The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2017

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Page 62 of 128

62  /  the tasting panel  /  september 2017 WHISKEY O ne of the benefits of spending time in this industry is that you get to witness–– and sometimes be a part of––liquid history. That was certainly the case back in 1987, when I first met Jim Beam's grand- son, the late Frederick Booker Noe II (better known as Booker), at the time, Master Distiller for Jim Beam bourbons. It was at Spago in Beverly Hills, and he had come to unveil Booker's, an uncut and unfiltered bourbon that would become the first entry in the Jim Beam Small Batch Bourbon Collection. At the time, I was writing for Playboy, and as he handed me a glass of his powerhouse pour, Booker remarked, "I think this is as good as anything in your magazine." Jump to 1992 at the Ritz-Carlton resort in Laguna Niguel, California, where I was about to give a seminar on cigars paired with Beam Small Batch Bourbons. Who should appear as my co-presenter but Booker's son, Frederick Booker Noe III (better known as Fred), who had just become the first brand ambassador for the newly- Knob Creek's 25th Anniversary bourbon is filled with varying degrees of thick vanilla and oak intermingled with caramel, roasted nuts and a distinctive whiff of smoke. PHOTOS COURTESY OF KNOB CREEK Fred Noe Goes Big and Bold WITH KNOB CREEK'S 25 TH ANNIVERSARY BOURBON by Richard Carleton Hacker

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