years of experience as a Merchandiser. Specialist in the definition of quality products. Distinguished more than 5,000 fake goods. My motto: there is no limit to perfection!

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Add a comment

  1. Nicholas

    It's a shame when for good money you buy counterfeit goods. I hope that with the help of your articles, I will buy only original things.

  2. Victor

    A good and pleasant drink, we have already bought it several times for the New Year holidays. It seems that we didn’t come across fakes, but thanks to the tips from this article, we will better understand before buying. And we will definitely not get counterfeit.

  3. hamed

    An interesting and helpful article on how to identify real Jim Beam bourbon and I learned a lot and I would like to thank your site for memorizing such valuable content.

  4. Sergei

    Of the more or less decent alcohol, Jim is in the top ten for me personally, but I’ll tell you this, I once tried it straight from America, 100% the original, and so, after that, where I just didn’t buy it and didn’t try it, the taste wasn’t even close . The original taste is much richer and if you drink a lot, you won't get sick in the morning)

  5. Sergei

    Jim personally for me is in the top ten alcohol, but I’ll tell you this, I once tried it straight from the states, and so, the taste was not even close to the bourbon that we sell, the aftertaste is different, and the taste is much richer

  6. Michael

    01/31/22 I bought JIM BEAM in a c / w store, but when I opened the lid, it opened along with the seal, I think it's a leftist. I waited 30 minutes for the certificate and they didn’t show it, they said tomorrow the lawyer will contact me, I think they’ll draw it overnight.

  7. Boris

    I love whiskey. Already several times I came across a low-quality product, now I will choose more carefully.