I have been a champion for American Single Malt since it first hit my radar in 2010.

This was the year Stranahan’s was acquired by Proximo Spirits, becoming the first significant acquisition of an American Single Malt company, even if they called themselves ‘Colorado Whiskey.’ Since then, the emerging category continued expanding while the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is poised to anoint AMS an officially recognized category in the United States. Today, American Single Malt takes another leap forward as another big box distiller, James B. Beam Distilling Company, introduces Clermont Steep, the company’s first 100% malt whiskey.

What's In The Bottle?

Presented by Master Distiller Freddie Noe, Clermont Steep is born of American-grown malted barley, fermented with Jim Beam’s classic “family jug” yeast, and distilled in a column still. This malt barley distillate was aged five years in a toasted, lightly charred (char #1) barrel. The final whiskey is proofed at 47% ABV and will be available in June for $60.

“I’m always looking toward the future of American Whiskey, and the boundless runway in this category intrigued me. We don’t just want to participate in American Single Malt Whiskey; we want to help define it for the category’s future.”

— Freddie Noe, 8th Generation Master Distiller of the Fred B. Noe Distillery

How Does It Taste?

Company tasting notes promise toasted malt, caramel, and toffee aromas leading to a palate with vanilla, caramel, and whole-grain cereal flavors.

Clermont Steep will be available in select states across the US, in-store and on ReserveBar, beginning June 2023.

Spirits writers, marketers and designers are among the most influential forces in the spirits industry. Their opinions, ideas and creative talents inform and influence consumer perceptions and buying decisions. The John Barleycorn Society was started by a group of spirits journalists seeking to honor excellence in all facets of the industry. The journalists spent several years creating a comprehensive competition that became the John Barleycorn Awards. An elite team of authoritative and influential spirits journalists was selected to administer the flagship component of the Awards, a blind tasting competition destined to become the preeminent arbitrator of spirits taste, quality and character.