Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve Arrives

The whiskey world has been talking about Knob Creek's new Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon for about six months now, but mine came in the mail yesterday, so I'm talking about it now. It will be on shelves in February.

The Single Barrel Reserve is aged nine years, the same as regular Knob Creek. The main attraction here, as others have noted, is the proof. It clocks in at a heft 60% alcohol, giving the whiskey a heat your nose detects right off. (Standard Knob Creek is 50%.) Added alcoholic punch always makes a spirit catnip for the mixologist crowd (note the enduring popularity in bars of Rittenhouse Rye 100) and I expect that will be the case here. And the price—$40—puts it in reach. It makes an excellent, if heady Old Fashioned, the dashes of water and sugar aiding in sanding off the rough, firey edges here. (Do not have two; stop at one.) Otherwise, if you like Knob Creek, you'll like this. It's a superior Bourbon.

The press release calls this "easy to sip," but I'd recommend some water here. I suggest a drop of water in whiskey-drinking in general, but I think it's more urgently required here. The stuff is too hot otherwise. Also, you're missing an array of flavors if you don't spur them on with that water.

According to Chuck Cowdery, the folks at Beamlooked for darker whiskey for the Single Barrel to help distinguish the two bottles on the shelf.

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