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Warehouse fire could cost Beam Suntory US$300m in lost Jim Beam

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A fire, thought to have been started by a lightning strike, has destroyed about 45,000 barrels containing liquid destined for Beam Suntory's Jim Beam Bourbon brand.

The whiskey in the destroyed barrels was destined for the Jim Beam brand

The whiskey in the destroyed barrels was destined for the Jim Beam brand

Speaking to just-drinks late yesterday, a spokesperson for Beam Suntory confirmed the loss of one of the group's 126 barrel warehouses in Kentucky on Tuesday. No injuries from the incident were reported.

The whiskey in the barrels was "relatively young", the spokesperson said, adding that availability of Jim Beam to consumers would not be affected.

"Initial reports suggest the fire resulted from a lightning strike," said Beam Suntory's senior director of corporate communications, Emily York. "We will work with local authorities to confirm the cause and to remediate the impacts. 

"We have a comprehensive warehouse safety programme that includes regular inspections and rigorous protocols to promote safety and the security of our ageing inventory. The warehouse that was destroyed contained 45,000 barrels of relatively young whiskey from the Jim Beam mash bill."

Reports have suggested that a second warehouse was damaged, although just-drinks could not confirm this. According to Bloomberg, the value of the lost Bourbon could be in the region of US$300m.

The following video was created by CNBC.


Sectors: Spirits

Companies: Beam Suntory Inc

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