Published on March 8th, 2012 | by Siz0
Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve 9 Year
Wow… this ain’t your normal Knob Creek! Right out of the gate this bourbon lets you know it’s here and you had better be ready. I had to put 3 ice cubes in it to calm it down. This single barrel bourbon brings the heat to say the least. If I haven’t scared you off yet, pull up a chair and lets chat about this because this is going to be a slow sipping glass of bourbon.
In the words of my favorite anchor man, “It stings the nostrils, but in a good way” – Ron Burgundy
Everytime I have this bourbon I love it even more than the previous time.
The bottle I got is hand selected by the owners at Grace’s Wine & Spirits in Nashville. They went and visited the Jim Beam Distillery and got to sample 3-5 different barrels and they chose their favorite barrel, #69. This is a very rare and awesome gesture by the people at Jim Beam I think it’s great that they get their retailers involved and educate about the product that they are selling. By selecting their own barrel they are showing their customers that they know and appreciate this sophisticated spirit.
Right off the bat you know this bourbon is full of spice. I picked up some spicy cinnamon that could open up your sinuses in the middle of allergy season. Yet the aroma is incredibly pleasant to me. I like to think that if you lit a cinnamon candle in your house you’d say WOW that smells like Knob Creek Single Barrel. Once the ice starts taking to the bourbon it begins to open up rather nicely. The strong cinnamon has dissipated and a lighter fragrance has taken over. I would say the softer aroma is more of a vanilla. The dark amber color has slightly changed to a lighter caramel.
According to Knob Creek’s website we should be able to smell a “Robust Vanilla and Caramel; Slightly Smoky, Mature Rich Cooperage”. I would say I agree with that. The Vanilla and Smoke I pick up rather easily once the bourbon opened up. However I also tend to pick up a lot of cinnamon right out of the bottle.
This bourbon opens and could scorch your taste buds if you’re not careful. I get a lot of maple and smoky flavor when I first take it in. I also recognize the cinnamon that I picked up from the aroma. I believe the cinnamon is what causes the burn on the tongue. Well that and the fact that this Single Barrel is 120 proof! Once the ice starts taking effect this bourbon begins to really open up and you can taste the smooth vanilla flavors promised by master distiller Fred Noe. I can clearly taste a resemblance to its cousin Knob Creek Small Batch. I do believe that this Single Barrel is the much stronger tougher cousin that beats up on the smaller fragile cousin at the kids table during Thanksgiving.
According to Knob Creek’s website you should be able to taste: “Deep, Full Vanilla; Surprisingly, Sweet and Nutty”. Again I would agree with this. It does however take some ice to really open this up and get the full flavor profile out of it. For those bourbon purists out there, I apologize for watering my bourbon down, but in fairness it does widen the profile for me.
With a Cigar?
This bourbon is a great way to really kick up the bite of any light bodied cigar. This would pair great with almost any cigar other than the spicy sun grown wrappers. Unless of course you want to torture yourself with spicy stuff. I know we have some masochists out there so go ahead and light ’em up! Otherwise I can enjoy this bourbon with almost any cigar. You can’t go wrong with this stuff.
Phenomenal Bourbon! Similar to the Knob Creek Small Batch, but with a lot more kick. For the price tag this is one of the best Single Barrels you can get. If you haven’t tried it already do yourself a favor and go out there and get you a nice bottle or 3 of this wonderful treasure from Kentucky.