Review #581 | /r/Bourbon Review #332 – Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve (Elixir’s Pick)
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. These have all been tried fully blind so as to rank them on their merits, rather than their stats, alone.
Distiller: Knob Creek
Bottler: Knob Creek
ABV: 60% ABV
Age: 15 Years
Nose: Oak, caramel, toffee. There’s caramel apple, almonds, amaretto notes and a nice blend of caramel.
Taste: Medium mouthfeel, oaky caramel, toffee and lots of pepper and vanilla.
Finish: Long and surprisingly tame – no heat. Sweet toffee with a good bit of oak. Then…whomp! Huge oak. Becomes tannic and drying. Surprisingly skirts being really grossly bitter, though.
Overall: This is another great dram. The oak is definitely very real here, but not so much that it completely converts this to a bitter mess. It is much more dry and bitter than All Hallow’s Eve, though, which explains the lower score.
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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