Book Review: “The Big Man of Jim Beam” by Jim Kokoris

Booker Noe and I have two major things in common.  The first is our fondness for the ever-funny sitcom Sanford & Son.  Secondly, and more importantly, is our love of bourbon.

I was just getting into whiskey when Booker Noe passed away in 2004, so I didn’t know much about him.  In fact, it wasn’t until I had my first sip of Booker’s Bourbon that I started to wonder who this guy was.  Over the years I’d read the occasional story here and there, along with some “Booker-isms.”  So, when the chance to read a biography of the man himself popped up, I went all in.

“The Big Man of Jim Beam” by Jim Kokoris covers Booker’s life.  It’s an engaging read, but things REALLY start moving on the chapter focusing on Booker’s first day on the job.  Some really funny stories are recounted, providing plenty of laugh out loud moments.

The creation of Booker’s Bourbon is another tentpole moment in Booker’s life and the bourbon world, and is covered in-depth here.  My eyes remained glued to this book.  After all, I was reading about how my favorite Jim Beam whiskey came into existence.  

From young man to master distiller to brand ambassador, Booker Noe enjoyed a storied career.  Kokoris’s new book paints a fascinating image of one of the most important distillers of our day.  This is a must read for anyone who’s ever enjoyed a glass of Booker’s, or any Jim Beam bourbon for that matter.  

You can buy a copy at the Jim Beam online store at

Thanks to Jim Beam for a copy of this book.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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