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Knob Creek Single Barrel Select Bourbon Review

Knob Creek picks! Doesn't it feel like everyone's got one of these? Are they fairly consistent, or does a good barrel picker have a chance to find something exceptional? I'm taking my first foray (I know, how?) into Knob picks with this one from Kappy's. I love the bottle style, let's see how I like the whiskey inside!


Company on Label: Knob Creek Distilling Company (Beam)

Whiskey Type: Bourbon

Mash Bill Percentages: 75% Corn, 13% Rye, 12% Malted Barley

Proof: 120°

Age: 9 years

Further identification: Warehouse 1, Floor 3, Rick 036. Barreled 5/24/2011. Selected 11/18/2020. Single Barrel Selected by Kappy's


Nose: Super powerful & punchy on first inhale - intense cherry and nuttiness. Caramel, vanilla bean and fresh ground black pepper. This noses a bit hot which is unsurprising for 120 proof. After 10 or so minutes of resting things are much more mellow, but still powerful. There's a bit of cranberry, fig and a deeply dusty textured oak. Slightly smoky, but in a light & silky kind of way. - as if a faint vanilla incense was burning a ways off. Walnut shells and salted pistachios make for a slightly dry base to the nose on this, but I like a nutty profile like this. Later in the glass the vanilla develops marvelously and brings with it a very silky nose-feel. Some light dryer sheet aromas now as the nutty base continues to dominate. The empty glass smells of honey, leather and caramel.

Palate: Oh that's sweet. Cherry, raspberry and a hot flash of cinnamon are a lovely greeting to the palate. That reminded me a lot of a Stagg Jr Batch 14 opening sip. The mouth coating is viscous, sweet and manageably spicy. The linger is long even on a single sip. A subsequent sip reveals great layers of milk chocolate, allspice and more fruity cherry notes. Still very punchy, powerful and proofy. I wish it was a little more rich than dry given how intense and proofy this pour is, but it's a solid high test offering. It is starting to get some of the citrus characteristics I know and love from the 12 year offering, but it's not fully developed here yet. Nearing the bottom of the glass, the spice completely disappears and now it's all caramel and vanilla across my tongue. The rest of my mouth is not as coated as the fruit and spice flavors were giving me earlier. While I've gained one new thing here, I've lost another. I actually like pours that have some kind of evolution like this compared to something that tastes relatively close to the same all the way throughout. If you blinded me and told me this was a new Booker's batch I'd probably believe you! My last sip is a smooth cherry medley. Yum.


Rating: 4/5

Good pick! As Fall creeps in - my proofs creep up. This one definitely scratches the high test itch for today.


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