Classification: Straight Whiskey
Company: Beam Suntory
Distillery: Jim Beam
Release Date: August 2020
Mashbill: Undisclosed (Blend of 4-year-old Kentucky Straight Brown Rice Bourbon, 8-year-old Kentucky Straight "high rye" Rye Whiskey, and 7-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey)
Grass | Herbal | Apple | Light oak | Light brown sugar | Mild oak | Faint ethanol | Spicy at the tail end
Heavy cinnamon | Baking spice | Old oak | dark brown sugar | Heavy and fast ramp up of heat | Intense
Lingering cinnamon | Spicy red pepper | Black pepper | Damp oak | Mild dryness
Beam releases a lot of great Booker’s Bourbon batches every year, but one knock against them is they sort of blend together. Their annual Little Book release does a lot to quell this complaint, with each “Chapter” standing out for something unique.
Out of the gate, Chapter 4’s blend of three different mashbill whiskeys (one of which is a brown rice bourbon) is special for Beam. As a result, its nose is the opposite of any Booker’s I’ve ever had featuring much more grassy and herbal notes. When it comes to the palate and finish though, they are predictably bold and surprisingly in the same flavor wheelhouse as Booker’s. Despite its complex blend, Chapter 4’s sip is decidedly not so.
But where Chapter 4 stands out is it cranks its cinnamon intensity to an 11. It’s beyond intense and combined with its red pepper spice, creates an explosion in your mouth. The difference this time is the flavors are doing the heavy lifting and not the proof. This results in a whiskey that is memorable in all of the right ways.