A good whiskey connoisseur is able to relate his/her hobby to most people. And this skill has little to do with writing a well phrased review, but rather it has more to do with telling good stories about a special pour you had in the past or sharing some unique memory closely associated with a magical glass. Today’s review of Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon is a fun one for me, as the evocation of memory is strong with every sip.
I always take a few bottles out with me whenever I go camping. After a particularly satisfying day, my campmates and I surrounded the fire and forgot our busy lives for a few hours, as we always should do around a good fire, and simply enjoyed ourselves. It was an incredibly clear night due to the lack of city lights and the temperature was perfect enough to not notice. I took my glass, a lawn chair and myself down to a nearby dock and transferred that solitude to a very still lake under an abnormally starry sky, sitting with just my thoughts. In times like this, you take inventory of yourself. I was content with where I was in a stressful, grinding time in my life. And the fact that the Knob Creek I was drinking was pretty fantastic didn’t hurt either. Enough about me, on to some particulars…
Jim Beam introduced in 1992 a group of four whiskies called the Small Batch Collection. At the time, one of these bottlings, Knob Creek, was actually a 9 year old Jim Beam White (same mash bill and yeast strain). Between then and now, subtle tweaks and changes have been introduced, enough to call Knob Creek unique in their vast catalog. Bottled at a blessed 50% ABV, this well aged, decently priced bourbon has paid off for Beam, and is a statement of classic simplicity. And in the words of Chuck Cowdery: “nothing unusual here, no sudden burst of chamomile, just bourbon flavors at high volume and in ideal balance.”
SWC Group Review
Nose- Initial classics of vanilla, toffee, caramel. Corn. Opens up with some clove, brown sugar and citrus peel. Plenty of oak with time. Lovely!
Taste- Oaky taste with some vanilla. Spice. Black pepper. Big and oily, smoldering.
Finish- That big charred oak feel at first. Lingering vanilla, but mostly dry, bitter effect. Not enough to deter another sip. Pleasant, medium length.
Comments – Great bourbon sipper, very approachable, but very weighty due to a bit of over aging. Taste and finish do not quite match the heights of the nose, but still a go to. Recommended.
SWC Rating – 83/100
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