Freddie Noe’s Little Book Chapter 7 Brings Back The Best Of His Unique Whiskey Series

Little Book Chapter 7 In Retrospect whiskey blend details and bottle photo

Beam Suntory Inc

Freddie Noe, 8th generation Beam family Master Distillery, has debuted newest chapter of his unique whiskey series, Little Book Chapter 7 ‘In Retrospect’.

This new chapter in the Little Book series features 7 distinct whiskeys masterfully blended together so that, as Freddie Noe loves to say, the finished product is greater than the sum of its individual parts. And a huge part of what makes this particular blend so special is it brings back 6 whiskeys featured in the previous Little Book chapters, one from 1-6, and a new stream for Chapter 7.

Little Book Chapter 7 ‘In Retrospect’ – 7 Whiskeys In The Blend

As mentioned, Little Book Chapter 7 is a blend seven streams, one from the first six chapters and a new whiskey just for Chapter 7. But there’s a really cool twist!

The liquid streams from Chapters 1-6 now have had some extra years in the barrels. For instance, Chapter 2 included a 6-year-old Kentucky Rye that returns in Chapter 7 but it is now a 10-year-old Kentucky Rye. Chapter 5 included a 15-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon that is now an 18-year Kentucky Straight Bourbon in Chapter 7.

The full liquid stream for Little Book Chapter 7 ‘In Retrospect’ includes:

  • 18-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (from Chapter 5)
  • 17-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (from Chapter 3, Basil Hayden stream)
  • 10-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (from Chapter 2)
  • 9-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (from Chapter 4 – not to Fred’s love of Knob Creek)
  • 5-Year-Old Straight Malt Whiskey finished in Applewood Smoked Barrels (from Chapter 6)
  • 4-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (from Chapter 1)
  • 4-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (the new whiskey debuting in Chapter 7 — High Rye PA style)

The 18-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon from Chapter 5 is a 53.11% ABV liquid stream. It represents the all flavor from Beam‘s upper age statements and what’s possible when the liquid is allowed to let lie in the barrel for nearly two decades.

The 10-year-old Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey from Chapter 2 is a 107-proof with a LOT of flavor. With this upper age statement rye, drinkers can really get a sense of the rye flavor bursting through that might have been masked by the sweetness of corn at say 3-5 years. But that corn sweetness subsides a little over time leading to the beautiful rye spice found in this 10-year expression.

The newcomer this year is the 4-year-old Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey which is an almost Pennsylvania-style Rye Whiskey (80/20) that clocks in at 55.25% ABV. 7th generation Beam Family Master Distiller Freddie Noe made the mash bill for this one on the fly. Freddie fell in love with both the flavor and the history, as he says his family came to Kentucky through Pennsylvania.

Noe also says this whiskey ‘represents a lot of what American whiskey stands for.’ He joked that he wouldn’t put all of that pressure on this whiskey’s back but he believes the 4-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (PA-style) has all of the characteristics that American whiskey stands for.

Putting Together The Final Blend

Coming up with the final blend for Little Book Chapter 7 ‘In Retrospect’ took Freddie Noe about 8 months this time around. He told me he takes a lot of pride in putting together the Little Book series each year and is also deeply thankful of all the people he’s met and experiences that came to life through this whiskey series. Heck, Little Book is how I came to know Freddie Noe years ago and I’ve since been fortunate enough to get to know him each year since.

When asked about how each liquid stream was chosen for ‘In Retrospect’, Freddie Noe explained he got with his tasting panel and what happened next was interesting. While he might’ve been initially partial to one whiskey stream his tasting panel of peers and colleagues swayed him on one or two of the liquid streams due to the poetry and history of that liquid stream.

He says initially he was leaning towards inclusion of the 40-year-old Canadian whiskey from Chapter 2 but through his team he came to see that using Beam’s core whiskey, in this case the 10yo Kentucky Rye, was emblematic of this whiskey series and made a lot more sense in both the blend and concept.

As for this year’s name, ‘In Retrospect’, Freddie says self reflection is something that has become deeply important to him which he of course touched on above in giving thanks to the people and memories spawned from Little Book.

Freddie Noe told me “life is a journey and you don’t always have to look forward,” adding “reflection can help you sharpen your tools or set you on a better journey or deeper journey forward.”

Little Book Chapter 7 ‘In Retrospect’ — The Best Yet?

I was fortunate enough to get with Freddie Noe prior to the release of Little Book Chapter 7 ‘In Retrospect’ and sample several of the individual liquid streams along with the finished blend. Looking back at the first six chapters, Chapter 3 ‘The Road Home’ is arguably the most popular but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I’ve enjoyed my limited time with Chapter 7 more than Chapter 3.

I did revisit the Chapter 3 blend a year or two ago and it holds up, it’s PHENOMENAL, but what Freddie Noe has done with Chapter 7 is truly special. ‘In Retrospect’ is 118.1 proof with a ‘deep russet with golden hues’ color. It has a rich aroma of clove spice. The long, layered finish is slightly floral up front followed by creamy vanilla, caramel, and a hint of smoke and spice.

A 750ml bottle has a SRP of $149.99. Little Book Chapter 7 ‘In Retrospect’ is available nationwide in limited quantities. More information can be found on the LittleBookWhiskey website.

Little Book Chapter 7 In Retrospect whiskey blend details and bottle photo

Beam Suntory Inc