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Woah! This is a great experience. I have had Knob Creek Single Barrel ($52/750ml) for the past two nights, and both times about 4oz over a spherical ice ball. The initial nose has substantial alcohol burn (expected at 120 proof) that noticeably tapers off after about 5 minutes and allowing it to breathe/cool off a bit. I find vanilla toffee alcohol to be prevalent on the nose.
The first sip smacks you in the face (in the best way possible) and has a warm, cinnamon pepper peanut brittle burn that warms you mouth and chest like one would expect red-hot embers to; this rapidly becomes more subdued and dares you to take another sip.
The second mouthful is a bit more tame with the vanilla sweet cinnamon pepper toffee that lingers nicely- the alcohol burn exits fairly rapidly with the flavor lingering endlessly. Exhaling through the nose engulfs your entire head in this flavorful experience.
3rd sip, which is eagerly anticipated, settles you down an comforts you into knowing that there are many more to come.
The finish, in my opinion, is much tamer than expected for its strength. The alcohol doesn't overpower the flavor and there is very nice balance. Salivary glands kick into action as you continue to experience the lingering flavors. I am thoroughly enjoying this- Knob Creek Single Barrel reinforces why (we) drink bourbon. It is challenging, bold, satisfying, balanced......awesome.
If you have not already done so, give it a try.....it's got balls! (Thanks for reading and I hope this served you well)