Last month saw bourbon kings Jim Beam make history as they exported their first ever hand-picked single barrel bourbon to JW Steakhouse, part of Park Lane’s Grosvenor House Hotel – a big day indeed for bourbon and steak-lovers.

The launch follows a visit to the Jim Beam distillery in Kentucky where JW staff chose their very own barrel under the watchful eye of Fred Noe, great grandson of Mr Beam himself and 7th generation distiller-extraordinaire.

The barrel itself has pride of place in the bourbon bar, and Fred’s signature can clearly be seen, adding to the sense of authenticity and occasion, and making you feel a wee bit special as you drink it.

Delicious nibbles served by JW at the launch included all kinds of themed delights – bourbon marinated salmon, Louisiana gumbo, Jim Beam baby back ribs and one of the highlights of the evening: sweet vanilla milkshake with bourbon cream doughnuts – all the incredible doing of Head Chef Julian Ward.

Bourbon cocktails made use of ingredients such as chamomile and honey sorbet, chocolate, caramel and rooibos reduction and chocolate bitters – all original, imaginative and perfectly complementary.

The Jim Beam single barrel bourbon itself was smooth and rich, and for a spirit consisting of 50% alcohol, had a lovely finish with none of the harsh burn that you might expect. No coughing and spluttering here, just lots of appreciative sipping and murmuring.

Book a table at JW Steakhouse and enjoy being (a small) part of history – judging by what we happily consumed, it’s set to be a very tasty partnership indeed.  And staff are very tolerant of’Beam me up’ comments, which is the icing on the cake.