"2011 was an extraordinary year for Beam," said chief Matt Shattock as he opened the company's fiscal year earnings call with analysts. It was a big year indeed. At the end of 2010 they announced plans to become a standalone spirits company, which went into effect on October 4. In March 2011 they acquired Skinnygirl for an undisclosed (although highly speculated about) sum. Then in the waning days of December, they announced plans to acquire Irish whiskey distillery Cooley Distillery for $95 million. So within a year's time they entered two fast growing spirits categories: low-calorie RTDs and Irish whiskey. "The people of Beam feel very good about how far we've come, where we are, and where we're headed in 2012 and beyond," he continued.