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!