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Knob Creek 9 Year Old

One Whiskey To Change It All

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@SquidgyAshReview by @SquidgyAsh

31st Dec 2013


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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I've always considered myself a whiskey man, ever since I hit the legal drinking age of 21 in the US. Actually I considered myself a whiskey man at the age of 18, when I enjoyed my very first whiskey and coke.

See I grew up thinking that that's how whiskey was drunk, always in coke or taking it as a shot. I knew no better. I drank pretty good whiskies, I remember at one point pouring Glenfiddich 21 year old in coke.

I know, oh the humanity!

This was my life for quite a few years, mixing whiskies, good and bad, into coke. And why might I do that if I considered myself a whiskey man, you may be asking yourself.

Because whiskey tasted like...well whiskey.

Alcohol tasted just like that, alcohol, burn. If it was good there might be a "smooth" in there, but that was the extent of my knowledge, of my palate.

And then one day the pain began, agonizing pain. My wisdom teeth were coming in, and even worse I couldn't afford a dentist. When I was informed I'd have to pay something along the lines of $600 to $800 a tooth, I went into shock. How the hell was I going to be able to pay that kind of bill, living on a very low wage, which left little money free at the end of the week.

Long and short of it, I couldn't. That wasn't an option.

So I drank. A lot. During the day while at work I used medicine that would do a half assed job of numbing your gums and mouth, but at night, every night for about a month, I drank.

I was actually drinking so much due to the pain that I was easily going through a couple of bottles of booze each week.

All of it mixed with coke. But thankfully the bottleshop was just down the street. Easy walking distance. And late one afternoon after work as I was walking home I stopped into the bottleshop for a resupply.

This time I picked up a new whiskey, a bourbon called Knob Creek. I knew nothing about this whiskey, but I figured what the hell it's $35 for a bottle, why not.

And so the night begins with me pouring the whiskey into coke, and as the night goes on the whiskey pours quickly account for more and more of the whiskey and coke, until it's more whiskey then coke.

And then something magical happens, the whiskey and coke changes, there's something else coming off my mixed drink. It's vanilla, lots and lots of vanilla, and some cherries.

My whiskey doesn't taste like whiskey! It tastes like something else, fruit and spices and vanilla and all sorts of things that don't belong in whiskey.

Thus began an obsession into whisk(e)y, trying to figure out what they smell like, taste like and why they are the way they are.

Then I moved to Australia and I discovered that Knob Creek was rare, quite rare, and bloody expensive at around $100 AUS a bottle.

My favorite American whiskey wouldn't be so easily obtained anymore. And so for several years I didn't even see a bottle of Knob Creek. And then while in Singapore I was able to finish the last of a bottle while visiting the Auld Alliance.

Yeah I fell in love all over again. And I FELL HARD.

So when I heard that 2400 bottles were coming into Australia I knew I had to get one. And tonight, New Years Eve, I've got this bad boy open and I'm enjoying my very last dram of 2013.

Let's get into this whiskey shall we!?

The nose is a fairly typical bourbon nose, but it's bigger, better.

Toasted oak, heaps of vanilla, red vine licorice, cherries, some low level rye spices, and rich caramel.

Time for a drink though!

Drying, rye spices, mints, red vine licorice (totally love it when that comes off my whiskey!), vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. It's delicious!

A long sweet, yet drying finish that's full of those red vines.

Love, love this whiskey. Cant exclaim that enough. Can't emphasize that enough, and at the $35 dollars a bottle or so that it runs in the USA, I'd ALWAYS have a bottle of this on my shelf. However sadly with how rare it's imported into Australia and at it's price tag, I'll save it for my special treat!

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Victor commented

I always love a love story of a man in love with his whiskey.

That's a pretty scary dental tale, though, @SquidgyAsh. Your face can blow up like a balloon from putting that sort of thing off, you know. I've seen some of those mouths when people have been in pain and let it go for months...and the most blown away worst mouth I've ever seen was from an alcoholic Artillery Sergeant at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in about 1979..."It's pretty bad in there, doc" he said, in no pain whatsoever because of his self-medication and the fact that the damage had already been done. I thought "Yeah, yeah, I've seen bad." He wasn't kidding. Parts of 31 teeth remained, but 27 of them were decayed flat with the gum-line...it's good not to let it go that far, @Ash.

As for standard, non-single-barrel-reserve 50% Knob Creek, I wish I could say that I've seen consistency in the quality. I've had some which was quite excellent, and other batches, just ok. What I've had of the 60% Single Barrel Reserve has been top-notch.

7 years ago 0

SquidgyAsh commented

Glad you enjoyed the story @Victor!

Wow some scary stories from you though! Long term self medication is never the answer as I found out, if nothing else you completely destroy your poor liver and won't be able to experience all the joys of the whisk(e)y world! Thankfully my wisdom teeth came in finally and the agony finally ended. Even better I'm now able to afford good medical care, but man when I was so poor that it was a struggle to pay rent and the rest of the bills it was unbelievable what medical care cost.

1200 bottles of the knob Creek Single Barrel came into Australia. I was able to pick up one thankfully. Now something awesome to look forward to!

7 years ago 0

sailorman commented

Happy New Year and a 2014 of many noses, bodies and finishes... I really enjoy your reviews. It seems you have a really agitated geographical record in your life (so do I). Knob Creek is a faithful bourbon, however a little bit harsh when you compare it to my all-time-no-frills bourbon-favorite Buffalo Trace. Stay safe and keep on writing on the connosr site. Best wishes from Louisiana/Northeast Brazil!

7 years ago 0

SquidgyAsh commented

Thank you @Sailorman! Happy New Year to you as well! Glad that you enjoy the whisky reviews! I agree, Buffalo Trace is a great little whiskey, but Knob Creek will always hold a special place in my heart!

Best wishes from Perth Australia buddy! May your new year be filled with new and exciting whiskies!

7 years ago 0

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