The Details

Rating 95
Style
Produced In Kentucky
United States
ABV 59.1%
Availability Limited
Price $150.00 
Reviewed By
Review Updated 2024-06-26

Little Book Chapter 8 Blended Whiskey Review

Each year, eighth-generation master distiller Freddie Noe digs into Jim Beam’s gargantuan barrel stocks to produce a unique iteration of Little Book, his hallmark blended whiskey. Previous iterations have included rye, bourbon, rice whiskey, and even decades-old stock from a Canadian sister distillery.

Each blend’s uniqueness is matched by its esoteric character, with Noe’s guiding palate the only real consistency from batch to batch. To adulterate one of Tom Hanks’ most famous lines, with Little Book, you never know what you’re gonna get.

The 2024 release of Little Book — Chapter 8, for those keeping track — is dubbed “Path Not Taken.” According to a company press release, Path Not Taken is “about reimagining the variety that rye grain has to offer and pushing the limits of what it can be.”

It’s a blended American whiskey containing an eye-popping seven different components, including six ryes and one highly-aged bourbon:

  • 18 year Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (High Rye Mashbill)
  • 11 year Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
  • 7 year Kentucky Straight Rye Malt Whiskey
  • 5 year Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (Kentucky Style, Char 4 Barrels)
  • 5 year Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (Pennsylvania Style, Char 1 Barrels)
  • 5 year Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (Pennsylvania Style, Char 4 Barrels)
  • 4 year Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey

For context, “Kentucky style” generally means a rye whiskey just at or above the legally mandated 51 percent rye in its mashbill. “Pennsylvania style” likely refers to Beam’s growing stocks of rye made with an 80 percent rye, 20 percent malted barley mash (utilized in its recent A. Overholt release).

Let’s see how it tastes!

Little Book Chapter 8 Blended Whiskey review.

Little Book Chapter 8: Stats and Availability

Little Book is an annual limited release with a suggested retail price of $150. (Note there was no increase in MSRP between 2023 and 2024.) It’s also available in generous quantities at Beam’s Clermont distillery and visitor’s center in Kentucky. While limited, I’ve found Little Book to be fairly accessible in major metropolitan markets in both the United States and Canada. However, don’t be surprised to see it marked above suggested retail; I’ve commonly seen bottles retailing for $200, depending on the batch (or in this case, “Chapter”).

Little Book Chapter 8 Review

As with all of VinePair’s whiskey reviews, this was tasted in a Glencairn glass and rested for at least five minutes.

Nose

Fairly heavy on ethanol at the start, Little Book Chapter 8 noses every bit its 118.2 proof. That doesn’t mean the alcohol overpowers other aromas; on the contrary, this is a blend that’s clearly getting a lot from its various components. Fresh dill, fennel, licorice root, warm pumpernickel bread, and vanilla extract lead, with the whiskey dancing back and forth between herbal/anise and sweet/bready scents.

More time in the glass brings forth notes of praline, toasted walnuts, and almond extract, the nuttiness lingering just below the earliest smells and ethanol. Birch bark and pine sap bring up the rear — both notes I’ve gotten before on Beam’s Pennsylvania-style rye — which provides a pleasant wood element that’s frankly a nice departure from heavy oak.

Chapter 8 is most certainly rye-forward here, but I’m guessing some of these later notes might come from the inclusion of that older Beam bourbon, with its famously nutty character. (This would be a heck of a whiskey to try both with and without that component…for research purposes, of course.)

Taste

The palate isn’t quite a full turn, but there’s certainly a departure compared to the nose. Instead of vegetal to start, it’s immediately fruity, akin to the syrup from a can of preserved peaches. Sweet cinnamon folds in next, with both fruit and spice lingering heavily on the tongue via a viscous mouth feel.

By the third sip, cinnamon branches off into some other familiar rye spices, including nutmeg and clove. Along the midpalate comes mint gum (not quite peppermint, not quite wintergreen) that’s both sweeter and less herbal than I might have initially guessed.

