Tag Archives: knob Creek

Knob Creek Rye

Today’s tasting is Knob Creek Rye from the Jim Beam Distillery. Many of us Bourbon drinkers cut their teeth on Knob Creek Bourbon, one of the first premium style Bourbons that was also a big seller.

Knob Creek Rye comes in the same rectangular corked bottle as it’s extremely popular cousin, Knob Creek Bourbon. It is bottled at 100 proof, sells for around $38 for the 750ml and is widely available. Talking Bourbon was unable to find a positive age statement which always raises TB’s eyebrows. Also could not get a clear listing of the mash bill.

Helping TB today is friend and neighbor Clark. Clark is more of a wine, Rum, tequila and beer guy. But hey, he is always up for a free drink and doesn’t dislike Bourbon, just not his first choice.

NOSE

Clark: I actually get quite a few things, butterscotch, caramel, oak and spice are what I pick up first. Behind that is a woody/cedar aroma. Can also smell the 100 proof, somewhat hot.

TB: Wow, are we smelling the same stuff? Only thing that stands out is the Rye. Secondary aromas include honey, citrus, back fruit and a slight nuttiness. Not really getting the the wood that Clark got.

TASTE

Clark: A little hot with an ethanol taste neat. With one somewhat melted cube the drink opens up. I get the butterscotch, caramel and wood that I got on the nose along with some nuttiness mentioned by TB on the nose. Also get a slight hint of cinnamon and vanilla.

TB: Smooth with a nice burn neat but agree with Clark (ouch, that hurts) that it is better with a little water/ice. Even then not getting any over riding taste, just secondary flavors including Rye, tobacco, pepper, hints of leather and a bit of bitterness.

FINISH

Clark: Medium to medium long with not much change in the taste.

TB: Medium to medium long with a little more Rye and a touch of oak.

OVERALL

Clark: At this price point I would stick to Eagle Rare. While certainly nothing to turn down, I prefer Templeton Rye over this. Maybe that is me being a homer since it has some Iowa roots.

TB: You are definitely a homer. But TB also finds Knob Creek Rye to be just okay. Like a lot of juice here lately, one has to really reach to find much flavor.

Nose 3.5 out 5

Taste 7.5 out of 10

Finish 3.5 out of 5

Total score 14.5 out of 20 barrels.

While Knob Creek Rye is not a bad drink, it just lacks something, not sure what. Maybe a little more depth when it comes to the taste and finish. And while not over priced, there is definitely better Rye out at that price range or even under.

Knob Creek Rye does make a decent cocktail, especially like it in an old fashion and is a pretty easy drink. It also has a recognizable name, and that name is very popular.

Final verdict, Talking Bourbon is going to punt on this one. If you like Knob Creek Bourbon, you might like this. If you like a Rye that is not too bold or too forward, you might like this. If you are more of a mixing person you will like this. At this price point, you should find out for yourself.

Knob Creek

Knob Creek                                                             We are tasting another wildly popular Jim Beam product, Knob Creek. In our humble opinion, this and Woodford Reserve helped push the current trend of crazy Bourbon sales. For a lot of people, us included, Knob Creek was one of the first so called craft bourbons they tasted. On a side note, it was named for a small creek that ran through Abraham Lincoln’s childhood home in Kentucky.

Knob Creek comes in a corked rectangular shaped bottle with a kind of unique label that we have a hard time describing. It is bottled at 100 proof and is aged 9 years. KC sells between $30 to $35 for the 750 ML bottle. The label states that it is made in limited small batches, and as we have pointed out with a few other bottles who say stuff like this, they must have a whole lot of small batches. You can find KC in almost any place that sells spirits.

As we said earlier, this was the Bourbon that got us both started really getting into Bourbon. It has been a while since either of us have tried it, will it evoke nostalgic memories, or remind us of why we haven’t drank it for so long.

NOSE

Todd:   I was surprised at how much nose I got from this. At first it was the classic oak and caramel. Then I started getting tobacco and a little cinnamon and maybe even a little apple. The whole aroma also reminded me of sherry.

Ron:   I agree, a lot going on here. I got the caramel and cinnamon that Todd got along with a spicy, woody taste with a little vanilla. Also got a very faint trace of pear.

TASTE

Todd:  Way too hot for me neat, needed 2 cubes melted before I could really taste anything, and even then a little rough. Once the ice melted I got a nice sweet/spicy taste with a touch of vanilla. Not near as complex as the nose and strangely, I didn’t taste any of the things I got on the nose.

Ron:   Knob Creek stands up to be noticed. Definitely needed ice to even remotely enjoy this drink. But unlike Todd, once it melted I got a lot of flavors. Oak, vanilla, praline and tobacco were the dominant ones. Under that I could detect cloves and a cough syrup/medicine taste.

Todd:  You definitely got more than I did.

FINISH

Todd:   Nice medium-long finish with hints of toffee and mint.

Ron:   Medium-long with some more of the praline and tobacco that I got on the taste.

OVERALL

Todd:  Real good nose and finish but I was not blown away with the taste, and when it comes down to it, that is my main reason to drink Bourbon.

Ron:  This Bourbon refuses to be ignored. I had to have ice (melted) and there is a small window between too little water and too much.  Not a go to Bourbon, but not one you run away from either.

Nose    4.5 out of 5

Taste     8 out of 10

Finish   4 out of 5

Total             16.5 out of 20 Barrels

So, did it bring back that nostalgia, or why we haven’t had it in a while?

This was a hard one, we went back and forth on trying to get a handle on it. It was better than we expected, but not overwhelmingly so. KC is a decent Bourbon, a little rough, though at 100 proof you should expect that, and a little on the high side regarding price.  Also complicating things was the enormous appeal of Knob Creek. We kept asking why is this so popular?  It is good in a Manhattan or Old Fashioned, but on the rocks? We would probably choose something else from the cabinet.

As to our question, I think our score speaks for itself.