Part of the Jim Beam family, the overproof Knob Creek has always been a go-to Bourbon when you wanted something a bit beefier, when the week has finally caught up with you — and yet which still exuded quality.
And now you can get the kick in the form of a rye, with Knob Creek Rye launching nationally this month. A purported blend of ryes up to nine years old, there’s no data on the mashbill here, whether it’s all rye or a corn blend (my guess).
At 100 proof, Knob Creek has always been a bit boozy, and the Rye is similar. Big alcoholic vapor notes coming off the ruddy amber whiskey attack the senses when freshly poured, requiring a few minutes to let them blow off.
Once they do, Knob Creek Rye reveals big cherry notes, some racy grain character, and hints of sawdust, especially in the nose. You get the spice on the finish, a burn in the back of the throat not caused by the alcohol, a warming character that almost speaks of menthol, but which also offers vanilla in the denouement.
The more I sip on this, the more I get a dusty wood component in the nose. This isn’t unpleasant, but it does give this rye more of a rustic character than you might expect. And then that vanilla sweetness kicks in again, inviting another sip. Good stuff.
A- / $40 / knobcreek.com