Knob Creek Small Batch

Knob Creek, a 9 Year Old, 100 proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is one of the four b
ourbons that make up Jim Beam/Suntory's "Small Batch Bourbon Collection" along with Booker'sBaker's, and Basil Hayden's.  Jim Beam also offers a Knob Creek Rye, a Knob Creek Single Barrel, and a Knob Creek Smoked Maple Bourbon. 

Knob Creek [most likely] refers to the real creek that ran through Abraham Lincoln's family farm.  According to local lore, Lincoln's father was a seasonal worker at the distillery in present day Athertonville, Kentucky, which is also along Knob Creek.  Today's Knob Creek Small Batch bourbon refelcts the classic Jim Beam mash bill and is all distilled and bottled in Clermont with Fred Noe at the helm.

Most people think that Knob Creek was created between 1987 and 1992 by Booker Noe as part of his Small Batch Collection.  Actually, the original Knob Creek brand was established almost 100 years ago.  For some time before, and again after, Prohibition, the Penn-Maryland Corporation (a National Distillers joint venture) distilled whiskey at their Carthage, Ohio location and bottled "Knob Creek straight bourbon whiskey" at 93 proof.  National "merged" with Beam in 1987 and the modern product was re-born.

Knob Creek Small Batch

James B. Beam Distilling Co./Suntory
100 proof
$32 at Green's Beverages in Columbia, SC

Color: Medium amber with hint of crimson red.

Nose: Caramel, vanilla, big oak, and an alcohol burn.  After some swirling, subtle cocoa, spearmint, marshmallow, and light corn.

Tasting notes: Strong rye spice and barrel char/wood.  There are lighter notes of honey, bitter baking chocolate, and subtle caramel, but the most prominent flavor is the wood, thanks to a high-rye mash bill and 9 years in heavily charred barrels. 

Overall: B-.  Knob Creek is a American standard premium bourbon, and should be in every whiskey drinkers' arsenal, along with Woodford Reserve, Maker's Mark, and Four Roses.  While Knob Creek is a great and versatile bourbon, the oak influence is heavy and the finish bites and lingers.  If you prefer a softer, sweeter bourbon, you'll want to mix your Knob Creek into an Old Fashioned.