Valdelice Da Silva Dias Salum, 77, says she channels the spirits of famous painters to create her artwork. Lourdes Garcia-Navarro/NPR hide caption

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In a $16 billion deal this week, Japanese beverage giant Suntory announced it plans to purchase Beam Inc., maker of Jim Beam and owner of other popular bourbon brands, including Maker's Mark. Bruce Schreiner/AP hide caption

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Suntory's 30-year-old Hibiki whiskey took home the top award at the International Spirits Challenge in 2003. This unexpected triumph was Japanese whiskey's big coming-out party on the global spirits stage. Courtesy of Suntory hide caption

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With too little distilled bourbon to meet demand, Maker's Mark is lowering the product's alcohol content from 90 to 84 proof. Ed Reinke/AP hide caption

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In a cavernous barn, distillers make whiskey with rye, corn and malted barley.

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