The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 38 of 100

38  /  the tasting panel  /  november 2016 LIVING LEGEND W hen someone is born into whiskey royalty, you might expect them to be groomed to take over from the moment they take their first breath. That wasn't the case with Fred Booker Noe III, seventh generation Beam family distiller and the ambassador of The Small Batch Bourbon Collection—Basil Hayden's, Knob Creek, Baker's and Booker's—whom we joined before a National Bourbon Heritage Month event at Arts District Brewing Co. in Downtown Los Angeles. His father, Frederick Booker Noe II, never pushed him into the distillery; instead, even though Fred was the only child, his father encouraged him to make his own deci- sion—after all, he had 18 cousins that were involved in the distillery. And while Fred was a "radical kid," once he finished college, he joined the team at Beam as a night shift bottler. "I worked side by side with people," Fred reminisced. "I earned their respect by showing that I wasn't just some privileged kid. And that has carried on through until today. The employees know that I will hear out their problems and try to help." As the link from Jim Beam to the present day, Fred knows that he has a responsibility to carry on the legacy of his great-grandfather, Jacob Beam, who sold his first barrel of whiskey in 1795. Over his career, Fred has seen a resurgence in the popularity of bourbon, especially among young people and women. "When I first went to an event in Miami," he began, "only seven people showed up, and five were on the payroll. Now, it's an entirely different story. We will have hundreds at events, and women are no longer just the dates; they come to appreciate the bour- bon and to learn." Beyond the new audience, bartenders also use more bourbon in the cocktails they develop, and accounts want unique taste profiles and stories. Fred invites these enthusiasts to come to the distillery to pick out a barrel for their very own single barrel expression. It's safe to say that bourbon has officially shed the stigma of only being your grandfather's drink. "You can see the evolution happening," Fred notes. "It's an approachable spirit that has a lot of versatility. There will always be a place for bourbon." Fred Booker Noe III is ambassa- dor to The Small Batch Bourbon Collection, which is comprised of Basil Hayden's, Knob Creek, Baker's and Booker's. Knowing Noe Bounds FRED BOOKER NOE III CONTINUES THE BOURBON LEGACY BUILT BY HIS GREAT-GRANDFATHER by Emily Coleman PHOTO COURTESY OF BEAM SUNTORY Fred Booker Noe III, Beam's Master Distiller, and Aaron Tell, Savory Hunter, at a National Bourbon Heritage Month event at Arts District Brewing Co. in Downtown Los Angeles.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - November 2016