Sunday, July 5, 2020

Knob Creeck ABC Fine Wine & Spirits Single Barrel Select Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey

- $45
- 115 Proof
- 5 yrs., 10 mos.
- Kentucky

As with most avid whiskey enthusiasts, whenever I travel other places, I love checking out the stores there just to see what's on the shelves. While occasionally I may find a special or allocated bottle, I'm more looking for either bottles that I just don't see or can't get in Illinois such as local craft whiskeys or limited distribution whiskeys, or for store picks. 

If I'm out of state and see a random store pick on a shelf, I'm typically going to grab it, particularly if it's a brand I really like.  That proved to be exactly the case here. While in Miramar Beach, Florida for a week, I managed to make my way over to ABC Fine Wine & Spirits one town over in Destin, Florida, having convinced my wife that she really needed a wine run. I was impressed by the nice selection, and as soon as I set my eyes on this bottle it was already in hand. I've said it in the past, but Knob Creek store picks are always a no-brainer for me.  They are almost always good, and sometimes great!

On the nose, the high alcohol seemed to really give it a kick. However, it didn't overpower the other notes, and I got a healthy dose of cinnamon and pine. It had a northwest woods smell to it. I also got a bit of a cracker note, but a sweeter cracker, like Wheat Thins. Part way through the bottle I also started noticing an orange peel note, giving it a bit of brightness but also reminding me a bit of an old fashioned.

The flavor was pretty spot on. Sweet and spicy cinnamon dominated here. It was kind of a blend between cinnamon sticks and that artificial cinnamon flavor that you get from red hots. This was on top of a healthy brown sugar flavor as well. These flavors were bold and rich and provided a nice, sweet baseline with a good balance of spice.

I also got a slight woody note, which was a bit unexpected given the age. It wasn't just pine notes, though they were certainly there. I got that distinct oaky woody notes, and they seemed to be most noticeable, along with that pine, on the finish. This rye coated the mouth fairly well which provided a long, enjoyable finish that, again, took me deep into the woods of the Pacific Northwest.

Perhaps at this point you're thinking, "Yeah, but who wants to drink a forest with a side of cinnamon?" Well, I kinda do. But, there's more here as well, these are just the dominant flavors. I also got the orange peel from the nose, but it came across as more of a burnt orange note, something a bit more earthy rather than bright and citrusy like it was on the nose. I also got a touch of cherry, and these flavors worked to provide that old fashioned note that I got on the nose, perhaps even moreso. 

This turned out to be a pretty good store pick. If it's any indication, the bottle was empty within just over 24 hours. That's typically a sign of a pretty good bottle. And it only confirmed my stance on Knob Creek store picks -- grab them when you see them. This one did not disappoint.

Grade: B+

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