Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock these past few years, you should know that Little Book is Beam’s experimental line. Eighth generation Beam Distiller Freddie Noe gets to explore the deep reserve of Jim Beam whiskey to create a new blend every year.
This fourth iteration, or chapter, is called Lessons Honored. The name and blend are an ode to what Freddie’s learned from his family. Distilling royalty, indeed. Chapter 4 comes in at 122.8 proof. It’s a blend of three Kentucky straight bourbons: a 4-year-old brown rice bourbon, 8-year-old “high rye” bourbon, and 7-year-old bourbon. I remember Beam released a rice bourbon a few years ago, but I didn’t get a chance to taste it.
There’s lots of vanilla and caramelized fruit on the nose. Those notes sit right alongside a herbal and woody undertones. Tart cherries and dark chocolate kick off the palate, balanced by orange zest, vanilla, and barrel char bitterness. A little spice leads us to a long, warming finish.
This is nice. The blend provides a fruity and caramel character with some added oak (not the drying, astringent oak qualities of older whiskies). It’s full-bodied and bold, but easy to sip at bottling proof. It’s quite a departure from the sometimes peanut-heavy Beam flavor profile. Little Book Chapter 4 should please those looking for a bold whiskey experience. Recommended!
Thanks to Jim Beam for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.