Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve
Selected by the Georgia Bourbon Society
What the Distillery Says
Our distillers handpick exceptional barrels to be enjoyed in their full, unblended glory.
COLOR: Our darkest and deepest amber and henna color.
TASTE: Deep and complex flavors of vanilla, nuts and oak.
AROMA: Robust vanilla and caramel notes; slightly smoky.
FINISH: Long and full, perfect for easygoing sipping.
What Gary Says
Nose: Hot and thick, sweet vanilla, brown sugar, nutty caramel and cinnamon with pepper spice undertones and oak; with water the heat is tamped down and spice notes pop (cinnamon, anise, allspice) as well as the oak; reminds me of a breeze through a rickhouse.
Palate: Warm and sharp, viscous sweet honey with vanilla, cinnamon, caramel, hints of gingersnap cookies and brown sugar, bits of chocolate; with water the mouthfeel thins a bit but the flavor remains intense, nutty cinnamon with honey and sugar-cookies.
Finish: Moderately long and honeyed before drying out.
Comments: I generally like high proof pours, but this one out of the gate is a bit on the hot side for me (but only a bit). Luckily it takes water like a champ without losing the intensity of flavor. This barrel was 10 yrs, 10 months, and 15 days old when we dumped it (one of the great things about doing a Knob Creek barrel pick was we literally got to help dump the barrel and see it bottled, rather than having to wait months for the bottles to arrive), and the proof out of the barrel was 138.4. It was stored on the 7th floor of a 9 story rickhouse, so up there a ways – although I would have expected this to be more oaky with that information. There is oak for sure, but the sweetness and spice really stand out, and the oak is more of a background player – which is right up my alley. As a private selection, you won’t find this on the shelves, but the couple of other store picks I’ve tried were quite nice – so if priced favorably, I’d recommend grabbing one.
Rating: Must Try
What Richard Says
Nose: Toffee, furniture varnish, leather oil, vanilla extract, and a bit of that classic Beam peanut funk.
Palate: Caramel, black pepper, empty cigar boxes, cinnamon Red Hots, dark cocoa powder, and burnt brown sugar.
Finish: Surprisingly dry for such a luscious whiskey.
Comments: This is a private selection but I’ve had several and I have yet to taste a bad one. These say 9 years on the bottle but the ones being privately picked by liquor stores tend to be a fair bit older. Usually in the 10 to 12 year range. So for $40 you can get an 11 year old, near barrel strength straight bourbon from a large prominent distiller. Uh, this is probably one of the best bourbon deals out there right now.
Rating: Must Buy