Little Book is the name given to the experimental releases developed by eighth-generation Master Distiller Freddie Noe. Noe runs the Fred B. Noe Distillery at Jim Beam in Clermont, where he creates what may be Beam’s next major frontier of Kentucky whiskey.
Today I was invited to join a Zoom call with Freddie and other journalists where we tasted through the liquid streams minus one stream each that make up this Chapter 6 release of Little Book. There were four straight malt whiskeys and one Bourbon used for the end blend, and each liquid stream was just four of the component whiskeys.
Liquid stream 1, which was a blend without cherry wood smoke, had a lot of cherry wood on the nose and was sweet and malty on the palate. Noe says he thinks this component added a lot of sweetness to the final product. The first barrel is a standard barrel for Beam’s ASM. The second barrel is flash charred and then smoked with cherry wood.
Liquid stream 2, which was a blend without maple wood smoke, has notes of barbecue sauce on the nose and is sweet and spicy on the palate with a hint of smoke like barbecue sauce.
“That’s what Little Book is about, driving people’s curiosity about American Whiskey,” says Noe.
Liquid stream 3, which was a blend without hickory smoke, had vanilla flower and lemon peel on the nose, a stark contrast to the other two. On the palate there’s more oiliness than the other two and considerably more cinnamon spice. The finish is slightly acidic, which seems to be balanced out in the final full blend and other component streams.
The name “To The Finish” is a nod to the various wood finishes that went into the component whiskeys for this blend. It’s really an experiment in the versatility of wood finishes in a blended whiskey.
Liquid stream 4, which was a blend without apple wood smoke, has more of a nutty, hazelnut nose and a marshmallow and spice palate.
Liquid stream 5, which was a blend without Bourbon, has a sweeter brown sugar and citrus peel nose and a brown sugar and spice palate with a hint of ripe cherry.
The component whiskeys of Little Book Chapter 6 are:
- 4-year straight malt whiskey finished with cherrywood staves
- 4-year straight malt whiskey finished in applewood smoked barrels
- 4-year straight malt whiskey finished in hickory smoked barrels
- 4-year straight malt whiskey finished with maple wood staves
- 5-year Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Little Book Chapter 6 is available in select markets now and retails for $124.99. Yesterday I saw someone on Twitter who had gotten it at Costco for $95, so I’d check there first. Cheers!
Photos Courtesy of Maggie Kimberl