I like single barrel expressions, especially when they are barrel proof or close to it. These releases give us something unique in that different barrels will slightly vary in taste and smell. This happens because the wood that composes the barrels differ in age, grain structure, etc.
Knob Creek is a small batch, 9-year-old bourbon from Jim Beam. It’s a solid pour. Also available is a single barrel release, which is what we’re looking at here. It’s bottled at 120 proof, compared to the 100 proof standard release. The $40 price tag is a slight premium over the standard edition as well.
The nose is full of charred oak, burnt sugar, vanilla and nuts. Classic Jim Beam aromas. The high proof shows on the entry. Spicy and mouthwatering, but slightly sweet. It’s definitely related to its cousin, Booker’s. Vanilla and charred oak shine here. There’s a nice herbal/savory note underneath balanced with sweet caramel and cocoa. The finish is long and satisfying.
My only gripe is that there is no designation of what barrel the bottle comes from. That’s not specific to Knob Creek Single Barrel. There are other single barrel releases that do the same. All that means is if you find a bottle you enjoy, the next bottle on the shelf might not be from the same barrel.
Knob Creek Single Barrel is a nice upgrade from their Small Batch. Here their flavors and aromas are concentrated and more pronounced. It isn’t as “rough” as the proof might lead on. When done well, high proof bourbon is easily drinkable, and Knob Creek Single Barrel is no exception. Tons of classic bourbon flavors presented magnificently. Great sipper!