We recently met filmmaker/photographer Steve Weiss who filmed over 100 videos for Jim Beam Brands from the late 1980’s to late 1990’s. Steve shares this 1993 video below spotlighting the late Booker Noe. With interviews with then Jim Beam Master Distiller Booker Noe and his son Fred Noe, the video was made for the theater at the Jim Beam Distillery. For all those who only know Booker through his son and by drinking Booker’s Bourbon and those who knew him, we thank Steve for sharing this piece of Bourbon history!
Booker Noe (1929–2004) was the grandson of Jim Beam and 6th generation Master Distiller. In 1987, Booker introduced his own namesake bourbon, Booker’s, the world’s first uncut, straight-from-the-barrel bourbon, and the first of the Small Batch Bourbon Collection which also includes Basil Hayden’s, Baker’s, and Knob Creek.
From the late 1980’s to the late 1990’s I made over 100 videos for Jim Beam Brands. I helped them document the 200th anniversary, the Small Batch Collection, DeKuyper, The Dalmore, Vox and more. But what I enjoyed most was being in Bardstown hanging with Booker and his family. Booker was so nice to us and welcomed us into his house. We really tried to capture the spirit and heritage of Jim Beam, Booker & Freddie. As a director, the land, the rack houses, the smell of the air and the history are very difficult things to convey in a video. I hope we did them justice. This video was about 25 days of shooting over several months, and months of editing after that. I’m very happy with how it came out. As my friend Booker said, “Bourbon is the American Spirit, made in America, by Americans, now here’s looking at ya” Enjoy!
Dedicated to Booker Noe
Steve Weiss, Director
Folks, I was in tears after seeing your video of a true American Master, Booker Noe.
He embodies everything that is good and right and just about this country and her people. How I wish he’d been able to live to be 120 years old. It’s like we lost a stone from our foundation with Booker’s passing.
I pray Fred and his boy keep shining that pioneering spirit handed down to them from Jim Beam and his grandson Booker. These may not have been complicated men, but they were and are the very essence of what it means to be a free and independent American.
May their examples (and bourbons) live on forever!
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Bennington, NH 03442