I have had a lot of requests for Knob Creek, so here is my review of it. Knob Creek is the oldest bourbon in Jim Beam’s Small Batch Collection (which also includes Booker’s, Baker’s, and Basil Hayden’s). Knob Creek is bottled in two variations, a small batch and a single barrel. Knob Creek Single Barrel is a recent release from Jim Beam, and it has received many good reviews. On the other hand, the small batch edition has been around for a long time, and it has developed quite a following. More so than with many other bourbons, bourbon drinkers are polarized over Knob Creek. Here is my review.
Knob Creek is bottled at 100 proof, making it the highest proof bourbon I have reviewed on the site thus far. With craft whiskey, especially craft bourbon, do not be afraid of high proof points; high alcohol content is often accompanied by big, bold flavors (just don’t get carried away sippin’ on 100 proof bourbon). It is also a little more expensive than most bourbons that I have reviewed, but it is still an extremely popular bourbon.
Knob Creek opens with a good nose, with most of the notes coming from the barrel (charred sugar and oak), but there is some caramel and maple sweetness that comes through. There is some balance early on in the palate (maple, cinnamon, caramel), but the finish is dominated by the roaring oak that dominates this whiskey. The finish is long and very warming, but it is primarily dominated by the barrel’s flavors.
Knob Creek is a strong, bold bourbon, but I think it is too single-minded. I wish there was a little more balance in this whiskey, but I definitely recommend that you try it for yourself to see what you think. My grade: C. Price: $30-35/750ml. This is a solid whiskey, but it is not worth the money (in my opinion).