Brew and Booze News

Jim Beam Sells Their Soul For The Devil’s Cut

In the delta of the Mississippi River, where Robert Johnson was born, they said that if an aspiring bluesman waited by the side of a deserted country crossroads in the dark of a moonless night, then Satan himself might come and tune his guitar, sealing a pact for the bluesman’s soul and guaranteeing a lifetime of easy money, women, and fame. They said that Robert Johnson must have waited by the crossroads and gotten his guitar fine-tuned. Hammer of the Gods by Stephen Davis

2011 has been a very interesting year for Jim Beam Bourbon. In early February, they launched a new marketing campaign with “Bold Choice” as their tagline. I first learned about this campaign when I saw a Jim Beam commercial featuring actor Willem Dafoe while watching an episode of Justified on FX. Later that same month, they announced that they would be releasing a brand new Bourbon called Devil’s Cut. We’ve written about Jim Beam’s Devil’s Cut Bourbon before. Here’s what The Wookie had to say when he wrote about Devil’s Cut this past May:

Preliminarily announced earlier this year, Jim Beam is now producing and marketing a new spirit, Devil’s Cut, that claims to be the product of “a proprietary process that actually pulls out the rich whiskey trapped inside the barrels’ wood after they’re emptied.”   The “wood extract” is blended with 6 year-old bourbon and bottled as a 90 proof premium bourbon.

The name is based on the old distillery slang for the raw whiskey that evaporates during the aging process.  The portion that is lost due to pure evaporation through the barrel is known as the Angel’s Share.  The portion that is absorbed and trapped in the barrel’s wood is known as the Devil’s Cut.  So I guess Jim Bean has found a way to cheat the Devil.

As if a “Bold” new marketing campaign and a “Bold” new Bourbon weren’t enough, Jim Beam, a company with a history that goes back to the late 1700’s, has partnered with Maxim Magazine and launched a “Bold” new contest that will send one lucky winner (and three friends) to the 2012 Mardi Gras in New Orleans, where they will attend the annual Mardi Gras Parade with the Devil’s Cut Maxim Models. While I’m not a fan of Maxim Magazine (Esquire is more my speed), I can certainly understand why Jim Beam has partnered with them for this “Bold” new promotion.

According to a 2007 article in The Beverage Media Group, the “average Bourbon drinker is male and somewhere in the 25 to 39 year-old range”. Meanwhile, the average Maxim Magazine reader is male and between the ages of 18 and 35 years old. What better way to expose younger men to Bourbon than with a sexy promotional campaign in one of their favorite magazines. On September 8th, Maxim released a series of videos on their You Tube page featuring the Devil’s Cut Maxim Models. Here is a behind the scenes video from Jim Beam’s You Tube page…

While I can certainly appreciate their efforts with this promotional campaign, here’s the real question: Is the Devil’s Cut any good? After reading several reviews of the Devil’s Cut from across the interwebz (see below for a few links), it would appear that Jim Beam’s new proprietary process isn’t just a gimmick. It has good buzz and it’s reasonably priced, so at the very least, I will have to try a dram the next time I’m in a bar. Have any of you tried the Devil’s Cut? Let us know what you think of this “Bold” new Bourbon.

Reviews of The Devil’s Cut from across the interwebz:

4 replies »

  1. When we went last month, they said this was being marketed to 21-25 year old males. It tastes like it. Although, Katherine said, it may not taste good (she didn’t taste) but it’s smart of them to find a way to reuse the barrels for alcohol they can produce. I know they can reuse them in other ways too.


  2. Your commercial for Jim Beam’s Devil Cut Bourbon is very offensive and I am disappointed that a company of this prominence is taking such a route to sell your product. In the most recent past don’t we have enough of bad things in the world without your company making a commercial of this blasphemy. I am sure all of your mothers are very proud.


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