Jim Beam collectible decanters come in numerous designs, including cars, animals, fish, birds, military, centennials, holidays, celebrities, opera, sports, states and telephones, to name but a few. Some decanters are made of porcelain or china, but others are glass. The Jim Beam Club advises that alcohol should not be stored in any of these collectible decanters because it can corrode the inner surface of the container.
Other types of collectible Jim Beam decanters include the presidential series, mini bottles, foreign countries, customer specialties and award series. The Jim Beam Club shows photographs of some popular decanters. State decanters feature various aspects unique to each place, such as the physical shape of the state or a common theme. Foreign countries are similarly decorated with designs that are popular representations. For instance, Australia's decanters picture kangaroos, koalas and the Sydney Opera House.
Modern decanters were made starting in 1955 and feature color glaze that does not fade. Foil, paper and cold-fired decanters may have decorations that can wash off over time. Some decanters have cork stoppers, while others have screw caps.
Decanter collecting started as a way for alcohol manufacturers to sell extra products, while simultaneously increasing interest and awareness of various companies. The Jim Beam Club has pictorial representations of several collectible series of decanters from dozens of liquor companies.