knob creek single barrel bourbonKnob Creek Single Barrel Bourbon is the newest entrant in Beam’s small batch brand portfolio. Both the standard Knob Creek bourbon and the new Single Barrel are aged to nine years, but while the original is 100 proof, the new expression clocks in at 120.

Knob Creek’s Single Barrel Bourbon is – as the name implies – bottled directly from a single bourbon barrel. Since no two barrels are exactly alike, my bottle of Single Barrel could vary slightly from yours, depending on a particular barrel’s composition, position in the rickhouse, etc.

On the nose, the Single Barrel is fairly tame despite its potency, with aromas of vanilla, oak and dried fruit. Take a sip though, and you’ll quickly find that 120 proof heat. The bourbon is very warm on the palate, with flavors of toffee, caramel, vanilla and cinnamon spice. Sipped neat, it bursts with flavor. It’s definitely a whiskey that can stand up to an ice cube or dash of water, which brings out more sugary sweet notes. It finishes long and dry, with a big dried fruit character and more spice.

Knob Creek Single Barrel is pretty similar to its forebear, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s definitely hotter on the palate from the extra alcohol, plus a bit drier, but it remains pretty smooth and elegant throughout. Its flavors are more complex than the original and feature more fruit, spice and oak notes. Knob Creek drinkers, and bourbon fans in general, would do well to secure a bottle.

– 60% ABV
– $40

CE Rating: ★★★★

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