A massive fire in Kentucky which started overnight on Tuesday tore through thousands of Jim Beam bourbon barrels.
The fire which started around 11 p.m. in Woodford County on Tuesday was completely out by noon on Wednesday, fire officials said. No injuries were reported but the brand is still working with local authorities to confirm the cause. Initial reports suggest the fire resulted from a lightning strike.
Jim Beam's spokesman Dan Cohen issued a statement confirming the count of barrels affected to be at 45,000 (that's about 1.89 million gallons of bourbon) and thanking the first responders that fought the fire.
He also said the barrels are a "relatively young whiskey from the Jim Beam mash bill" and will not impact the availability of Jim Beam for customers.
"We have a comprehensive warehouse safety program that includes regular inspections and rigorous protocols to promote safety and the security of our aging inventory," Cohen said. "We operate 126 barrel warehouses in Kentucky that hold approximately 3.3 million barrels for our brands, and the warehouse that was destroyed contained 45,000 barrels of relatively young whiskey from the Jim Beam mash bill. Given the age of the lost whiskey, this fire will not impact the availability of Jim Beam for consumers."
Authorities and environmental professionals made the call to let the fire burn, as opposed to using fire extinguishers, to avoid contamination and harm to the nearby creek.
The state is anticipating a "serious impact" on aquatic life in the creek and Kentucky River as a result, according to local news outlet, WKYT.