The new Knob Creek Single Barrel (at 120 proof) has a wonderful nose with loads of rich vanilla. caramel, oak, leather, rye, oranges, nutmeg, figs, and cinnamon....................and a whiff of Coca Cola!! Exceedingly thick, complex, and hot with spice and alcohol. Even a very small sip has more alcohol than I am willing to tolerate these days.
At 102 proof (42.5 ml of KCSB, 7,5 ml of filtered water), the nose keeps its robust aromas intact and the taste holds its rich viscosity and deep flavors. Sweet corn and vanilla in an intense mix, oak, citrus, nutmeg, figs, all these jostle for space and attention delightfully in the mouth.
In a head to head with Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit (101 proof), the diluted Knob Creek Single Barrel (102 proof) is sweeter because the KS has a higher rye content in the mash bill (I do not know this as an absolute fact, but my palate definitely says so). Both are very rich in barrel flavors and on any occasion, first one and then the other will be favored. At this moment, I prefer the KC.............and, even absent a direct head to head with the standard KC, the Single Barrel seems much the superior.
I paid $36 for this KCSB and find it to be an exceptional bourbon, especially for that price. While, in my judgement, not quite the equal of Four Roses Single Barrel in the same price range (NO bourbon is the equal of FRSB in this price range......and likely never will be), it is better than Booker's. better than the regular KC, and goes a significant way toward redeeming the reputation of Beam whiskey (just my judgement).
Buy a bottle, take 45 ml of the KCSB, add 5 ml of soft water, and you will have a 108 proof whiskey which, in my opinion, is superior to Wild Turkey Rare Breed of the same proof. I can assure you that this bourbon will always find a place, near the FRSB, on my top shelf.
Thanks, Beam! With this bourbon, you are back in the game. Now, please check your barrels for some first rate ultra aged bourbon, surely you have let some sneak past your requirements for regular production? I think KCSB will do a lot to enhance your reputation for producing really premium whiskey...........but you need to do more. In my opinion, the others are still a bit ahead of you. Have you guys had a sip of Parker's Heritage lately? Now, that Beam is making Heaven's Bourbon!!
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. - Dylan Thomas