Age: 13 years, 7 months, 5 days
Orginal Proof: 127.2
Bottling Proof: 120
Tasted: Neat and then added a few drops of water
Late this summer I was invited by fellow Cleveland Bourbon Club member, Michael Boland (Mabel’s BBQ restaurant manager), to participate in a Knob Creek barrel selection for Mabel’s BBQ. For those not familiar with Mabel’s BBQ, it is a Cleveland-style barbecue restaurant located in the heart of downtown Cleveland and owned by the city’s iconic chef Michael Symon. If you are ever in town, I highly recommend you grab a bite to eat and even a pour. Mabel’s has an impressive selection of bourbons ranging from special single barrel selections too highly sought-after limited editions offerings. Go check them out!
This wasn’t my first barrel selection of Knob Creek. Earlier in 2017, I had the opportunity to go to the Jim Beam Distillery to taste nine different barrels of Knob Creek. Let me tell you, the barrel options that were presented for this Mabel’s BBQ selection were very strong. Very strong!
Let’s see how this barrel turned out when she was bottled and proofed down to 120 proof……
Nose: Super inviting nose. I get brown sugar, caramel, honey, chocolate, toasted oak, and a little rye spice. Maybe even a little citrus???? This nose has layers of complexity to it.
Palate: Sweet entry. I keep getting brown sugar, caramel, and vanilla on the palate. What a bourbon should taste like! Also layers of leather, walnut and dry old musty oak (in a good way). Very well balanced pour here. Easy drinker for 120 proof. That is definitely not always the case with Knob Creek. Although, I think I prefer this pour neat. Adding a few drops of water has muted some of the secondary flavors on the palate.
Finish: Nice and medium to long finish with that brown sugar, cocoa, and a touch of oak lingering.
Grade: 87 – 89 (B+) = Great, A cut above, want to own a bottle
This is one easy drinking Knob Creek! If you are ever at Mabel’s BBQ ask for Michael and order a pour of this Knob Creek barrel selection. Do you guys get similar notes to mine?
Bourbon nerd confession: Up until recently, if you were to ask me for my thoughts of Knob Creek I would have probably said, “meh, you can find something better for the price”. However, a recent blind tasting I participated in really put me in my place. I scored some Knob Creek barrel selections super higher. Actually, some of the highest scores I gave in blinds tastings all year. In that blind tasting, I thought the Knob Creek’s were Willett Family Estate barrels (maybe not that crazy of a guess?) which bottles some of my favorite bourbon and has a cult following in the bourbon community. Blind tastings don’t lie people! Knob Creek is great bourbon. And Mabel’s BBQ barrel selection is one of the best I have tasted.