You may chill at home at the end of the day or end the week at an office party. Either way, there’s one thing that can make everything better: Bourbon! If you’re a Bourbon patron, Jim Beam is probably on your list of favorites. But there’s one thing you must consider: is Jim Beam gluten free?
The ingredients of Jim Beam include rye and barley, both gluten grains. It also has brewer’s yeast, which may contain gluten. But it is a distilled beverage, and the distillation process removes gluten from the drink. For 100% safety, exercise caution.
So should you avoid having Jim Beam altogether? Or is there a condition when you may consider it? Let’s find out whether or not Jim Beam is gluten free and completely safe for you if you are sensitive to gluten and are medically required to follow a gluten free lifestyle.
Table of Contents
Is Jim Beam Gluten Free?
Jim Beam doesn’t make any official statement about the gluten-free status of Bourbon. It also doesn’t come with the “gluten free” label or certification. So no test is conducted to check the gluten content in the drink or the possibility of cross-contamination during processing, storing, or manufacturing.
If you look at the list of ingredients, Jim Beam contains malted barley and rye, both of which are gluten sources and must be avoided by people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. It also contains brewer’s yeast, which might have gluten. This ingredients list sounds worrying, right?
It doesn’t have to be – because of the process of distillation. During this process, the distiller’s beer turns into vapor inside a 65-ft column due to heat. As this light vapor rises, the heavier ingredients get left behind, including gluten particles – before the vapor turns back into the liquid state.
This process is repeated twice to make Jim Beam, which means that all the gluten content gets separated from the distiller’s beer and low wine. Hence, the high wine that goes into storage barrels should technically be free from gluten. That is why all distilled beverages are naturally gluten free.
Thus, Jim Beam is considered naturally safe and free from gluten. However, we would still recommend being cautious and taking this drink in small amounts to observe how your body responds to the drink. If you’re severely allergic, it’s best to consult your doctor before trying Jim Beam.
You need to be particularly careful about Jim Beam’s flavored range of bourbons. That’s because there is no guarantee the flavoring agents are gluten free and may be responsible for adding gluten back to America’s favorite alcoholic drink. The pure varieties are considered safe.
Also Read:- Is Hartley’s Jelly Gluten Free?
What is Jim Beam?
Jim Beam is a popular name in the Bourbon and Whiskey world. This beverage is made following a 220-year old process that has become the tradition of the company. Jim Beam considers Bourbon-making an art form – which is probably why the drink has an unforgettable flavor.
What was developed by the Beam family in the 18th century became “Jim Beam” in 1943? The name has almost become synonymous with straight and Premium bourbons, though this American brand also produces white whiskey, straight rye whiskey, and many liqueur varieties.
Of these, the liqueur collection is a range of flavored beverages. Jim Beam also has a special “Small Batch Bourbon Collection.” The alcohol content in Jim Beam varies from one collection to the other. It is distilled at 160 proof or less and stored at less than 125 proof in new barrels of oak.
The state of Kentucky is where the magical concoction of Jim Beam gets made. The company has three distilleries located in Boston, Clermont, and Frankfort there – and is one of the biggest sellers of Bourbon Whiskey in the world. This brand is known for its flavors and consistency.
Jim Beam Ingredients
Jim Beam produces Bourbon by bringing together an incredible combination of natural ingredients and a tried-and-tested process of double distillation. 51% of this beverage is corn, one of the factors that sets it apart from regular whiskey. Other ingredients include malted barley and rye.
It also contains iron-free water that naturally gets filtered by Kentucky’s natural limestone shelf. This water is also rich in calcium. Together, the properties of Kentucky’s water give Jim Beam its signature sweetness and prevent any metallic undertones in the taste of this Bourbon Whiskey.
The sour grain mash is cooked in a fermenter and cooled before yeast gets added to begin the process of fermentation to produce alcohol. This is not just any yeast, though. It’s the same strain that has been used since 1933 – and is one of the closely guarded secrets of the Beam family.
At this point, the liquid in hand is what we call the distiller’s beer. It undergoes the distillation process twice to separate the alcohol from impurities and other ingredients. The first round of distillation produces low wine while the second round produces high wine – with a fabulous smooth taste.
It is then stored in new barrels made of American White Oak – with the alligator char that caramelizes the sugar in the wood. For four years, the wine inside the barrel gets the chance to seep in and out of the wood in different seasons, and the wood’s sugar adds a rich taste that everyone loves.
Is Bourbon Gluten Free?
Bourbon is a type of whiskey, but there are a few factors that set it apart from standard whiskey. One of these is the list of ingredients. Bourbon must contain 51% corn. It also includes a grain mash that may consist of grains like wheat, barley, and rye. These are sources of gluten.
Plus, brewer’s yeast is another possible source of gluten. However, the production of Bourbon involves the process of distillation. During this process, exposure to heat turns the fermented liquid into vapor and separates it from heavy solids like gluten peptides. Distillation is, thus, a purification process.
According to Celiac Disease Foundation, most distilled beverages are gluten free. However, there are a few factors to be considered, like whether flavoring agents in flavored Bourbon, a possible source of gluten, are added to the beverage after the process of distillation is completed.
Another factor to consider is the chance of cross-contamination in the manufacturing, storage, or packaging units. If there are gluten-containing items in any of these facilities, the final drink may come in contact with them and end up with trace gluten that can cause harm to your health.
Most people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance can enjoy Bourbon like Jim Beam without any health problems. But there are a few reports of people facing allergic reactions after having Bourbon. Though these are rare cases, you can never be too careful. You should always avoid flavored Bourbon.
It’s best to try Bourbon in small quantities instead of a whole serving to be 100% safe. You can also shift to alcoholic drinks made from completely non-gluten grains – like wine made from grapes, rum made from molasses, tequila made from agave, and hard cider made from fruits.
Gluten Free Jim Beam Cocktail Recipes
As a distilled alcoholic beverage, Jim Beam is generally considered safe for gluten-sensitive and celiac patients. If you find that this drink does not cause allergic reactions in your body, you can enjoy the beverage in the form of delicious cocktails. Here are some delicious gluten free cocktail recipes.
Cranberry Bourbon Cooler
The freshness of cranberries with the richness of Bourbon – this cocktail is an emotion all by itself!
- Jim Beam Bourbon – 1 1/2 oz
- Triple sec – 1/2 oz
- Cranberry juice – 2 oz
- Lemon juice – 2 oz
- Lemon wedge – 1
- Take a tall glass and put ice in it.
- Add all the ingredients to the glass.
- Garnish with a lemon wedge and a stirrer.
Here’s a 5-min recipe that makes your Bourbon taste different – and packs quite a punch!
- Jim Beam – 1 part
- Lemonade – 2 parts
- Lemon wedge
- Take a cocktail glass and put ice in it.
- Add Bourbon and lemonade.
- Garnish with a lemon wedge and stirrer.
Is Jim Beam Gluten free and safe? Most people who need to avoid gluten due to medical conditions enjoy Jim Beam safely. This beverage undergoes distillation, a process that removes gluten. But if you would still like to exercise caution, shift to drinks made from non-gluten ingredients.