The question: "Hey Jim, what's the best way to drink bourbon?" The answer: "Any damn way you please."
You've just encountered "JIM," an intelligent decanter created by Jim Beam. The gadget is a fever-dream crossover between an Alexa device and a whiskey decanter. Yes, it's real.
The voice belongs to Beam's seventh-generation master distiller Fred Noe, a celebrity in the world of whiskey. He has a slightly craggy, no-nonsense tone to his voice that lets you know you're not in the land of blandly friendly voice assistants like Alexa and Siri.
While Noe can field some questions, the true standout feature is the voice-activated shot-pouring. "Hey, Jim, pour me a drink."
Jim Beam is selling the decanter through its online store for $34.90. It may show up as sold out, but a Jim Beam spokesman expects the store to restock at some point on Wednesday. JIM ships to the US only, so international bourbon aficionados will just have to admire it from afar.
The smart decanter uses 3G technology to run the system. Buyers will get six months of service before the 3G shuts off and the gadget just turns back into a regular (although cumbersome) decanter. That's a bit sad if you were hoping to have Noe snark at you forever, but it still gets you half a year of whiskey-related weirdness.
Jim Beam has stepped up its tech game since last year's release of athat hid a telescoping shot glass inside the case. JIM won't replace your Alexa, Siri or Google Home gadgets, but it wins out with the best party trick of the bunch. Just add bourbon.