Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve
Knob Creek Small Batch is one of the best bourbons in the $25-$35 price range. The return of the 9-year age statement has only elevated its popularity. The Single Barrel Reserve expression is, as it states, from a single barrel, as opposed to tens (or hundreds) of barrels blended into a small batch, and reflects the true art of the distiller.
There Really is a Knob Creek In the Beam lineup, there are several upscale brands, including, Booker's Baker's, Basil Hayden's, and Knob Creek. The brand was one of the first small batch bourbons when it was introduced in 1992. And yes, there really is a "Knob Creek", and it runs near the Beam Distillery in Clermont, Kentucky. Legendary Master Distiller Booker Noe created the Knob Creek brand to reflect the strength, flavor, care and patience that characterized pre-Prohibition style bourbons. The bottle's rectangular shape is styled after a bootlegger’s flask, with labeling that is similar to the old custom of wrapping bottles in newspaper at the distillery.
The Tasting Single Barrel Reserve shares the same mash bill as several other Beam products - 75% corn, 13% rye and 12% malted barley. The label states that the spirits contained inside have been aged for 9 years and are bottled close to, if not at, barrel strength at a hefty 120 proof. Color: Dark copper with medium legs displayed in the Glencairn glass. Nose: There are no alcohol notes from this high-proof Knob Creek rendition. It is rich and flavorful with buttered toffee, caramel, and maple syrup-drizzled apple dumpling. Absolutely delicious. Palate: There is no burn either. Only caramel and brown sugar, followed by a splash of cinnamon red hots balanced with rich vanilla and toasted oak. Finish: A long Kentucky-hug finish, beginning with warm vanilla followed by waves of spice and sweet oak. Overall: This was absolutely delicious and one that makes a great addition to a get-together or tasting. While it's a little pricier than its Small Batch sibling, the nuances added by a Single Barrel and higher proof can't be diminished. Whether you're an experienced whiskey consumer, or just getting started, Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve is exceptionally smooth, balanced, and sweet. The layers of flavors aren't lost in a cocktail or with ice.