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Knob Creek Bourbon
About Knob Creek Bourbon
Since some of my favorite cocktails call for bourbon whiskey, I’m always looking to try new bourbon bottles, especially when they’re at reasonable prices. And, a name I saw repeatedly mentioned online was Knob Creek Bourbon, so I was excited to try it for myself.
Knob Creek was first introduced in 1992 by distiller Booker Noe, a descendent of famous bourbon distiller Jim Beam, and meant as an homage to pre-prohibition era bourbon. The whiskey is aged for a minimum of 9 years in charred white oak barrels.
❖ Spirit: Bourbon Whiskey
❖ Distillery: Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont, KY
❖ ABV: 50% (100 Proof)
❖ Aged 9 years
❖ Moderate/Low price
My Tasting Notes
❖ Color: Amber
❖ Nose: Brown Sugar, Maple, Vanilla, cherry. A bit of alcohol burn
❖ Taste: A little bit of heat from the alcohol, medicinal cherry sweetness, oak and a bit of spice
❖ Finish: Long, oak and spice with a touch of that cherry sweetness
Initially, I intended to use Knob Creek in a bunch of Old Fashioned variations, but then this recipe for a Lion’s Tail from Knob Creek piqued my interest. Although it’s new to me, the Lion’s Tail is a classic cocktail that originated in the 1930’s. The allspice liqueur and lime juice makes me think of tiki cocktails, so I was curious about how bourbon would taste. I also wanted an excuse to use this small glass I got from a thrift store.
I was pleasantly surprised by the balance of flavors in this cocktail. From looking at the ingredient list, I was initially worried that the lime would be buried by the spirits, but it added a nice tartness to the flavor. And, the spice from Knob Creek worked perfectly with the allspice liqueur. Would definitely recommend trying this if you are looking for refreshing, spirit forward cocktail.
I also wanted to note that I slightly changed the recipe from the original Knob Creek recipe. They didn’t write to shake the ingredients in a shaker, but I think that may have been a mistake, since cocktails with citrus are usually shaken.
Because of Knob Creek Bourbon’s price, age statement and pedigree, my hopes were high that I found a new go-to bourbon. And while I do think it’s a decent mixer, I was still a bit disappointed in the overall experience and especially the flavor.
The most dominant flavor was an overly sweet and medicinal cherry or fruit note which I didn’t much care for, and prevented me from tasting much else. But, the sweetness was mellowed out by the other ingredients in cocktails, and the oak and spice notes were much more prominent. Because of this, I really only feel comfortable recommending it solely as a cocktail mixer.
But, the reasonable price helps justify Knob Creek Bourbon as a mixer. I can find it regularly in my area for around $30, and there’s even a 325 ml bottle so you can try it out. And, I really like the shape of the bottle, especially at the smaller size, and might reuse it as a flower vase.
As always, drink responsibly.
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