When Jim Beam eighth generation distiller Freddie Noe began blending his top-shelf bottles in the Little Book Line, he was all about the experimentation. Drawing on creative malt and corn whiskeys and using rare old barrels from the company’s stocks around the continent, the first two releases played with blending in a way Jim Beam never had. But last year’s Chapter 3 and this year’s Chapter 4, an ode to the man who taught Freddie his family craft, have relied on the Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey that the Noe family is known for.
“This year’s release is an ode to my dad and the lessons he has passed down to me about bourbon and life, all of which I hope to pass down to my own children,” Freddie Noe said. “A lot of them go back to honesty and integrity. He taught me to be true to myself, which is something that’s very important in our family, and to know when to slow down and be patient. Dad’s values carry over into our whiskey brands, and I’m proud to honor him with this special blend.”
Chapter 4 features three completely different whiskeys – aa 4-year-old Kentucky Straight Brown Rice Bourbon, an 8-year-old Kentucky Straight “high rye” Rye Whiskey, and a 7-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, all mixed with one man in mind. The Brown Rice Bourbon, Freddie says, reminds him of the first project he distilled solo after years of working under his father, while the rye whiskey stirs a memory of blending Booker’s Rye, the first limited edition project the pair worked on together. And of course, the Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is one Freddie found reminiscent of the Jim Beam Small Batch line, with samples tasted and selected unknowingly by Fred before they went into the blend.
“Going into the selection and blending process for this year’s release, I had a very clear idea of how I wanted to honor my dad and the story I wanted to tell with this whiskey,” Freddie Noe explained. “I knew right away these were the whiskies I wanted to work with, so I spent most of my time perfecting the blend to balance the flavors to create a whiskey that would make Dad proud. I think I did just that – all the way down to the blue neck tag which represents our favorite sports team, the Kentucky Wildcats.”
The release “features flavors of full-bodied brown sugar, rich charred wood and dried cherries,” read tasting notes from the distillery. “The finish is soft and decadent, leaving a warm caramel taste on your tongue, followed by a spicy finish.” Like all Booker’s and Little Book releases, it’s bottled uncut and unfiltered, at 122.8 proof.
Little Book Chapter 4 “Lessons Honored” will be available nationwide this month in limited quantities for a suggested retail price of around $125.