Fred Noe carries on the 200-year family legacy of Jim Beam® master distillers.
Noe is a 7th generation master distiller at the Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont, Ky. In his additional role as bourbon ambassador for the Jim Beam Distillery, he shares the whiskey making craft and his family’s rich legacy in the world of Kentucky bourbon.
Noe is the son of the late Frederick “Booker” Noe Jr., master distiller emeritus of Jim Beam Brands Company and great-grandson of founder Jim Beam, who began the legacy when he set up a frontier still in 1795. He joined the family business after graduation from Bellarmine College in Louisville, Ky. Although he “grew up” in the business, he began his career on the bottling line of the distillery. Gradually, his father tutored him in all aspects of the bourbon-making process, including grain selection, fermentation, and distillation.
Noe played an important role in the development and promotion of The Small Batch Bourbon Collection® — Basil Hayden’s®, Knob Creek®, Baker’s®, and Booker’s® bourbons. These high premium bourbons were created under his father’s guidance in the early 1990s. Small batch releases mimic higher-proof, complex flavored pre-Prohibition whiskeys. Noe helped select initial batches by tasting samples at the family’s kitchen table.
When Booker retired, Noe began serving as an ambassador of the collection. As the chief bourbon ambassador, he is a spokesman for the Jim Beam Distillery and the bourbon industry. In 2007, after years of rigorous apprenticeship and training, he was named master distiller. A frequent world traveler, he is a highly sought-after speaker.
In 2007, Beam Global Spirits and Wine Suntory, Inc. honored Fred by placing his portrait on the Jim Beam Bourbon brand label alongside the six family distillers who preceded him in the family.
Noe grew up in the house where his great-grandfather, the legendary Jim Beam, once lived. He still resides in Bardstown, Ky., in a house built adjacent to the Beam family home, with his wife, Sandy, and teenage son Frederick Booker Noe IV. He remains instrumental in the Beam business, dedicating himself to perfecting the family’s bourbon-making process and continuing his family’s legacy.