Knob Creek Single Barrel Select – COWS Pick

As luck would have it, our first pick of the year (back in April) came in right at the end of the year. But it is well worth the wait.  The pick team had to fight to get the barrel to give its nectar up – striking the bung ~50 times before it would yield its contents – hence the name.

 NAME – Knob Creek – COWS Tough Bung

PROOF – 120 proof

AGE – Barreled January 8, 2014; bottled April 20, 2023 – 9 years and 3 months (and no, I don’t have any idea what happened between April and its arrival in December other than the Black Hole that is OHLQ).

COLOR – Tawny (1.4 on the Whiskey Magazine Color Chart).

NOSE – A sweet adventure of chocolate, peanuts, nougat, caramel, and kettle corn – almost like a Payday candy bar lightly coated with chocolate.  While you get a little ethanol from the proof – it is light.

TASTE – This is one of those pours where the nose somewhat betrays what you taste.  The sweetness from the nose hits right up front with a soft caramel and peanut, but quickly dissipates into a wild cherry and soft vanilla that hangs in the middle of the palate.  A slight mineral note appears mid-palate as well that provides a cherry soda note.

FINISH – This is a medium finish.  It is interesting that the mid-palate flavors hang around and to a certain degree out shadow the peppery oak finish.  Although 120 proof, this is a very approachable pour.

REVIEW – It wouldn’t be a Beam product without a nutty note, but kudos to the pick team taking a known quantity and capturing a unique expression of it – which is in part what barrel picks are all about.

FINAL COMMENTS – There is a reason that the barrel was one Tough Bung and didn’t want to give its contents up – it is very solid pour. You’ll want this one on your shelf to share during these cold winter months.

-Todd Sarver