What can I say about Knob Creek Single Barrel Select? It is probably one of the best values in bourbon around – a high proof, aged at least nine years, single barrel bourbon that was sampled by the owner or manager of a store and probably some of the store’s employees and best customers and then chosen. I have yet to have a bad bottle of this, and what I have discovered is that they are remarkably different from barrel to barrel. Hokus Pokus in Alexandria just got one in that was picked by the Lake Charles crew. Some should be in Prairieville as well.
Knob Creek Single Barrels are all 120 proof, whether Select or regular. Some selects will have been more proofed down that others. I wasn’t part of the tasting group that picked this, but the data on the label shows this was picked from the middle of warehouse F, which is a known sweet spot for good bourbon, and was aged thirteen years and not quite two months when selected in January. So, what do we have as far as flavor; knowing it will be good, the question is how good?
Nose is very traditional bourbon, with caramel and vanilla coming to the fore, some nice oak, some fruitiness and some anise bitterness. The color is a very dark and rich amber, but with no mahogany color really. On the swirl is a tremendous deep film with thick oily legs falling from the crest of the film. On the palate, I will just have to say the force is strong with this one. Big vanilla flavor, bitter dark chocolate, muted cherry notes, and long rye anise notes, some leather and English pipe tobacco. On the finish is cherry, anise, and cinnamon, that then turns to drying oak. Long finish at that. Interestingly, this has a medium mouthfeel; it’s not syrupy at all, but it is definitely a flavor bomb.
This is definitely an after dinner whiskey, but preferably with a pipe or cigar, or dark chocolate, rather than a sweet dessert. It is very complex with a lot of great flavor going on. Definitely worth picking up.