I take my whiskey seriously. A great many of my friends take their whiskey seriously, too. I was excited when I found out that we were lucky enough to score a sample from Little Book, excited not only to sit down with a couple glasses of their latest offering, but also to rub it in everyone’s faces. See, we’re among the very first recipients of “Chapter Five” in Little Book’s series of products, entitled “The Invitation.” Please, hold your applause.
Not wanting to waste any time, I dove right in. While I realize I don’t really have to point this out, it’s nice to see the level of care that Little Book treats their own products with. There’s no more clear indication that they take their own whiskey very seriously too. It’s not an exaggeration to say that I probably could have tossed the box they sent us out in the driveway and backed over it in the truck and the bottle inside would have been just fine. I’ve seen fireworks that weren’t shipped with this much care.
Freddie Noe makes a product that wants its own glass. You put anything in this stuff that’s pushier than ice and people are going to give you the side-eye… and they should because it’d be the equivalent of putting ketchup on a steak. In a revelation that I’m sure will shock no one, this is very good whiskey.
One of my favorite parts of test-driving any new whiskey is actually doing it wrong, believe it or not. One of the coolest parts of the whole experience to me is how much a sprit changes after it’s had a few minutes to breath. Right out of the bottle, the nose has a real sharp front end with a very strong caramel body, and that first sip will get your attention. Beginners will absolutely be put in their place. After that initial impact, it rolls up into the soft palate with this sort of spicy sweetness. It’s got the kind of woody notes that a lot of makers talk about but don’t manage to achieve.
Now, the most interesting (best) whiskeys tend to go through this Hyde-to-Jekyll turn when you leave them alone for five minutes, and this is certainly no exception. That first impact is all but gone after a short wait and you’ll find that this real nice, mellow caramel glow in its place. It is in fact so rich and so sweet (for a whiskey) that to me, it almost suggests a milkshake, if you can believe that. I assure you that comparing whiskey to a milkshake is a first for me, and I drink a lot of whiskey.
Ice works its usual magic, radically changing Chapter Five yet again. Those rich caramel undertones get lifted up into something very herbal and almost peppery in the transition. I will confess that I absolutely prefer it neat, but I wouldn’t turn down another glass regardless.
Speaking of which, I seem to have gone through the sample. Send more?