Maker: Jim Beam, Clermont, Kentucky, USA
Age: 14 y/o (distilled 2001, bottled 2016)
Proof: 100 (50% ABV)
Michigan State Minimum: $130
Appearance: Very dark, burnt caramel color. Slow, sticky necklace.
Nose: Classic grassy KC nose. Alcohol, cut grass, woodruff, allspice, dried orange rind.
Palate: Burn, cayenne, vanilla custard, orange, chewy oak.
Finish: Hot & herbal with big oak.
Parting words: Long time readers will know that I never buy whiskey this expensive and that I whine about value even for bourbons as cheap as $20. So why did I buy this one? I don’t know. It was available for one, and I love Knob Creek for another. It had also been a couple months since I had purchased any spirits so I figured it was in the budget.
Let me start off by saying that Knob Creek 2001 is a good bourbon. It’s certainly the best Knob Creek I’ve every had. It has the big velvety tannins one would expect from a bourbon of this age. It’s firmly within the standard KC profile with pleasant spicy and herbal aromas and flavors. If this were a bottle of the old 9 y/o or of the single barrel KC, I would be very impressed. As a $130 limited edition, I’m underwhelmed. For that kind of cash, there needs to be more going on. More candy, more fruit, more of something. It certainly needs more proof. I’m not sure why this wasn’t released at barrel proof (to enable a broader release, maybe?) but one hundred proof isn’t good enough for a $130 limited edition when the same line has a single barrel at 120 proof at $50. If you have the room in your budget to blow $130 on a good bourbon that isn’t great, then you might like this. If you’re a normal human being and not a tater like me, then you might want to skip this. Reports are that batches 2 & 3 may be better, but this batch isn’t close enough to a fair price for even a mild recommendation. Knob Creek Limited Edition, 2001 (batch 1) is not recommended.