Kentucky bourbon distiller Parker Beam dies at 75

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WBKO) -- Parker Beam, longtime master distiller for Kentucky-based Heaven Hill Distilleries, has died after battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

He was 75.

Beam's career as a whiskey maker spanned more than a half century at Bardstown-based Heaven Hill.

Beam was responsible for distilling and aging Evan Williams, the world's No. 2-selling bourbon, and other Heaven Hill whiskeys.

As a grandnephew of Jim Beam, Parker Beam was born into a family that traces it's whiskey-making roots in Kentucky to 1795, when Jacob Beam set up his first still. Parker's grandfather was Jim Beam's brother.

Parker Beam was among a small fraternity of master distillers who oversaw production at various Kentucky distilleries during bourbon's revival.

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