Two warehouses at Jim Beam in Kentucky caught fire on July 2, destroying about 45,000 aging barrels of whiskey. The blaze, which was believed to be caused by lighting, began around 11:30 p.m. at one warehouse and then spread to an adjacent building.
Firefighters put out the flames at one warehouse but the other burned for four days. No injuries have been reported, but bourbon runoff in streams flowing into the Kentucky River killed fish.
This catastrophe comes nearly a year after the collapse of a barrel warehouse at Barton 1792 Distillery.
The 45,000 barrels in the destroyed warehouse contained relatively young whiskey from the Jim Beam mash bill, according to the company, which is owned by Beam Suntory. As such, this fire will not impact the availability of Jim Beam for customers.