Saturday, August 12, 2017

Knob Creek 25th Anniversary Bourbon Review & Tasting Notes

Today was my father-in-law’s celebration of life. It was an amazing day to honor a great man. From the 21-gun salute the American Legion presented to the outpouring of love, it was just humbling.

I wanted to pour something special, and this Knob Creek 25th Anniversary bottle has been waiting for an excuse to be opened.

The KC 25th is selected especially by Fred Noe, Jim Beam's Master Distiller. A few versions are floating around on store shelves; this particular one is bottled at 123.6° and was barreled on February 25, 2004, where it rested until 2017. It is unfiltered, and cask strength, with a caveat that it was "quality screened to remove any pieces of charred barrel wood from the liquid."

Appearance: In my glass, the appearance is an inviting, thick-looking, deep amber. Swirling it around in the Glencairn glass leaves a significant rim of whiskey that produces a limited number of legs that take their time dropping. In fact, they just kind of park there and never quite fall to the pool.

Nose: The nose is fruity, followed by caramelized sugar. Breathing the aroma through my lips brings almost a dry vanilla quality.

Palate: The first pass over my tongue proves the appearance. This has a very thick feel to it. Heavy vanilla and sweet fruit roll on the palate, leading to oak and a dash of pepper spice.

Finish: That pepper spice then begins to build on the finish. Like many KC 120s, this is very soft for a Bourbon of this proof. But, the finish also makes itself known and isn't lost in that softness.

Bottle, Bar, or Bust: Overall, this is an excellent Bourbon. However, so are many KC 120 store picks that can be had for a third of the cost. That isn't to say I'm disappointed, but it is hard to justify the $130 price tag on this one when you realize the aforementioned store picks.

If you're a massive fan of Knob Creek, this is undoubtedly a great addition to your collection. But I might spend that same money elsewhere for the average Bourbon fan. As such, it earns a Bar rating. Cheers!

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