Time to Read the Little Book
We all know about the legendary Booker Noe, the former master distiller at Jim Beam and the namesake of Booker's Bourbon, one of the most iconic American whiskies there is. Then, of course, there's his son Fred Noe, the current master distiller at Beam who has continued in his father's footsteps and carved out his own niche in the industry by carrying the torch into the modern Bourbon boom. Between Booker and Fred, it was going to be tough for anyone to follow in the footsteps of this legendary father and son duo, especially the next generation of Noe kin, but I have to give it to young Freddie Noe: he knocked his first shot at succession right out of the park, over the fence, and into the Ohio River. Freddie, or "Little Book" as he's known amongst his family members, has put together his first foray into the whiskey world and I'm instantly a big fan of his work. I've had the chance to try it now on three different occasions and I've enjoyed it immensely each go-around. But what is it, you ask? Let's break it down.
Freddie is known as "Little Book" due to a resemblance to his grandfather, but he's also named his whiskey "Little Book" linking it to the brand Booker's as well. It's another full-throttle, 60% ABV+, massive assault on your taste buds, but it's not a straight Bourbon like Booker's. Looking to add something new to the genre, Freddie blended the following whiskies together:
- 13 year old corn whiskey
- 6 year old malt whiskey
- 6 year old rye whiskey
- 4 year old Kentucky straight Bourbon
The result is a blend of straight whiskies that for all intents and purposes tastes exactly like Bourbon, even if it isn't. It's not some wacky, weird, craft-oriented approach to make something completely new. I'm nosing it right now as I type this and—if I didn't already know what I was drinking—I would guess Bourbon without a doubt. It has that corny, grainy nose that whips through the nostrils with tons of new oak. The palate is rich and spicy, blistering with baking spices and classic Beam texture, but with a fatness from the malt and extra spice from the rye. It's freaking delicious. I think blending skills are going to be what separates the men from the boys as the whiskey glut continues to grow and the Little Book is one beautifully blended whiskey.
More importantly, it's clearly a Beam product. It has all the hallmark flavors of Booker's and Basil Hayden's with just a few small tweaks in terms of sweetness and spice. Batch #1 just hit the store and we've got plenty for the time being, although I will be allocating it for now until we can confirm more inventory.
As a side note, we'll have Freddie Noe in our San Francisco store on Wednesday December 6th for a meet and greet, plus a book signing and tasting event. Stay tuned for more info on that, but in the meantime I'd grab a bottle of this: