This is Knob Creek Single Barrel 9yo. Purchased at Midtown Corkdorks in downtown Nashville about a mile from the Nelson Greenbrier distillery (Belle Meade). Barrel #3422 "hand selected" by the retailer, and they even provided a cool little map of where in the warehouse the barrel was located.
Warehouse: E Floor:5 Rick: Cove Barreled: March 15, 2008
Good marketing on their part. What are your thoughts on how much difference the location of the barrel in the warehouse makes?
Bottle has been opened for 5 days and is 90% full.
Nose: Starts with fruits. Apples, vanilla. Transitions to earthy tobacco, salted "country style ham" and slight bits of smoke and sawdust. Good balance and transition from sweet to savory.
Palate: First impressions to myself, and I quote my thoughts, "This is like licking a fresh oak plank thats been covered in butter and toasted." After further examination: Yes, the front end is like buttered, toasted oak. Also get southern style biscuits and a bit of smoke. This transitions to ripe stewed fruits. Red apple, rasberry and blackberry. The traditional bourbony caramel and vanilla are present here with the stewed fruits. There is a tad bit of spicy heat that adds yet another element here. Complex and impressive.
Finish: A long, see-saw battle of fresh oak and red apple skins lasting minutes later. Very enjoyable.
Overall: I'm impressed by this. Complex, great flavor transitions and balance. I did add water to a small pour but it doesn't do any favors so keep this one neat. This isnt a casual drinker. Savor and inspect this one and give it the time it derserves. Very drinkable at 60%. I have now spanned all of the Knob Creek line-up and this by far and away is the best of the bunch, as expected. I am enjoying this just as much or more as this year's Stagg Jr. At $41.99+tax this is a bargain!
@casualtorture nice review, I like the descriptors, I really enjoy when a bourbon has those savory or tobacco notes to balance out the sweetness.
I agree with @Victor concerning the value of Knob Creek SB, to be able to get a 9-10yr old cask strength (or nearly) whisky for under 45$ is incredible and unheard of in Scotch for example. I am constantly amazed at the store picks y'all have available to you. I have often thought that at those prices I would probably bunker a case for rainy days.
Put into the perspective of Beam's overall standard moderate-rye-content mashbill bourbon production, KCSBR is probably not within the top 1% in quality among their barrels, but it is probably withing the top 2 to 5% in quality among their barrels of standard moderate-rye-content mashbill bourbon. It takes a lot of quality for a barrel to be able to hold up well on its own, and it takes a very good barrel to hold up well for 9 years. I think that it is only the massive production at Beam that allows this whiskey to be sold at such a modest price.