Little Book Chapter 07: IN RETROSPECT-2023

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Little Book Chapter 7 “In Retrospect” is the seventh chapter in the Little Book Whiskey series. “In Retrospect” is a blend of seven cask strength American whiskeys – one from each of the brand's previous six released chapters and a seventh new addition. According to the company’s press release“The release is a reflection on [Freddie] Noe's past creations since the inception of his blended whiskey series and a nod towards what's ahead as he continues to explore new horizons of American Whiskey in his newly minted role of Master Distiller, Fred B. Noe Distillery."


Beyond a strong initial impression of caramel, the aroma offers an elaborate array of red fruits. Their effectiveness cannot be understated as they are further enhanced as bubble gum, coconut, and floral notes arrive. Adding even more depth are scents of walnut, clove, and corn grain, creating a heavy-handed backend. It isn’t the most coherent aroma but it continually adds layers of interesting scents making you thoroughly engaged.


The palate begins fruit-forward with apricot, passion fruit, and apple combining to effective results. This is when a delicate maltiness begins to pull through adding a degree of lightness to the sip. Soon after, caramel sweetness begins to take over and this is when the palate is at its most straightforward. The palate’s intensity never revs up too strongly, which allows the whiskey to drink much more tempered than its proof suggests it should. This surprising delicateness keeps the whiskey from making an immediate impression, yet allows its flavors to gently simmer and stew.


This whiskey’s proof is most noticeable during its finish as rye spice takes hold. It draws out notes of dry oak, clove, and cigar box, which are more traditional in nature compared to what the palate offers. A touch of smokiness can be found throughout, though it is careful to never overextend. There is also a low-grade mustiness found near the end of the finish that lingers. The whiskey’s higher aged components come out most at this time and provide a happy contrast to the palate’s fruitiness.


Blending with just a few components is difficult - even if they are of the same type of whiskey. Now take that and blend with three different types of whiskeys, and add in a 14 year age range between the youngest and oldest whiskeys which includes a finished whiskey, for a total of seven different blended components. It’s a tall order, and it's surprising any company regardless of its size would attempt it, let alone release it as one of their high profile limited edition releases for the year.

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