In what seems to be a lineup playing outside the typical confines of blending whiskey here in America, the second release of Beam Suntory’s Little Book hits shelves. For this 2018 expression, Freddie Noe looked past using only American straight whiskies in his blend. The result is a blend of 8-year-old Kentucky straight rye whiskey, 13-year-old Canadian rye whisky (aged in recharred barrels), and 40-year-old Canadian whisky that aged in once-used bourbon barrels.
In a nod to his grandfather Booker’s namesake whiskey, Little Book is presented at cask strength and unfiltered. “Noe Simple Task” comes in at 118.8 proof.
I liked the inaugural release in 2017, and this one stacks up. The nose is fragrant and floral with hints of violets, spice, and caramel. The palate offers an interesting tasting journey. Waves of caramel corn intermingle with a healthy dose of rye spice and cherries. There’s a slightly darker undercurrent of barrel char and tobacco on the back palate adding complexity. Caramel and oak return for the long finish.
The Little Book brand is Beam Suntory’s experimental series, or so it seems. Freddie Noe is two for two in putting together interesting blends. Make no mistake, Little Book does not contain a traditional American whiskey flavor profile. It’s more an exercise for a potential future master distiller to hone his blending skills. Thankfully, “Noe Simple Task” is an interesting whiskey, but more importantly it’s a tasty one. 8/10
Thanks to Beam Suntory for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.