Sunday, January 6, 2019

Knob Creek Twice Barreled Rye Review

Here today is a limited release from the folks over at Jim Beam. It is a no age statement version of their standard rye recipe (so at least four years old) that has been additionally aged in a second fresh charred oak barrel for an undisclosed amount of time. I've had moderate success with the Knob Creek Single Barrel ryes I've tried as they can be a decent value at ~ $45 when you factor in the 115 proof. Overall my biggest complaint with them is they could use more age since they still have quite a lot of grain forward notes. When I saw the announcement of this my hopes were the additional barrel aging would alleviate that issue. Over the holidays I happened to see a bottle of this on a shelf at a random local and though it was marked up I figured I would give it a shot.
Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey; No Age Statement; 50% ABV; $70 ($45 MSRP)
Nose: Lots of typical bourbon sweet notes with a bit of nutty pine spice. The nose is decent and has promise. 
Taste: Corn/grain forward with vanilla cola sweetness. Towards the middle some rye spice shows up in the form of peppermint but it's muted. There is not a lot of wood influence and the profile is mostly dominated by younger grainy notes. The finish is short and what does linger is mostly sweet grains. I'm a little surprised it's not as peanut forward as Beam whiskeys tend to be.
Thoughts: Meh. I'd never guess this was aged in an additional fresh oak cask because the wood influence is just not there. What you end up with is something that tastes like a barely legal, no age statement rye of middling proof which as a whole is completely forgettable. Even at MSRP this is a hard pass for me as you can find single barrel rye picks that are much better. 
Rating: C-
Note that price is not considered when assigning a rating.


  1. You're BACK!! Btw do you ever go to carothers?

    1. hah, i never left, just been working a lot so reviews have been slow. carothers is out of my way but i do get down there whenever they have interesting single barrels. the picks i've had were all good. the barrelsandbrews guys that do some of their picks are setting up a new shop closer to me just across the davidson co line near nolensville soon.

    2. ok - so the important thing is that you might show up once in a while once the new shop opens? Really excited for a larger hangout space at the new place. There's a pretty consistent group that comes in every Thursday- definitely gonna be there tonight.

    3. seems like every time i've been to carothers there's always a big group of folks hanging out. yeah i'll definitely be a regular at the new place. it's really close to me and all the other shops nearby suck.

    4. Nearby you? I'm in Lenox Village so yeah I'm pumped about it since it's right down the road. Someone brought the cask strength angels envy rye last week- that bottle was incredible. Yeah R&B has gone downhill with the new owners. I can't think of an other really close by tho