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Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve 9 Year Old

New Excellent Beam Variation

0 1593

@VictorReview by @Victor

26th Feb 2011

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  • Nose
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  • Overall
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Knob Creek 9 Year Old Single Barrel Reserve is the select single barrel version of the standard Knob Creek Jim Beam Small Batch Bourbon. Knob Creek shares the standard Beam medium rye mashbill with the Beam White Label,Black Label, Baker's and Booker's bourbons. The Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve is bottled at 120 proof, in contrast to the standard Knob Creek which is bottled at 100 proof

Nose: fragrant honey, caramel, spice, and vanilla

Taste: intense caramel, intense spices, lots of vanilla, very sweet, with strong bass oak notes. This is very rich and delicious. The flavours are smooth and easy at 60% ABV

Finish: Rich, long, and deep. The spice, wood, and caramel remain like the hot embers of a warm fire keeping the house toasty for hours...

Balance: I didn't expect that Jim Beam would surprise me anytime soon, but this bourbon truly surprises me. Even though it is another variation on the theme of the standard Beam mash bill, it is to my palate the best of the entire Beam product line, being the richest in flavour of all of them. There is nothing wrong with Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve and everything right. I highly recommend this one to anybody

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15 comments

@HP12
HP12 commented

@Victor...Nice review! At some point I'll probably have to grab a bottle and do a side-by-side taste with my KC 9yo once I crack it open (which should be very soon).

8 years ago 0

@AboutChoice
AboutChoice commented

@Victor, good review, and thanks for bring to our attention this new expression. I would love to compare this to Booker's, which I assume is Beam's flagship small batdh offering, at cask strength around 63%, and matured 6 to 8 years. This Knob Creek SB sounds like something I'll have to try.

8 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@AboutChoice, as you might expect, there is more depth to the wood flavours with the Knob Creek, due to longer aging, than there is with the Booker's. This Single Barrel expression is just the best hand picked barrels coupled with bottling at or near barrel proof, which will retain all of the flavours. I will be very surprised if you don't like this one.

8 years ago 0

@jdcook
jdcook commented

It seems everyone is putting out decent top-shelf stuff, even Jim Beam. This and the Bookers are definitely on my 'get ahold of soon' list. Nice review!

8 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@AboutChoice and @jdcook, compared to Booker's, Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve bourbon tastes sweeter and more lush. And, even though their ABVs are not much different from one another, the alcohol in the Knob Creek SBR does not come across in such a fierce and penetrating way as it does with the Booker's Small Batch.

8 years ago 0

@tedtiv
tedtiv commented

KC SBR is my new favorite bourbon. As I type, I am enjoying(surviving) my first taste of Booker's and I feel your assessment of Booker's vs KC is spot on. Booker's is a sledgehammer to KC SBR's comfy pillow...

8 years ago 0

@Pudge72
Pudge72 commented

As I mentioned in another KCSB review, I am hoping to pick up a bottle in the near future. After re-reading this review, I can't wait to do a side-by-side with my Bookers bottle. Thank you again 'Victor' for the excellent 'genealogical' info in this review, particularly with respect to its shared mashbill with the Bookers.

6 years ago 0

@Benancio
Benancio commented

@Victor. How would you rate this to Bookers?

4 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Benancio, I've only owned one bottle of the Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve, which was really excellent. I've tasted several batches of Booker's, including the Booker's 25th Anniversary Limited Edition. In general I rate Booker's and Knob Creek Single Barrel very close to one another in points. The KCSBR I've had has been a little more dense and lush than the Booker's (it is aged 9 years, compared to 6-8 years for the standard Booker's), but I can't say that I've sampled more than that one bottle. I think that the definitive comparison would depend upon the specific batch of Booker's or the specific barrel of Knob Creek SB Reserve being sampled. That said, Booker's is at a little higher ABV, which I like,...BUT, Knob Creek Single Barrel is, at US domestic prices, a steal of a good deal for the money. Really I think that on average KCSB will be the equal to Booker's, but that it is more likely that there will be a lesser barrel of KCSB once in awhile than that there will be a lesser BATCH (easier to blend to style)of Booker's. I think that it is hard to go wrong with either one of them.

4 years ago 0

@Benancio
Benancio commented

@Victor. Great comparison. The KCSB was more drinkable, what ever that means. I thought it is was because Bookers was stronger, but I forgotten the KCSB is a 9 year old compare to a 6-8. I'm seeing some really good deals here this pre holiday season. $26 for KCSB and $38 for bookers. I'm a drinker slash collector and not the other way around. I might get them both, I try to buy when things are on sale, plus it lasts for years.

4 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Benancio, those are bargain basement prices you've got there!...even a little better than here on sale, and our prices here are phenomenal on many things. By all means buy them both!

4 years ago 0

@Robert99
Robert99 commented

@Victor Great review and great comments. I have an opened Booker's and an unopened KCSB. But from my reading, I would have never thought to compare the two of it. It's a bit like trying to compare a barrel's wine with an inox's wine: they are both starting with the same juice but they are not aiming at the same target... at least I thought it was the case. But I have to admit that the KCSB seems bigger after reading your review. So is it a must do comparison?

4 years ago 0

@Benancio
Benancio commented

@Robert99 In no way am I answering for Victor but they are both Jim Beam products. When you taste them side by side you will see the resemblance. I wouldn't be surprised if they aren't the same mash bill. I call KCSB, Bookers little brother. They are a couple of bulldogs.

4 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Robert99 and @Benancio, yes, Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve and Booker's should be both from just the same grain mashbill. I expect that the yeast used is just the same here, as well.

What differentiates them? Probably just 1)the way that the barrels were selected. Single Barrels have to stand alone. Small Batch barrels can accomplish a taste profile through blending and compromise. Whether or not there is anything specific in the taste profiles which Jim Beam is consciously seeking by which to differentiate these two product lines is not to my knowledge revealed by them, 2) the relatively minor differences in ABV, and 3) the specific barrels chosen in each case, which are the ones we taste, and the ones which define the respective products

4 years ago 0

@Robert99
Robert99 commented

@Victor and @Benancio I knew there is a chance that there coming from the same mashbill, but by my reading I was under the impression the KCSB was going for more gentle spices and wood than Booker's. So thank you Victor for pointing the difference between Single Barrel's and Small Batch, not that I wasn't aware of it but I simply was not paying attention to the meaning of these Bourbon's names. Of course a profile for Single Barrel's are tougher to achieve and maybe not desirable since each barrel is pick precisely for is singularity. And Benancio, I am sure I will find a ressemblance since, for me, all Jim Beam line has a common (but unique to JB) nutty profile. So maybe my concern was really about the way the alcool was coming through, but now that I know that KCSB is bigger than I tought, I do understand why people are comparing. And I am sure I will enjoy it! Cheers!

4 years ago 0

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