Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve is made by Jim Beam. It is in fact the exact same whiskey that’s found in Jim Beam White with three big differences. For starters Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve is aged for at least 9 years; JBW is only aged for about 4. KC SiB is 120 proof (60%); JBW clocks in at the bare minimum 80 (40%) – which means more bourbon and less water in your bottle with KC. KC SiB comes from a single solitary barrel, making the product a continually unique experience; each run of JBW is a combination of hundreds of barrels in an effort to keep it tasting the same year over year.
Those unique properties of single barrel bottles is what makes them so fantastic. For example, Four Roses Single Barrel is one of my favorite whiskeys and when I drink it I’m not looking for consistency, like with Four Roses Yellow, I’m looking for variety. I’m looking for what’s different from one barrel to the next; the same goes for Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve. That’s also why this week on TWJ I’m going to review 4 different barrels starting with this, a bottle the of the standard issue Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve I picked up at my local Bevmo.
Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve Info
Region: Kentucky, USA
Distiller: Jim Beam
Mashbill: 77% Corn, 13% Rye, 10% Malted Barley
Cask: New charred oak
Age: 9 Years
Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve Review
Corn, buttered biscuits and caramel. Add a dash of dried dark fruit, vanilla and a light bit of butterscotch and wood. Combine all of that, turn the volume own and you have the general idea. It’s a light and underwhelming nose. The Standard Knob Creek release beats this single barrel hands down in the aroma department.
The flavor is a different story than the aroma with richer notes of dark fruit, toasted grain, wood, brown sugar, corn and spice. Some nice bits of caramel, brûlée and a hint of astringency pop in towards the end and add some great dimensions to the satisfying favor of this whiskey.
Woody with notes of caramel, spice, corn and red licorice that die out quickly and turn back to wood for the long haul.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Moderate balance, thin body and a hot watery mouthfeel.
The nose on this Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve is the biggest downfall of this bourbon followed by the experience (balance, body & feel). If everything was as rich and full as the flavor this would have been a stellar bottle / barrel of whiskey, but alas… it wasn’t and that’s both the pleasure and the pain of single barrels. When they’re on, they’re on and when they’re not, they’re a let down.
99 times out of a 100 releases like this are still better than the lowest level of whiskey these big producers put out (Old Crow in this case) so coming across a complete bomb isn’t likely… but it’s also not impossible. It’s a bit like playing Russian Roulette, but with exceedingly better odds and a significantly better outcome should you lose.
Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve Review - Score Breakdown
- Nose - 82
- Palate - 86
- Finish - 85
- Balance, Body & Feel - 83
Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve Value
For the most part Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve is a good value. This one didn’t impress me much, but it won’t dissuade me from buying more in the future.