Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve
Aged 9 years; 120 proof
Suggested retail: About $40/750ml
This is a single-barrel, higher-proof (120 vs. 100) version of one of Jim Beam’s small-batch bourbons. Here’s what the company says about this expression: “You’ll find more pronounced flavors and a smokier aroma. And although it packs a high proof, the finish is still smooth and complex.” Read on for what the Bourbon Babe says about it.
Nose: Molasses, vanilla, charred oak, lots of alcohol
Taste: Very fiery on the front, much more so than “original recipe” Knob Creek, but also very sweet. Burnt caramel, almost a creme brulee. Spice from the rye, white pepper. Finishes with a slow, smooth burn.
Verdict: While I enjoy most bourbons neat, I enjoyed Knob Creek Single Barrel even more after adding an ice cube. The ice opened the flavors up, smoothed out the fire and eased the smokiness a bit. This is a very good bourbon, particularly for the price.