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Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve 9 Year Old

Daggum boys

8 991

@casualtortureReview by @casualtorture

1st Mar 2018

2

  • Nose
    22
  • Taste
    23
  • Finish
    23
  • Balance
    23
  • Overall
    91

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

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!

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9 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

@casualtorture, nice review, and I am with you with respect to my own experience of Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve. A good barrel of KCSBR is as good or better than most batches of Booker's, despite the couple of lower %age points of ABV difference, and the decidedly lower price tag. I consider KCSBR to be a best buy in the whisk(e)y market at current pricing. I expect the price to increase, and that it is actually a little underpriced for what you get. For this reason I already have at least 4 unopened bottles of KCSBR socked away (at around $ 35 incl tax each, on sale). The quality control is all about the skill of the distiller who makes the barrel selection, so you never know for sure whether a given barrel/bottle will be just as good as the last one you loved.

Everybody in the industry says that warehouse location is a very big deal and makes a huge difference in the maturation patterns of bourbons. I doubt, though, that any of us aficionados would be able to well assess those differences without a lot of warehouse tasting experience which we are not likely to get.

9 months ago 2Who liked this?

@OdysseusUnbound
OdysseusUnbound commented

Nice review. I am very jealous. My bottle is, thus far, less impressive. My KCSB is sitting in the back of my cabinet, 7/8 full, because it's mediocre. Not bad, by any means. Just very "meh". Hopefully it gets better with time. Perhaps the best barrels are sold in 'Merica, whilst we Canuckistanians get the duds. How did you get the warehouse location and such? My bottle did not have any of that information, and I'm a total nerd for information.

9 months ago 0

@casualtorture
casualtorture commented

@OdysseusUnbound this was a store pick. The retailer went to the warehouse and sampled different barrels and selected a specific one then was kind enough to relay that info to the consumer. Not all KCSB will have that info.

9 months ago 1Who liked this?

@casualtorture
casualtorture commented

@Victor that's kind of the risk, yet part of the fun, of single barrels. Each one can be a bit different. And yes I may go grab a couple more bottles of this barrel while they still have it.

9 months ago 1Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

Your risk is very low when you know that you already greatly like a bottle from the barrel you are purchasing. It is a very good move.

One of the bottles of KCSBR which I own was a gift from my sister. That one was also a "store pick" which happened to have included on the bottle a custom-made attached metal plate 12 year age statement. That's quite a bonus for what is standard as a 9 year old!

9 months ago 3Who liked this?

@cricklewood
cricklewood commented

@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.

9 months ago 2Who liked this?

@Victor
Victor commented

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.

9 months ago 3Who liked this?

@MadSingleMalt
MadSingleMalt commented

But did they select it with their left hand or right hand?

9 months ago 0

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