Review #568 | /r/Bourbon Review #319 – Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve (Lincoln Road, “Groundhog”)
The Schtick: Knob Creek Single Barrels have long been a product easily available at most stores. In the last several years, picking private barrels of various ages has become more commonplace. Picks between 9 and 16 years of age have been popping up with great regularity and I’ve taken it upon myself to try a variety and see how they fare. Some time ago, Knob Creek exhibited what may have been the largest barrel variation commonly agreed on in the bourbon community with some barrels ranging from wretched to godly. It has been my feeling that, as of late, the overall quality of these barrels being picked has risen, adding a slightly higher floor than existed before.
Distiller: Knob Creek
Bottler: Knob Creek
ABV: 60% ABV
Age: 12yr10mo Years
Nose: Some ethanol, oak, caramel. There’s lots of peanut brittle, pepper, vanilla, some cocoa and almost a bit of stone fruit. That really threw me for a loop but it’s like a very faint oloroso finish in respect to the amount of oak, cocoa, dark fruits, and some toffee. Really intriguing. Ethanol is really
subdued compared to what it could be.
Taste: Thick, rich, no egregious heat. Pepper, some oakiness followed by vanilla, peanute brittle, cocoa and toffee. The stone fruits are back but are very subtle and this one is really characterized by the heavy toffee and sweet peanut brittle notes.
Finish: Medium in length but sweet again. Well balanced toffee and oak with a hint of caramel also.
Overall: I’m amazed at how balanced this is. Really well balanced. To me, anything over 10 years or so really presents a risk to be a possible over oaked bottle but this dram held on to the sweet notes (like the name would suggest) and the oak notes alike and managed to balance them very well. Damn good.
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1 | Disgusting | So bad I poured it out.
2 | Poor | I wouldn’t consume by choice.
3 | Bad | Multiple flaws.
4 | Sub-par | Not bad, but many things I’d rather have.
5 | Good | Good, just fine.
6 | Very Good | A cut above.
7 | Great | Well above average
8 | Excellent | Really quite exceptional.
9 | Incredible | An all time favorite
10 | Insurpassable | No better exists