Friday, March 9, 2018

Little Book The Easy Blended Whiskey

VITALS:
- $90
- 120.48 Proof
- NAS
- Batch No. 1
- Region: Kentucky

As weird as it seems, for the first time I was excited for a release of a new blended whiskey, and I actually actively sought it out. Why? Because Little Book represents the first whiskey released by heir to the Jim Beam throne, Freddie Noe (son of Fred Noe and grandson of Booker Noe).

Little Book The Easy is a blend of a four-year-old bourbon, a thirteen-year-old corn whiskey, an approximately six-year-old straight rye whiskey, and an approximately six-year-old straight malt whiskey. The final product was then bottled at full proof, uncut and unfiltered. This is quite the blend, and it packs the biggest punch of any blended whiskey that I've ever had. Going in, this was the most curious I've been in a long time about a new whiskey.

Immediately the nose told me this was going to be a solid whiskey. It was pungent and full of aroma, loaded with brown sugar and molasses. It had some burn (expected given its proof) as well as a nice peppery spice that tickled the nose. I loved the way this whiskey smelled, and I found myself constantly sniffing my glass.

The flavor matched the nose very well, providing a nice mix of heat and sweet (kind of like what I like about mango habanero hot wings). The brown sugar from the nose carries forward to the palate and is certainly the dominant flavor here. It also has a significant amount of corn influence, giving it a sweet cereal flavor that reminded me a lot of Life cereal.

As expected from a Booker's spin-off of sorts, it has a decent amount of burn, but that burn is balanced out by the sweet brown sugar as well as a nice spicy cinnamon that kicks in about half way and lingers forever on the nice long finish. After each swallow I felt like I had just finished a Fireball candy with that sticky, sugary and spicy cinnamon still sticking around on my tongue and in the back of my throat.

Interestingly, in the first few pours I noticed the slightest hint of pine, just subtle enough to notice but not strong enough to stand out. In later pours this flavor really seemed to develop and became much more prominent. While it seems like it should mix well with the heavy cinnamon notes, here it just didn't seem to. Rather, the two flavors seemed to stand in contrast to one another, neither one being a bad flavor but neither one really working with the other either.

Overall, Freddie Noe has something good here, and I will certainly pick up the next expression he releases. This is a big, bold and flavorful blended whiskey the likes of which I've never had before. If all blended whiskeys were like this, they would be far more popular than they are.

Grade: B+

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