Little Book Chapter 3 The Road Home (Jim Beam Distillery Brands)

Little Book Tasting [Review]

by | Oct 19, 2019 | Beam Suntory, Jim Beam Distillery, Limited Releases, Tastings | 0 comments

Little Book is an annual, limited release from Jim Bean and is a blended American whiskey. Each blend is hand selected by Freddie Noe, son to the current Master Distiller at Beam (Fred Noe) and is uncut and unfiltered.

Many blended whiskey will use neutral spirits but Little Book doesn’t. They’ve also forgone adding any coloring and non-natural flavor. Little Book is a riff off the legendary Booker Noe’s Booker Small Batch Bourbon as Freddie is his grandson hence Little Book.

There have been three releases so far and below you’ll find reviews for each below:

  • Little Book Chapter 1 “The Easy”
  • Little Book Chapter 2 “Noe Simple Task”
  • Little Book Chapter 3 “The Road Home”

Start shopping for bourbon swag for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

Little Book Chapter 1 “The Easy” Tasting

#littlebookbourbonDetails
ProductionBlended American Whiskey
Age4 Year Old Bourbon
6 Year Old Rye Whiskey
6 Year Old Malt Whiskey
13 Year Old Corn Whiskey
Proof120.48°
ABV60.24%
Price$79
Distillery James B. Beam Distilling
ProsComing Soon
ConsComing Soon
RatingComing Soon
InventoryBuy Without Hesitation

Little Book Chapter 1 “The Easy” is the first in the series of limited release blended American whiskey released by Jim Beam and blended by Freddie Noe (grandson of Booker and son of current master distiller Fred Noe).

When announced, Freddie had this to say:

“I’m humbled and honored to share Little Book with the world,” said Freddie, Beam fermentation manager. “When I joined the family business five years ago, I told Dad I wanted to learn everything there was to know about making whiskey. Along the way, I discovered I’m particularly fascinated by the endless taste profiles that can be created through blending. I’m excited for whiskey fans to taste the first batch of this annual release, and I look forward to sharing new, one-of-a-kind blends every year. It’s a real honor to carry on my family’s legacy, and I hope I’ve done them proud.”

This first blend consists of: 13 year-old corn whiskey (aged in used barrels), 4 year-old bourbon (new, charred barrels), and 6-year-old rye and malt whiskey (new, charred barrels). My full tasting notes are forthcoming but I will say this “Caramel Corn.”

My notes coming soon…in the meantime:

Little Book Chapter 2 “Noe Simple Task” Tasting

#littlebookbourbonDetails
ProductionBlended Whiskey
Age13-year-old Canadian rye whisky at 111.9 proof
8-year-old Kentucky straight rye whiskey at 119.8 proof
40-year-old 100% corn Canadian whisky at 137.8 proof
Proof59.4°
ABV118.8%
Price$99
Distillery James B. Beam Distilling
ProsComing Soon
ConsPickley
RatingComing Soon
InventoryMeh

Freddie describes Little Batch 2 which highlights Canadian whiskeys and ryes:

“For Little Book Chapter 2, I was inspired to work with the extra-aged Canadian whiskies I tasted while visiting our Canadian distilleries last year, but I knew I had my work cut out for me,” said Noe. “The floral, fruit notes Canadian whiskies achieve really intrigued me, along with the aging and production styles that are so different from what we do here in Kentucky. It was a step outside my comfort zone to bring these two worlds of whisk(e)y together, and I’m really proud of the unique blend I was able to achieve.”

My full tasting notes are forthcoming but I will say this “pickley.” My notes coming soon — in the meantime:

Little Book Chapter 3 “The Road Home” Tasting

#littlebookbourbonDetails
DistilledKentucky
ProductionBlended Kentucky Straight Bourbon
AgeKnob Creek – 9 years old, 117.4 proof
Baker’s – 12 years old, 126.6 proof
Basil Hayden’s – 9 years, 123 proof
Booker’s – 11 years, 129.2 proof
CooperageNew, Charred Oak Barrels
Proof122.6°
ABV61.3%
Price$125
Distillery James B. Beam Distilling
ProsComplex, Flavor Explosion
ConsLess Caramel and Vanilla
Rating93
InventoryBuy Without Hesitation

This is the first all bourbon whiskey release in the Little Book line and blends four of Jim Beam’s small batch bourbons — Booker’s, Baker’s, Knob Creek, and Basil Hayden. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Knob Creek – 9 years old, 117.4 proof
  • Baker’s – 12 years old, 126.6 proof
  • Basil Hayden’s – 9 years, 123 proof
  • Booker’s – 11 years, 129.2 proof

Freddie Noe says,

“This one has a lot of sentimental value. These are the four liquids that my grandad created and the four liquids that my dad marketed. They’re sacred to me. If you had asked me at the beginning if I would ever blend these I’d say hell no – but there are no four liquids that mean more to me than these. ‘The Road Home’ to me is a very sentimental release.”

The question he asked himself was: “If granddaddy was to pioneer a blended whiskey instead of a small batch bourbon, what would he look for?”

He continues:

“Whenever I drive down the road to the distillery, the same one my grandaddy Booker drove down, I’m reminded of his adventurous spirit, especially of his creation of the Small Batch Collection in a time when no one was drinking premium Bourbon.

“I like to think he passed that same spirit along to me, which ultimately led me to blending.”

Glass

Little Book Chapter 3 The Road Home (Jim Beam Distillery Brands)

Thick and leggy

Nose – 92 Points

Salted caramel taffy, baking spice, and sweet rock fruit.

Taste – 91 Points

The palate is a symphony of flavor. The front palate has a hint of dried fruit, roasted nuts, and charred brown sugar with baking spice. It’s a slow build to baking spicing solo that fills the mouth by mid palate with subtle notes of oak through the finish.

This reminds me more of Knob Creek, Bakers, and Basil Hayden and less of Booker’s. What I don’t get is those complex caramel and vanilla notes. For me, that’s a slight downside.

Finish – 97 Points

It’s long and spicy. Cue Lionel Ritchie:
We’re going to parti’, karamu’, fiesta, forever
Come on and sing along
All night long (all night), all night (all night)
All night long (all night), all night (all night)

Verdict – The Bourbon Bard Gold (93 Points)

This year the price increased from $100 to $125 but this blend didn’t disappoint. For me it’s still a buy if you see it. When Jim Beam bourbon is on it’s just on and few other bourbon whiskeys can beat it.

This release of Little Book has complexity, full flavor, and a great finish.

Start shopping for bourbon swag for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

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