Sunday, February 12, 2017

Knob Creek Small Batch Straight Rye Whiskey

- $30
- 100 Proof

I've decided to make it a point to make my way through all the base-level ryes that are out there. I'm a fan of ryes, generally, and I prefer the high rye bourbons out there. And, although I've had pours here and there, I've never bothered grabbing a bottle of the standards - Jim Beam Rye, Wild Turkey Rye, Knob Creek Rye, Woodford Reserve Rye, George Dickel Rye, etc.

So, I made it a point while at the store the other week to pick one out, and, with no rhyme or reason to my decision, I started out with the Knob Creek Rye. I figured Knob Creek might offer me a nice baseline for comparison.

The nose is a mild cinnamon. It's not very pungent at all, but is yet pleasant. There's a sweetness on the nose that, while not immediately noticeable, is nonetheless enjoyable.

On first sip, the first thing I notice is the texture. Unlike some of the rich, wonderful ryes I've had in the past, this one is watery and thin. It does nothing to coat the tongue and mouth, with its flavor seeming to dissipate almost immediately.

As for flavor, not unexpectedly given the nose and my initial thoughts on the mouthfeel, this is not a very bold rye. It is very simple, providing vanilla with a mild cinnamon spice near the end. You get hints of citrus and pine as well, making it very drinkable, but it's nothing worth spending much time with. Interestingly, I think I found that the nose was more enjoyable than the flavor.

As the bottle stayed open and I tried pour after pour, my impressions did not seem to change. It did not open up with time, nor did it seem to open up with a little bit of water. It just comes across as a plain rye, with no complexity and very little spice. The one thing I noted later that I didn't really notice initially was a minty flavor that seemed to come through. Perhaps that was the rye grain finally making its presence known. But by then, it was too little too late.

This is really just a boring and bland rye whiskey. I know I didn't reach for something considered "special" when I grabbed this bottle, but as someone who generally enjoys ryes, I was disappointed.

Grade: C-

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