I recently picked this up for £25, which is a very good price for such an age these days. Hadn't really planned on opening this until I'd finished off another bottle first but, hey, it's a lazy Sunday and I have a moment before making dinner, so why not?
Review is neat but sat for about 15 minutes and, yes, this is a first-pour review. Ooh, let's get crazy ;)
Nose - there's a note I'd describe as peanut shells which is quite prominent and it seems that this is something that appears in all the Beam products I've had. Some toffee, vanilla, oak, black pepper and cinnamon stick. Unusually, very little of the rose water note that I find is in most bourbons.
Taste - toffee upfront then more of that peanut shell note. Glazed, sticky nuts (pecans and Brazil) and more black pepper. Thin mouthfeel which is a tad disappointing and becomes drier as it develops.
Finish - short to med. Oak with some drying tannins and a little toffee hanging around.
Not bad, and certainly decent for the money, but it's not setting my world alight. That peanut shell (or over-dry nuts perhaps?) note is definitely front and centre and it's not one I would seek out. This strikes me as a decent session bourbon, and I suspect it will make a decent Old Fashioned, but this is only just about holding up as a sipper. It may get better with some air, let's not forget.
I wonder what it is that gives off that 'Beam' note? Yeast, perhaps?
@RianC thank you for your review. Air time might be helpful here.
I've tasted a few standard Knob Creeks from various batches, and found it to be a very batch variable bourbon. Some great. Some good. Some kinda 'meh'. For this reason I've never bought a 750 of this bourbon.
Now the Knob Creek SB Reserve 60% I like much better so far, and this is the one I buy...or should I say, have bought, because I have several in storage and it will take years for me to get to them.
About yeast, yeast is always a big deal. The ONE Beam bourbon that tastes to me unlike everything else they make is Baker's. I believe it is the yeast which is the big difference there.