Whiskey marketing isn’t all that bad. There are kernels of truth embedded in most of it, some kernels bigger than others. While reading on Knob Creek’s 2001 Limited Edition release, I found myself a sucker. Any bourbon story involving Booker Noe passing down a bourbon tradition to his son, now Master Distiller Fred Noe, is a good enough story for me. Booker laid down barrels of his beloved Knob Creek back in 2001. Fred Noe took over Booker’s role and 14 Kentucky summers later this very bourbon was released as Knob Creek 2001 both as a tribute to him and an excuse to charge a lot for a bourbon release. Beam Suntory is also a business, apparently.
A full five years older than the standard Knob Creek, one might wonder if the already dry oak feel of the 9 year old is a bit much at 14 years old, and while it is indeed an oaky monster of a Kentucky Straight, its overall pleasantness is still attained. It probably doesn’t hurt that Knob Creek is one of my favorite bourbons. I’m biased and I don’t care. Bottled at 50% ABV with a mash bill slash line of 75% Corn/13% Rye/12% Barley, our bottle is pulled from the 2nd of 3 released batches. You can still find these in stores. Good luck.
Nose- Big, sweet oak, of course. Blackberries, vanilla beans and roasted nuts. Herbal tannins. A clovey spice feel from the 9 year old version.
Taste- Thick oak with a touch of molasses sweet. Largely a repeat of the nose.
Finish- Long. Barrel char. Cinnamon sweet. Brown sugar but make no mistake, the dry outpaces the sweet.
Comment- I love what happens to a bourbon barrel in a Kentucky rack house, especially Knob Creek barrels. While 14 years old would generally be too much, Fred Noe picked these honey barrels at just the right time and released a fine bourbon whiskey. I hope you can find one.
SWC Rating – 89/100
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