An interesting side note to the Beam legacy traced in American Still Life describes the collector’s item china de-canters that the company began mar-keting in 1955. The limited edition bottles celebrated everything from the Kentucky Derby to Elvis Presley. More than 100 collectors clubs formed around the country and at least one counterfeit ring sprang up to try to cash in on the craze. Police in Ohio broke up the ring and destroyed the fake bottles and the manufacturing molds.
Pacult’s affiliation with Beam began in 1992 when he made public relations trips with Booker Noe, the distiller emeritus at Jim Beam and a member of the seventh generation of distillers in the family, to introduce the Booker’s, Basil Hayden’s, Maker’s and Knob Creek family of small-batch bourbons. Clearly, this access to the scion of the Beam clan and to the legion of bourbon fans that turned out for the events greatly influenced and enhanced Pacult’s writing.
Noe pays Pacult a great compliment in the book’s foreword by saying, “While I thought I knew everything about my family, American Still Life taught me that you can always learn more about who you are and where you came from.”