Fred B. Noe Distillery + Freddie Noe
The house that James B. Beam built has been busy. Whilst you and I sank further into the couch during COVID, simultaneously descending further and further into streaming service twilight zones, Jim Beam Distillers quietly unveiled a brand-new distillery as well as announcing the 8th Master Distiller in the company’s history.
On August 31st 2021 in Clermont Kentucky, the Fred B. Noe Distillery was officially opened as a home for the Small Batch family of bourbon’s, as well as innovation and experimentation at the hands of Fred’s son, Freddie Noe.
“This new distillery represents my family’s bourbon legacy – both where we’ve been and where we’re headed,” said Freddie Noe. “In this new home, I look forward to honouring all of my dad's contributions and continuing to innovate and push the boundaries in American whiskey.’
Bestowed the nickname of ‘Little Book’ after his granddaddy Booker Noe due to his innovative spirit, the new distillery will offer Freddie more capabilities in the realms of innovation and exploration throughout the American whiskey category. This comes hot off the back of the announcement of Freddie as the 8th Master Distiller in Beam’s history, and the first time in the company’s history that two Master Distillers will operate simultaneously, with Fred Noe mentoring his son.
Fred expanded on what this could look like at his eponymous distillery with Freddie running the show.
"At the new distillery Freddie will continue to experiment with new fermentation, distillation and blending techniques to produce category-defining and boundary-pushing whiskey of the highest quality.’
Small Batch Global Ambassador Tim Heuisler is typically mum.
‘We will be producing both Booker's and Baker's here as well as anything Freddie and his crew want to cook up. Pennsylvania-style rye? Yup. Something else I'm not allowed to talk about yet? Absolutely yes.’
This Pennsylvania-style rye is of particular interest given the presence of Old Overholt in Beam’s portfolio, and local distillers in PA are starting to explore the legitimacy of a particular style of rye whiskey known as Old Monongahela. Whilst a true representation demands the whisky be made alongside the river, both for the water source and specific climactic conditions that the valley provides for maturation, it’s exciting to imagine Freddie’s mind mulling over the possibilities.
One thing we do know for certain is that we’re all keen as mustard to get our hands on a few of the less readily available expressions from the whole American whiskey sector. Heuisler just managed to coincide a recent trade visit to our Antipodean shores with the American Whisky Festival and can attest to this.
‘Just my luck I was in town during the American Whiskey Festival in Sydney and the attendees could not have been more vocal that they just want MORE of it over there - varietals, rare stuff, unique stuff. Heard - we're working on it!’