Gone are the pine sap and birch bark from the nose. In their place is heavy toasted oak and barrel char. A small pop of root beer builds toward the back of the palate, the sassafras bringing an additional woody and bark component all its own. (I would have welcomed even more in this realm, though that’s quite the specific nitpick.)

The whiskey (thankfully) never quite loses that aspect of fruit syrup, which gets a little more tart — more lemon drop than canned peach — as things progress. There’s a lot going on here, the blend performing a bit of harmonious alchemy above and beyond the majority of rye whiskeys on the market today. We don’t know the exact breakdown of the rye (and bourbon) whiskeys in this bottle, but rest assured, it’s working.

Finish

The finish is sweet, spicy, and long, a worthy continuation of the palate. It leans a touch spicier than either the nose or palate, the sweetness gradually losing a little depth from the oak and fading into vanilla rice pudding. The wood doesn’t disappear entirely, but I wouldn’t have minded a slightly more tannic final act.

Little Book Chapter 8 Rating

95/100

Recap

Little Book Chapter 8 is meant to showcase rye’s range. If that’s the barometer, Freddie Noe has succeeded here. It’s a blended whiskey with both character and narrative, and the broad range of aromas and flavors work together remarkably well for a composed drinking experience. One could air a few gripes about flavors that lag behind others (it’s our job as reviewers, no doubt!), but generally, there’s a lot to love and less to nitpick here. In my mind, Chapter 8 is the best Little Book from the past few years, and perhaps one of the best overall.

*Image retrieved from Suntory Global Spirits

95
POINTS
Little Book Chapter 8 Blended Whiskey
Each year, eighth-generation master distiller Freddie Noe digs into Jim Beam’s gargantuan barrel stocks to produce a unique iteration of Little Book, his hallmark blended whiskey. Previous iterations have included rye, bourbon, rice whiskey, and even decades-old stock from a Canadian sister distillery. Each blend’s uniqueness is matched by its esoteric character, with Noe’s guiding palate the only real consistency from batch to batch. To adulterate one of Tom Hanks’ most famous lines, with Little Book, you never know what you’re gonna get. The 2024 release of Little Book — Chapter 8, for those keeping track — is dubbed “Path Not Taken.” According to a company press release, Path Not Taken is “about reimagining the variety that rye grain has to offer and pushing the limits of what it can be.” It’s a blended American whiskey containing an eye-popping seven different components, including six ryes and one highly-aged bourbon:
  • 18 year Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (High Rye Mashbill)
  • 11 year Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
  • 7 year Kentucky Straight Rye Malt Whiskey
  • 5 year Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (Kentucky Style, Char 4 Barrels)
  • 5 year Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (Pennsylvania Style, Char 1 Barrels)
  • 5 year Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (Pennsylvania Style, Char 4 Barrels)
  • 4 year Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
For context, “Kentucky style” generally means a rye whiskey just at or above the legally mandated 51 percent rye in its mashbill. “Pennsylvania style” likely refers to Beam’s growing stocks of rye made with an 80 percent rye, 20 percent malted barley mash (utilized in its recent A. Overholt release). Let’s see how it tastes! Little Book Chapter 8 Blended Whiskey review.

Little Book Chapter 8: Stats and Availability

Little Book is an annual limited release with a suggested retail price of $150. (Note there was no increase in MSRP between 2023 and 2024.) It’s also available in generous quantities at Beam’s Clermont distillery and visitor’s center in Kentucky. While limited, I’ve found Little Book to be fairly accessible in major metropolitan markets in both the United States and Canada. However, don’t be surprised to see it marked above suggested retail; I’ve commonly seen bottles retailing for $200, depending on the batch (or in this case, “Chapter”).

Little Book Chapter 8 Review

As with all of VinePair’s whiskey reviews, this was tasted in a Glencairn glass and rested for at least five minutes.

