Next in line in the Jim Beam premium range is the Knob Creek Small Batch. I have heard good things about this one from people in the whisky scene so was looking forward to trying it. This is another one that is heavily influenced with rye and is meant to represent pre-prohibition bourbon. You will notice on the bottle that it states “patiently aged”. Previous bottling’s not so long ago were aged for 9 years but as with all popular whiskies the stock for this this has been running low, forcing Jim Beam to use younger stock to keep up with demand. As a data analyst I do sympathise with distilleries who have to anticipate demand a decade or more in advance.
Whisky: Knob Creek Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – “patiently aged”, 50% vol.
Nose: Cherry, alcohol heat, cola, Dr Pepper, maple syrup, brown sugar
Taste: Caramel, cinnamon, burnt oak, alcohol, chilli, pepper
Finish: Pepper and burnt oak
Summary: At 50% this is a grown up bourbon which needs to be approached with caution. I can see why this has so many fans as it is strong and in your face stuff. The kind of drink you would want to have after a very long hard day at work. The alcohol and pepper spice from the rye is not to my liking. The aromas on the nose were promising but this is just too intense and concentrated. Water or ice helps but this only helps to dampen the alcohol and spice and not bring out the aromas experienced on the nose onto the palate.
Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,
1 – not to my preference
2 – tastes fine but does not excite me
3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally
4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf
5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf
Image source: www.thewhiskyexchange.com