Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Knob Creek Binny's Single Barrel Select Kentucky Straight Bourbon - 15 years, 2 months

VITALS:
- $45
- 120 Proof
- Barrel #9691
- 15 years, 2 months
- Kentucky

I've been touting for years that the Knob Creek private picks are easily one of the best values out there. They're reasonably priced, basically barrel proof, well-aged and always good and sometimes great! In fact, the first such pick I ever had was one of the best bourbons I've ever tasted!

For a while there seemed to be a run on these well-aged Knob Creek picks, all of them 12 years or over, and a bunch of them in the 14-15 year range, or even older. I felt like I was picking up one a month or so around the middle of last year. But, those don't seem to be flooding the shelves any more, and I'm only down to one more of those picks after this one. That being said, I certainly have no regrets, as once again, I got my money's worth in this Knob Creek store pick!

The first thing I noticed on the nose was peanuts. I've heard a lot of people identify peanuts as a common note in Jim Beam products. I can honestly say I've never really gotten that, but I certainly noticed it here. There was a lot more to it, though, that provided a lot of complexity, even in the nose. I got cherry and black raspberry notes that provided a sort of peanut butter and jelly aroma. I also got some cardamom and nutmeg scents, with a bit of woodiness to it.

As to flavor, that peanut note came through, but, although it may seem a bit nuanced, it reminded me more of peanut butter than peanuts themselves. Perhaps it was a bit of sweetness coming through. This was also a very viscous, oily bourbon, and maybe that had something to do with it a swell. 

The cherry also came through, but it was more of a spiced cherry note, almost like cherry and cloves. There was a rich sweetness throughout, like a molasses note that reminded me a bit of gingerbread cookies (I always associate what I'm tasting with various cookies I've had, for some reason).  But, that sweetness was tempered by a tannic bitterness which was actually a welcome addition to the party of flavors going on.

All in all, this was a very drinkable bourbon, despite the high proof and despite the bold flavors that seemingly were almost at extremes in flavor. Every point had a counterpoint. The sweetness balanced with the bitterness and the spices. Even the peanut flavors balanced with the fruit-forward notes I got. This was a rich, complex and interesting bourbon throughout, and one that I really enjoyed drinking. Once I finally got around to opening the bottle, it really didn't last very long.

Grade: A-

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