Nose

Fairly heavy on ethanol at the start, Little Book Chapter 8 noses every bit its 118.2 proof. That doesn’t mean the alcohol overpowers other aromas; on the contrary, this is a blend that’s clearly getting a lot from its various components. Fresh dill, fennel, licorice root, warm pumpernickel bread, and vanilla extract lead, with the whiskey dancing back and forth between herbal/anise and sweet/bready scents. More time in the glass brings forth notes of praline, toasted walnuts, and almond extract, the nuttiness lingering just below the earliest smells and ethanol. Birch bark and pine sap bring up the rear — both notes I’ve gotten before on Beam’s Pennsylvania-style rye — which provides a pleasant wood element that’s frankly a nice departure from heavy oak. Chapter 8 is most certainly rye-forward here, but I’m guessing some of these later notes might come from the inclusion of that older Beam bourbon, with its famously nutty character. (This would be a heck of a whiskey to try both with and without that component…for research purposes, of course.)

Taste

The palate isn’t quite a full turn, but there’s certainly a departure compared to the nose. Instead of vegetal to start, it’s immediately fruity, akin to the syrup from a can of preserved peaches. Sweet cinnamon folds in next, with both fruit and spice lingering heavily on the tongue via a viscous mouth feel. By the third sip, cinnamon branches off into some other familiar rye spices, including nutmeg and clove. Along the midpalate comes mint gum (not quite peppermint, not quite wintergreen) that’s both sweeter and less herbal than I might have initially guessed. Gone are the pine sap and birch bark from the nose. In their place is heavy toasted oak and barrel char. A small pop of root beer builds toward the back of the palate, the sassafras bringing an additional woody and bark component all its own. (I would have welcomed even more in this realm, though that’s quite the specific nitpick.) The whiskey (thankfully) never quite loses that aspect of fruit syrup, which gets a little more tart — more lemon drop than canned peach — as things progress. There’s a lot going on here, the blend performing a bit of harmonious alchemy above and beyond the majority of rye whiskeys on the market today. We don’t know the exact breakdown of the rye (and bourbon) whiskeys in this bottle, but rest assured, it’s working.

Finish

The finish is sweet, spicy, and long, a worthy continuation of the palate. It leans a touch spicier than either the nose or palate, the sweetness gradually losing a little depth from the oak and fading into vanilla rice pudding. The wood doesn’t disappear entirely, but I wouldn’t have minded a slightly more tannic final act.

Little Book Chapter 8 Rating

95/100

Recap

Little Book Chapter 8 is meant to showcase rye’s range. If that’s the barometer, Freddie Noe has succeeded here. It’s a blended whiskey with both character and narrative, and the broad range of aromas and flavors work together remarkably well for a composed drinking experience. One could air a few gripes about flavors that lag behind others (it’s our job as reviewers, no doubt!), but generally, there’s a lot to love and less to nitpick here. In my mind, Chapter 8 is the best Little Book from the past few years, and perhaps one of the best overall. *Image retrieved from Suntory Global Spirits

Reviewed On: 06-27-2024
95
POINTS
Little Book Chapter 8 Blended Whiskey
Each year, eighth-generation master distiller Freddie Noe digs into Jim Beam’s gargantuan barrel stocks to produce a unique iteration of Little Book, his hallmark blended whiskey. Previous iterations have included rye, bourbon, rice whiskey, and even decades-old stock from a Canadian sister distillery. Each blend’s uniqueness is matched by its esoteric character, with Noe’s guiding palate the only real consistency from batch to batch. To adulterate one of Tom Hanks’ most famous lines, with Little Book, you never know what you’re gonna get. The 2024 release of Little Book — Chapter 8, for those keeping track — is dubbed “Path Not Taken.” According to a company press release, Path Not Taken is “about reimagining the variety that rye grain has to offer and pushing the limits of what it can be.” It’s a blended American whiskey containing an eye-popping seven different components, including six ryes and one highly-aged bourbon:
  • 18 year Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (High Rye Mashbill)
  • 11 year Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
  • 7 year Kentucky Straight Rye Malt Whiskey
  • 5 year Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (Kentucky Style, Char 4 Barrels)
  • 5 year Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (Pennsylvania Style, Char 1 Barrels)
  • 5 year Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (Pennsylvania Style, Char 4 Barrels)
  • 4 year Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
For context, “Kentucky style” generally means a rye whiskey just at or above the legally mandated 51 percent rye in its mashbill. “Pennsylvania style” likely refers to Beam’s growing stocks of rye made with an 80 percent rye, 20 percent malted barley mash (utilized in its recent A. Overholt release). Let’s see how it tastes! Little Book Chapter 8 Blended Whiskey review.

