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Jim Beam brewing 80-proof white whiskey

CLERMONT, Ky. — The world’s largest bourbon producer is dipping into moonshining’s colorful past to create its own batches of white whiskey.

Beam Inc.’s newest spirit is called Jacob’s Ghost in honor of Jacob Beam, founding distiller of its flagship Jim Beam brand. Jacob’s Ghost resembles the potent concoction that flowed from the pioneering whiskey-maker’s still in the 1790s or from a moonshiner’s still today. But this is no run-of-the-mill hooch brewed in the backwoods.

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‘‘We have perfected the whiskey recipe that Jacob created,’’ said Jim Beam master distiller Fred Noe, a descendant of Jacob Beam. ‘‘Jacob’s Ghost is not a moonshine.’’

Jacob’s Ghost, made at Beam’s distillery in Clermont, Ky., is an 80-proof whiskey aged at least one year in a charred, white oak barrel. Moonshine and other white whiskeys generally go right from the still and into the bottle.

Beam says the aging adds flavors from the wood that are missing in unaged whiskies and moonshines.

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