New No. 25, Knob Creek Single Barrel 120 . . .

Sep 27, 2003
Puerto Rico/NYC
proof. This review took a long time, didn't it? It's because the most profound thought I had upon first tasting this new bourbon release months ago, was its striking similarity to regular Knob Creek. And indeed, it is the same product, same age and formula, but bottled at 120 proof, and as a "single barrel" release. Many of you might remember, I'm not much for single barrel bourbons.

The new Knob Creek has more of that famous flavor, the bottle to bottle consistency, the spice, the oak, the signature Knob Creek flavor, only bolder. But what else does it have? I have mentioned for a LONG time that this review was coming. I'm poring over my Top 25 list right now, trying to figure out where it belongs. Interestingly enough, what I can't find in this new Knob Creek is the complexity or nuances to support a higher placement than No. 25. That's what took me so long to get here. This bourbon finally knocks good old original Knob Creek out of my Top 25 for the first time in history. As my "career" in bourbon nears 12 years, this list has become quite a historic place. Perhaps no more historic moment will ever come than right now, on June 3, 2011, when Knob Creek got knocked out of the Top 25, . . .

by it's stablemate, single barrel Knob Creek, 9 year old 120 proof. This is good stuff, folks. It's not going to make you switch over from Pappy's 20 or even Baker's, but you should try some. It's good bourbon, and at 120 proof, if you're looking for something strong, you've got it. Knob Creek remains the best bang for the buck bourbon around, but this new release of Knob Creek is a stronger, more flavorful rendition of an old favorite. I will, for posterity's sake and contrary to tradition, continue to follow the original Knob Creek's placement on my all time list. Example, it now sits at No. 26, which isn't listed, and even if/when it gets to be No. 41, original Knob Creek will always get honorable mention.

Top 25 Bourbon List

1. A.H. Hirsch Reserve 16 year
2. Parker’s Heritage Collection 2007, 127.4 proof
3. Vintage 23 year
4. George T. Stagg 2006, 140.6 proof
5. Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve 20 year
6. The Classic Cask 20 year
7. Vintage 21 year
8. Booker's
9. W.L. Weller 19 year
10. Parker’s Heritage Collection 2007, 122.6 proof
11. Distiller's Masterpiece I - Cognac Finish
12. 2005 William Larue Weller, 121.9 proof
13. Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2006
14. Parker’s Heritage Collection 2010, 127.8 proof
15. Jefferson’s Presidential Select 17 year
16. Van Winkle Special Reserve 12 year, Lot B
17. Four Roses Single Barrel
18. Old Forester Birthday Bourbon 2007
19. George T. Stagg Fall 2005, 141.2 proof
20. The Classic Cask 18 year
21. George T. Stagg 2002, 137.6 proof
22. Baker's
23. George T. Stagg 2003, 142.7 proof
24. Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 15 year
25. Knob Creek single barrel 120 proof

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