Laid down in 2001, by Booker Now and subsequently finished by his successor Fred Noe, this passing of the torch expression is the oldest to date–at 14 years–for the Knob Creek brand.
Hard to not think of where I was in 2001. And like this bourbon I hope that the changes throughout the years have created something better then the sum of the original ingredients.
Now onto the review.
Knob Creek Limited Edition 2001 – 14 year
Bottle No. 4496; Batch 3; 50%
Nose: The nose on this bourbon is very layered. Immediately you are hit with a bold oak that fills your nose. This is followed by the sweet scent of brown sugar, and lastly spicy cinnamon–like red hots candy–and cherries.
Taste: This is one of those bourbons where the nose and the taste are very similar. Once again oak is the dominant flavor mixed with pepper, cherry, and hints of vanilla and brown sugar.
Finish: It feels a bit hotter than your average 100 proof bourbon but do eminently drinkable neat. The front half of the tongue and the cheeks tingle from the explosion of oaky, pepper and your mouth then warms with the following cherry and brown sugar flavors. Despite the bold oaky taste it doesn’t dominate to the point of overwhelming all other flavors. It is the dominant flavor but it isn’t what might be called an oak bomb. The balance between all the flavors is pretty great although weighted a bit towards oak and pepper. The aftertaste left in your mouth is oak with sugary cherry taste akin to a old school hard candy.
This first time I drank this bourbon I was sitting outside on a pretty hot and humid summer night. I found that there was a bit more cherry and floral notes. The balance seemed a bit more even so letting the bourbon warm up and air out a bit will probably let it open up and even out some of the oaky notes. Makes me curious how it’ll change in time as the bourbon gets oxidized more. Should be interesting.
This is a limited edition but it shouldn’t be too difficult to find, but it will cost you around $130+. If you can find it and afford it you may find that it’s worth your while. Of course, if possible find a bar where you can try before you buy.