Bourbon Review

Bourbon Review: Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve

Knob Creek Distilling Company was founded in 1992 by Booker Noe, a seventh-generation member of the Beam family. Noe was inspired to create Knob Creek after tasting a bottle of pre-Prohibition bourbon that his grandfather had saved. He wanted to create a bourbon that was similar in flavor and character to that old bottle.

Noe began by experimenting with different mash bills and aging techniques. He eventually settled on a recipe that used 77% corn, 13% rye, and 10% malted barley. The bourbon was aged for at least nine years in new charred oak barrels and was first release in 1992.

Bourbon Review:Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve
60% (120 Poof)
Age: 9 Years
Dark Amber
Mash Bill: 
77% Corn, 13% Rye, 10% Malted Barley
Knob Creek Distilling Company 
Clermont, KY (USA)

The Nose: The initial whiff sees caramelized sugar, toffee and a distant sweetness. The heat of 120 proof is noticeable as the glass rests and on a secondary pull of the aroma there is  some lingering leather components.

The Taste: Warms notes of vanilla creme, mocha, and toffee embrace the palate on the first sip. Secondary sips sees the addition of earth, tobacco, black pepper and a long finish of oak.

The Pairing: West Tampa Tobacco Company was founded in 2022 by Rick Rodriguez, a cigar industry veteran most know for his time at CAO with over 25 years of experience. Rodriguez is a fifth-generation cigar maker, and his family has been involved in the cigar industry since the early 1900s.  We opted to pair this bourbon with the West Tampa Red which features a San Andres wrapper, and Nicaragua binder and fillers.

The cigar on its own is full-bodied, smooth, with notes of chocolate, coffee, and spice making it similar to the bourbon. After lighting the cigar and enjoying it for a while the first sip sees the heat amplified as well as the sweetness. Unfortunately this pairing doesn’t work as the amplified heat of the bourbon lingers way too long on the palate causing fatigue. As always we don’t let our pairing affect the final score. If it did we would deduct 4 points.

Conclusion: Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve might be the best in its category. Even though it comes in at 120 proof it is easy to drink with a delicious flavor profile. The barrel proof bourbon has gone up in price in recent years so it isn’t as much of a value but it still stands out. For those of you who like a cigar with your beverage, I would suggest a milder cigar as the fuller bodied Nicaraguans don’t enhance the experience.

Score: 95
Price: $59.99 (750ml)

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