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Jim Beam White Label is the best-selling bourbon in the United States (after recalling the fact that Jack Daniels doesn’t technically qualify as a bourbon), but the Jim Beam mash bill is used for several other brands of whiskey. In particular, Old Taylor, Old Crow, and three of Beam’s “Small Batch” series—Baker’s, Booker’s, and Knob Creek—are also based on this tried and true recipe.
Over the last few months, I have tasted Baker’s, Booker’s, and Knob Creek Single Barrel alone and against one another in order to discover their commonalities and their distinctions. The differences among them are subtle, perhaps more so than I would like; still, each is quite good. I reviewed Baker’s some time ago (connosr.com/reviews/bakers/…), and here I review Knob Creek Single Barrel.
The nose has a deep note of cocoa overtop of cherries, peppermint, and cinnamon. It is oaky, yeasty, and buttery. Altogether, it is something of a sweet-and-savory dessert.
The palate is slightly astringent, hot, and spicy, with orange peel, chocolate, banana, and a streak of molten cinnamon running through its core.
If Baker’s is the cashew brittle and Booker’s the candy bar of the trio, then Knob Creek Single Barrel is dark chocolate. It is dry and deep, slightly bitter and subtle.