Knob Creek Bourbon has the reputation of being one of America’s best bourbons since entering the market in 1992. Recently, Knob Creek introduced the Knob Creek Single Barrel Bourbon, an even more unique expression of Knob Creek that allows enthusiasts to discover the small differences inherent in each unique barrel of bourbon. For most brands, offering two of the most respected and awarded whiskeys in their category would be enough, but not for Knob Creek. Beginning in July, Knob Creek Rye Whiskey will be available nationwide.
While Knob Creek Bourbon and Knob Creek Single Barrel Bourbon are both aged nine years, Knob Creek Rye Whiskey instead only lists that it is “patiently aged”. Even though the age may be a bit of a mystery, this whiskey is clearly another solid addition to the Knob Creek line.
While bourbon is America’s heritage spirit, rye whiskey has even older roots in the United States. In fact, the original whiskey distillers in the U.S. would have made rye whiskey, as rye grows better than corn in the wetter, colder climate of the eastern seaboard. Rye whiskey is different than bourbon because to be labeled as rye whiskey, it must be at least 51% of rye, whereas bourbon must be at least 51% corn and often uses a variety of other grains in its mashbill. Rye is often described as spicy, with cinnamon and spice notes prevalent. Bourbons with a spicy character, such as Wild Turkey and Bulleit, have a high rye content in the mashbill, whereas sweeter bourbons, such as Makers Mark, will have little to no rye in the mashbill.
Knob Creek rye has a rich amber color, and in the glass, it has a pronounced alcoholic aroma initially given its 50% ABV content. Once the alcohol has a moment to blow off, though, the bouquet of this rye whiskey is quite enjoyable. Notes of cinnamon and vanilla predominate, but there are undertones of mint, black cherry, and penuche. On the palate, this whiskey has a medium-bodied mouthfeel, which is perfectly balanced. Notes of brown sugar, oak, cayenne pepper, and roasted walnut are evident, and there is a long, satisfying finish with more cinnamon and oak notes intermingling with rich oak and a subtle herb element.
Overall, Knob Creek Rye Whiskey is one of the best rye whiskeys on the market and a great addition to the Knob Creek lineup. Fans of both rye whiskeys as well as Knob Creek bourbons will be sure to enjoy this whiskey, and this is a rye that deserves a home in your liquor cabinet. Highly recommended.
Disclosure: I received a sample of this product from Jim Beam for review. No other compensation from Jim Beam was received.