I had recently helped my Trusty Sidekick with a project, and she surprised me with this lovely find. We have both enjoyed Knob Creek from the Beam Family and we often enjoy the added depth and smoothness offered by double-barreled products. Here are my thoughts:
This limited release by Jim Beam utilizes its standard Knob Creek Rye that is rebarreled into a new, level 4 charred oak barrel. Knob Creek TBR was released to the public in November 2018. There is no age statement and Beam Suntory is mum as to the mashbill, though with the corn sweetness, I suspect this is just over the 51% rye requirement. It is bottled at 100 proof in a traditional Knob Creek styled bottle. This rye whiskey can be purchased for around $45..
Color: Reddish copper
Nose: Wow! This is like the Old Forester Rye Whiskey with a lot of corn sweetness, including vanilla and brown sugar.
Palate: This has a delicious mouthfeel with lots of sweetness and notes of vanilla and green pepper spiciness. This is amazing for a rye whiskey.
Finish: A lingering finish – initially with sweet vanilla flavors, followed by some mildly spicy notes and a dry, lingering oak finish. Definitely not your traditional rye whiskey finish that can oftentimes have your reaching for a glass of water.
Overall: This is a nice twist on what would otherwise be just another rye whiskey. The sweet mashbill and the double barreling adds some depth and dimension as well as balances out some of the spiciness of a standard rye whiskey.
The Knob Creek brand is one of my closet bourbons that I enjoy – I know it’s a favorite of my trusty sidekick, as well. I was saddened when they ceased the 9-year age statement but am heartened to read that it will be back in the not too distant future.
It’s nicely balanced. I’m confident there’s a good amount of corn in the mashbill and the second barreling provides lots of vanilla and sweet flavors to what could normally be a “hot rye” experience. The $45 may seem a little steep, but it’s listed as a limited release, so that isn’t that out of line for some other limited releases that are available. The Knob Creek brand often comes at a premium price. This would be an interesting one to conduct a side-by-side testing with Old Forester Rye.