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Knob Creek... looking stylish in leather!

Knob Creek… looking stylish in leather!

Proof: 100
Color: medium amber
Nose: charred wood, rubbing alcohol, cinnamon
Taste: mild toast, a touch of spices, a hint of molasses
Finish: hot & sweet
Value: Uhm, not so much.

For many years, Knob Creek was my favorite bourbon. It’s not cloyingly sweet like so many bourbons. The sweetness is there, but very mildly so. And I liked it that way.

But these days I find it…

Well, let’s not mince words: Not much flavor for the price.

Isn’t that a horrible thing to even think?!?! Knob Creek is aged for 9 years. Nine years in a barrel and we’re left wondering where the flavor went! That’s just… depressing.

Knob Creek is aged for 9 years. Nine years in a barrel and we’re left wondering where the flavor went

There are very definitely barrel notes… but they’re all dialed back. A hint of toasted oak or roasted almonds is there. Slight vanilla, but hardly so. Cinnamon and cardamon come to mind while sipping. But that’s about it. And, again, these flavors are all sadly dialed back. Perhaps it’s the higher proof that’s masking the flavors? No… I can think of other high-proof bourbons that are still complex.

I am fond of saying that I like a liquor that announces its presence; which is why I’m disheartened by Knob Creek’s tame palate.

Knob Creek Straight... *gasp!* ...naked!

Knob Creek Straight… *gasp!* …naked!

That old familiar “whiskey burn” you expect from a high-proof bourbon is here, but it’s comforting, not off putting. The burn is polite; a slap more than a punch.

The finish is a tad rough. It hot as you’d expect, but mildly sweet… which I enjoyed. So, it’s a mixed bag.

I used to make Manhattans out of Knob Creek. Now I know why I used a double hit of Bitters. Not enough bourbon flavor comes through.

As I said in my Buffalo Trace review, I used to love Knob Creek. Unhealthy-Obsession-Kind-Of love. But no longer. My now-aged and experienced palate says Knob Creek can’t quite stand up to Buffalo Trace or Four Roses.

I know I can get a bottle of Knob Creek locally for around $30 a bottle. But will I? Only if there’s no Buffalo Trace ($20) or Four Roses Small Batch ($26) to be found. Would I say no if someone offered me a glass? HELL NO. This stuff is good. It’s just not outstanding.

Final Rating: 87 out of 100