Little Book Chapter 8: Stats and Availability

Little Book is an annual limited release with a suggested retail price of $150. (Note there was no increase in MSRP between 2023 and 2024.) It’s also available in generous quantities at Beam’s Clermont distillery and visitor’s center in Kentucky. While limited, I’ve found Little Book to be fairly accessible in major metropolitan markets in both the United States and Canada. However, don’t be surprised to see it marked above suggested retail; I’ve commonly seen bottles retailing for $200, depending on the batch (or in this case, “Chapter”).

Little Book Chapter 8 Review

As with all of VinePair’s whiskey reviews, this was tasted in a Glencairn glass and rested for at least five minutes.

Nose

Fairly heavy on ethanol at the start, Little Book Chapter 8 noses every bit its 118.2 proof. That doesn’t mean the alcohol overpowers other aromas; on the contrary, this is a blend that’s clearly getting a lot from its various components. Fresh dill, fennel, licorice root, warm pumpernickel bread, and vanilla extract lead, with the whiskey dancing back and forth between herbal/anise and sweet/bready scents. More time in the glass brings forth notes of praline, toasted walnuts, and almond extract, the nuttiness lingering just below the earliest smells and ethanol. Birch bark and pine sap bring up the rear — both notes I’ve gotten before on Beam’s Pennsylvania-style rye — which provides a pleasant wood element that’s frankly a nice departure from heavy oak. Chapter 8 is most certainly rye-forward here, but I’m guessing some of these later notes might come from the inclusion of that older Beam bourbon, with its famously nutty character. (This would be a heck of a whiskey to try both with and without that component…for research purposes, of course.)

Taste

The palate isn’t quite a full turn, but there’s certainly a departure compared to the nose. Instead of vegetal to start, it’s immediately fruity, akin to the syrup from a can of preserved peaches. Sweet cinnamon folds in next, with both fruit and spice lingering heavily on the tongue via a viscous mouth feel. By the third sip, cinnamon branches off into some other familiar rye spices, including nutmeg and clove. Along the midpalate comes mint gum (not quite peppermint, not quite wintergreen) that’s both sweeter and less herbal than I might have initially guessed. Gone are the pine sap and birch bark from the nose. In their place is heavy toasted oak and barrel char. A small pop of root beer builds toward the back of the palate, the sassafras bringing an additional woody and bark component all its own. (I would have welcomed even more in this realm, though that’s quite the specific nitpick.) The whiskey (thankfully) never quite loses that aspect of fruit syrup, which gets a little more tart — more lemon drop than canned peach — as things progress. There’s a lot going on here, the blend performing a bit of harmonious alchemy above and beyond the majority of rye whiskeys on the market today. We don’t know the exact breakdown of the rye (and bourbon) whiskeys in this bottle, but rest assured, it’s working.

Finish

The finish is sweet, spicy, and long, a worthy continuation of the palate. It leans a touch spicier than either the nose or palate, the sweetness gradually losing a little depth from the oak and fading into vanilla rice pudding. The wood doesn’t disappear entirely, but I wouldn’t have minded a slightly more tannic final act.

Little Book Chapter 8 Rating

95/100

Recap

Little Book Chapter 8 is meant to showcase rye’s range. If that’s the barometer, Freddie Noe has succeeded here. It’s a blended whiskey with both character and narrative, and the broad range of aromas and flavors work together remarkably well for a composed drinking experience. One could air a few gripes about flavors that lag behind others (it’s our job as reviewers, no doubt!), but generally, there’s a lot to love and less to nitpick here. In my mind, Chapter 8 is the best Little Book from the past few years, and perhaps one of the best overall. *Image retrieved from Suntory Global Spirits

Reviewed On: 06-27-2024