On Tuesday, the James B. Beam Distilling Company announced the latest installment of its highly sought-after Little Book series: Chapter 7, “In Retrospect.” Launched in 2017 by eighth-generation master distiller Freddie Noe, the series is an annual, limited-edition release dedicated to the art of blending.
A blend of seven whiskies — six of which have been used in past Little Book releases — Chapter 7 is intended to serve as an introspective reflection on Noe’s creations thus far, and points to where the series may go in the future. Prior to Chapter 7, spirits used in previous Little Book blends had not been utilized to make new blends.
“Being named Master Distiller was a humbling moment for me, and it inspired me to reflect on the whiskey journey I’ve been on so far,” Noe said in a press release of his work at Jim Beam. “Little Book is a big part of that journey.”
This year’s blend of cask strength whiskies includes an 18-year-old bourbon, 17-year old bourbon, 10-year-old rye, 9-year-old bourbon, 5-year-old malt whiskey finished in applewood smoked barrels, 4-year-old bourbon, and a 4-year-old Pennsylvania-style rye — the last of which is the only spirit that hasn’t been used in a previous Little Book release.
Bottled at 118.1 proof (59.05 percent ABV), Chapter 7’s final blend took Noe eight months to perfect. According to the brand, the whiskey imparts subtly sweet aromas with a whiff of clove and a slightly floral palate of vanilla, slight smoke, and caramel notes.
“This retrospective chapter was a great opportunity to involve my new team in the journey and spirit of Little Book,” Noe said. “Everyone brought their ideas to the table and thought about how we can create the highest potential from this unique catalog of whiskies we’ve utilized over the years.”
Little Book Chapter 7 is now available in limited quantities nationwide for a suggested retail price of $149.99.
Curious about our opinion of the release? Check out our extended Little Book Chapter 7 review, tasted by VinePair contributor David Thomas Tao.