Any bourbon lover knows the Noe family, most notably Booker Noe, the man we can all thank for Knob Creek and Booker’s bourbons, and Fred Noe, the current master distiller at Jim Beam. A new release from Jim Beam, though, is introducing us to the next generation of Noes to man the helm of a distilling project: Freddie Noe.
Freddie, an eighth-generation distiller, is the man responsible for Beam’s latest release, Little Book “The Easy.” Taking its name from Booker’s nickname for Freddie, Little Book is a blend of four whiskeys: four-year-old Kentucky straight bourbon; six-year-old high rye whiskey; six-year-old, 100-percent malt whiskey; and 13-year-old corn whiskey (named as such because it doesn’t, in some way, follow every law that it would take for it to be called bourbon). What results from this blend is a limited-edition release that the family hopes to do annually.
Appearance: Little Book is bright copper in color.
Nose: Heavy on the caramel, Little Book also features noticeable oak, with some nuttiness, sherry, and sweet corn all playing roles.
Palate: At first, you’re greeted with a rich, somewhat oaky body. French vanilla and caramel come through, followed by cinnamon and cloves that seem as if wrapped around and orange peel. There’s a bit of a coppery taste toward the end, but this is washed out when the heat from the alcohol begins to tingle along the gums.
Finish: A long, warm bordering on hot (as if it’s a young whiskey) finish. Dried fruit and baking spice are predominant flavors.
Final Thoughts: This is an interesting release from Jim Beam, and one that shows what might be ahead when it comes to experimentation. The heavy caramel flavors key you in that this is truly a Jim Beam product, but the mix of whiskeys also shows that Freddie is taking the knowledge he’s gained over the years to strike a path that in the future can be seen as wholly his own. While it may not ring true for the die-hard fans that will do anything for each new release from the Booker’s line, it’s definitely worthy of giving it a shot.
Little Book “The Easy” is 60.2 percent ABV and retails for around $80.