I have been a fan of bourbon whiskey since the late 80s when I first had a taste of Old Grand Dad. I guess you could say that Old Grand Dad was my gateway bourbon.
Right around the early to mid 90s, I became aware of Jim Beam’s small batch bourbon collection which includes Knob Creek, Basil Hayden’s, Baker’s, and Booker’s. Since Knob Creek was the most affordable of these bourbons, it was the first one that I actually purchased. Unfortunately, that first bottle wasn’t for me. I was invited to a Christmas party in Stamford, CT, and since the host was a bourbon drinker, I decided that Knob Creek would make a great gift. Luckily, the host was extremely generous, so on top of feeding us with an incredible assortment of food and desserts, he also let us sample some bourbon.
I don’t consider myself a whiskey expert, but that first sip was a revelation! Knob Creek was a huge step up from the ordinary Old Grand Dad, Wild Turkey, and Jim Beam. Before Knob Creek, most of my bourbon drinking involved mixing it with ginger ale or club soda on the rocks (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). This was a bourbon that I didn’t want to water down. Stronger. Richer. Smoother. It begs to be savored. It has a rich amber color, and you can pick up the aroma of brown sugar and maple syrup immediately. Once the alcohol dissipates (did I mention that it’s bottled at 50% ABV?), it has a long and pleasant finish. This is a bourbon that I have purchased on numerous occasions and would not hesitate to recommend. And at $25 to $35 per bottle, it is one hell of a bargain!
Categories: Booze Review, Knob Creek
Wild Turkey Rare Breed still remains my go-to whiskey…So smooth I still can’t believe its 108 proof!
My Bourbon of choice is the 10 year-old Eagle Rare Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon from the gang at Buffalo Trace. Great aroma, smooth drinking with a long sweet and spicy finish. At around $25 a bottle how can you go wrong?
All three make for fine drinking but I prefer my Bourbon in a Manhattan (Up, cherry optional). Talk about a gateway drink, my first Manhattan was an ice breaker before dinner at the Chart House when my parents first met my wife’s parents. As the drinks were ordered, my father (no slouch in the drink department) ordered a Southern Comfort Manhattan. As a novice, I ordered the same. The color… the sweetness … the burning … I was hooked. And, with the variety of bourbons and bitters available, the taste of each Manhattan is both refreshing and original. Of course, if asked for a preference, Maker’s Mark will do just fine.
I too am enamored with that divine beverage. Remind me to tell you about the Christmas party that I attended at the Sofitel in Center City where I had four Maker’s Mark Manhattans and a very very long journey home on PATCO. Apparently, I was rather “handsy” in the middle of the night. Sadly, I don’t remember anything that happened after I passed out when I got home.
Right on with Knob Creek. It’s been one of my go-to bourbons. It’s not overly complex, but just so smooth and mellow in that bourbony way, it’s always enjoyable. This doesn’t seem to get a lot of respect around the whisky blogging community, but it’s a great bourbon just to drink and enjoy.
I’ve been a fan of the Knob Creek for almost 20 years. It was my first “Oh Wow!” moment with Bourbon. Before that I rarely drank it straight. Still a great value!