Many Knob Creek bourbon lovers bemoaned the loss of the nine year old age statement. However, the nine year old age statement is back, and now Beam is upping the game by releasing older versions of Knob Creek; the first being a twelve year old and the next being a fifteen year old. I just picked up the twelve year old yesterday at Hokus Pokus; they got quite a few cases in.
Nice blue label; it is my understanding that the fifteen year old will have a burgundy label.
The color on this is a nice amber, which, given its age, the whiskey was probably significantly proofed down from barrel proof. On the swirl though are nice legs and film. On the nose, there is a pretty typical Knob Creek bourbon nose – caramel, vanilla, a little oak.
On the palate, the vanilla and caramel notes fade into heavy cinnamon, like cinnamon candies, which reminds me more of a wheated bourbon rather than a rye recipe bourbon. You can really taste the additional barrel aging on this in the heavy cinnamon note, although the regular oak notes are subdued due to the proofing down. After a few more swirls adding air this bourbon becomes a lot more balanced and the cinnamon mingles with the caramel and vanilla very well.
I have had some single barrel select Knob Creek bottles at 120 proof that were more flavorful than this. But if this is generally available, it will definitely have a place on my bar.