Jim Beam Black® Bourbon and Knob Creek® Rye Whiskey Earn Top Honors in Respective Categories

Corporate and Financial News


Deerfield, IL (August 1, 2016) – Beam Suntory has been awarded multiple medals at the 2016 International Wine & Spirit Competition (IWSC), a worldwide competition that sets the benchmark for quality and excellence of the world’s best wines, spirits and liqueurs. The most prestigious honors were awarded to Jim Beam Black® Bourbon and Knob Creek® Rye Whiskey, which received the Bourbon Trophy and Worldwide Whiskey Trophy in their respective categories. As the highest of accolades in the IWSC, trophies are presented to only one product per category each year. 

“Our products are made with the utmost craftsmanship and care, so we are honored that their premium quality and exceptional taste have been recognized by such a prestigious blind tasting competition,” said Matt Shattock, Chairman and CEO of Beam Suntory. “We’re especially proud to see expressions from two of our most iconic brands, Jim Beam Black and Knob Creek Rye, lauded as the ‘best of the best’ in their categories this year. This is a wonderful tribute to Master Distiller Fred Noe and our immensely talented team at our distilleries in Kentucky, all of whom work hard to exceed consumers' expectations every day."  

The judges noted that Jim Beam Black Bourbon is “a premium bourbon with a more flavorful character made to be sipped and savored.” At 86 proof, this bourbon is aged longer than original Jim Beam® Bourbon in the same white oak barrels, giving it a taste the judges described as a “full-bodied flavor with smooth caramel and warm oak notes.” 

When tasting Knob Creek Rye Whiskey, judges noted “the sweetness of the wood aging and the fantastic balance of the spirit are nothing less than awesome” and described Knob Creek Rye as “a sipping spirit that requires contemplation and a smile in the mind.” Knob Creek Rye, with its unmistakable spiciness that stays true to the big, full flavor of Knob Creek, is the fastest growing rye whiskey today.

In addition to trophy wins for Jim Beam Black and Knob Creek Rye, Beam Suntory’s portfolio received 44 total medals, including multiple Gold and Gold Outstanding awards. The Gold award indicates the product is of superior quality, and the Gold Outstanding award recognizes that the product is of the highest quality. These Beam Suntory wins include:

•El Tesoro® Anejo Tequila – Gold Outstanding

•Jim Beam Black – Gold Outstanding

•Knob Creek Rye Whiskey – Gold Outstanding

•Auchentoshan® 18 Year Old – Gold

•Bowmore® 18 Year Old – Gold

•Bowmore® 25 Year Old – Gold 

•El Tesoro® Reposado Tequila – Gold

•Knob Creek® Bourbon – Gold

•Laphroaig® Triple Wood – Gold 

The IWSC, now in its 47th year, judges spirits with dedicated tasting premises, a permanent onsite cellar, and over 400 global experts who judge products for seven months of the year. To determine the winners, IWSC judges conduct a double-blind tasting for each entry, which is followed by a chemical analysis to test the liquid’s composition. Spirits that win top awards go through a second round of judging to compete for a trophy.

About Beam Suntory Inc.

As the world’s third largest premium spirits company, Beam Suntory is Crafting the Spirits Brands that Stir the World.  Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company’s brands, including the iconic Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbon brands and Suntory whisky Kakubin, as well as world renowned premium brands including Knob Creek bourbon, Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki Japanese whiskies, Teacher’s, Laphroaig, and Bowmore Scotch whiskies, Canadian Club whisky, Courvoisier cognac, Sauza tequila, Pinnacle vodka, and Midori liqueur.  

Beam Suntory was created in 2014 by combining the world leader in bourbon and the pioneer in Japanese whisky to form a new company with a deep heritage, passion for quality, innovative spirit and commitment to Growing for Good.  Headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, Beam Suntory is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings Limited of Japan.  For more information on Beam Suntory, its brands, and its commitment to social responsibility, please visit and


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