Can it have already been 3 years? Actually, not quite: It was only 2020 when Knob Creek’s 15 Year Old expression became the oldest whiskey in its lineup, and now there’s a natural follow-up (also a limited edition), Knob Creek at a full 18 years of age, which is presumably bottled from slightly different stock. For those keeping score at home, KC18 is fully twice the age of standard Knob Creek and celebrates the 30th anniversary of the brand’s introduction.
Let’s dip into the barrel and see how things have panned out.
First up, some good news. Fears of this turning out to be an overly woody, tannic whiskey are quickly laid to rest when tucking in to the spirit. The nose is full of spice and displays plenty of leather and barrel char, but it’s balanced by a rich vein of dark, well-stewed fruit and chocolate syrup — the latter some of the hallmarks of younger Knob Creek. Here of course they are ratcheted up even further, kicking off with a palate that is lush with cocoa powder and cherries, then showcasing notes of coconut and nougat. There’s a curious popcorn note that hits heavy on the finish — not something you often see lingering in a whiskey of this age, but that’s maybe not a bad thing, indicating that these well-aged barrels just might have some life left in them.
Knob Creek 21 in 2024 or 2025? I’m listening.
A- / $170 / knobcreek.com