Single Barrel Sunday!!

It’s single barrel Sunday Hawks!!!! I know it has been quite a few weeks since I’ve been able to do a review, but I’m here to review what has become one of my favorite daily drinks. This week we take a look at Knob Creek Single Barrel, bottled at 120 proof.

This bourbon comes from the Beam Suntory distillery, and more importantly it comes from the Booker/Noe lineup. I scored this bottle while finding my way into Frugal McDoogal’s in SC. It was a store pick, so I decided “what the hell” I’ll give it a try.

A little background on store picks. When a company, store, or ABC has a store pick label on bourbons, it means that they have sent a knowledgeable representative to the distillery to pick out what they consider the best barrels. When it comes to single barrel bourbon, you never know the slight differences you may get from barrel to barrel. Maybe barrel 123 got a little warmer than barrel 456, or colder. Maybe that barrel was closer to a rickhouse window, or was in the top center of the rickhouse. All these factors slightly change the taste and nose of the bourbon. With Small batch bourbons, the master distiller combines several barrels of bourbon to achieve the desired taste and nose of the bourbon they are producing. In a single bottle of small batch bourbon, you can have several barrels of bourbon mixed together. However, with single barrel bourbons the name says it all! What is in your bottle came from one barrel and one barrel only.

The mash bill on this bourbon is 75% Corn, 13% Rye, and 12% Malted barley.

ABV on Knob Creek Single Barrel is 120 proof. It’s not for the faint of heart, but in no way a hard drinker either.

The color sits at a dark amber.

At 42.99 in SC, it’s not going to break the bank for a nice single barrel bourbon that is aged 9 years.

The nose on this bourbon is amazing. I had to let it sit for about 30 seconds to let some of the alcohol burn drift away, but once I did I was treated to a nose full of oak, vanilla, leather, and citrus. Once I added a cube of ice to my glass, I picked up hints of caramel, clove, nutmeg, and orange.

The taste is not what I expected from a 120 proof bourbon. I expected to be hit with a wall of heat and burn. This was not the case. I tasted oak, vanilla, corn, and brown sugar. Once the ice was added, what burn there was turned into a mellow glass of caramel, more oak, and sweetness.

The finish on this bottle was medium to long. Lots of oak and sugar on the back end. Definitely some burn on the exhale. With ice added, the finish was shortened and the burn was almost completely taken away. Notes of oak, vanilla, and coco came out.

My final thoughts on this bourbon are that you need to try it out. If you like good bourbon that has a high enough proof that will give the drinker lots of options as to how to drink it, you’ve found it. You can easily drink this bourbon neat, with a drop or two of water, or with ice. I had no issue sitting by the fire in the mountains of NC and drinking it neat, and with some ice. With a low price tag, it’s definitely one you should pick up.

This bourbon can be found in a non-store pick configuration. Finding a store pick is nice, but it’s not needed.