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I tried a little bottle of Booker’s bourbon from Jim Beam recently and absolutely loved it. After polishing off two 50ml bottles in two nights, I decided I’d explore bourbon a little bit further. I looked into the price of a big bottle, and here in Taiwan it’s roughly $85 CAN. Since I’d already tried it, I figured I’d opt for something cheaper since I’m trying to ease my way into bourbon. I did some research, and found that Knob Creek was an affordable and respected alternative. And, available here for roughly $25. Not bad. I’ve tried multiple bourbons before. Gentleman Jack, Maker’s Mark, etc. The standard stuff. None of them did it for me in the past. Maybe I should revisit them. Regardless, this is only the second bourbon that I’ve actually scrutinized as an enthusiast, so forgive me if I keep comparing it to Booker’s, the first one, which I absolutely loved.
Nose: Serious caramel, honey, maple, cola, oak, and spice. A faint hint of spearmint. Not quite as rich and layered as the Booker’s but for a fraction of the price, this is still quite substantial.
Palate: Thick and heavy, even with a bit of water to calm it. Very rich and mouth-coating. Caramel, white pepper, some herbal notes, and oak.
Finish: Oak, leather, spearmint, cherries, and spices keep on coming here. A few tobacco notes in there too. Quite a long and enjoyable finish. This is definitely the best part.
I’ve heard this described as a typically flavoured bourbon of quality. I’m a novice here, but it’s a good start-off point for me. It’s thick, flavourful, mouth-coating, and rich. The finish is definitely enjoyable. But, it simply doesn’t compare to the Booker’s in my book. The oak flavours aren’t as rich, there’s less of that lovely cherry presence, less of that wonderful burnt/charred quality, and it’s not as smooth or balanced. Well, it IS smooth and SOMEWHAT balanced, but less so than Booker’s, which is 17% stronger. It’s a very nice once-in-a-while alternative to single malts though, both flavorwise and pricewise. And, it’s something I’ll probably want to keep around in my cabinet from now on. Quite nice overall.