...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Knob Creek 5 year old 2013 Rye, barrel 8097 for Binny's

Knob Creek and I have an awkward relationship. I'm a big fan of their 10+ year old private picks (such as this one) and their 10+ year old limited editions (like this) of their bourbon, but I really don't like their ryes. This is the opposite of how things usually go. I usually like rye more than bourbon, and my palate does not usually warm up to 10+ year old bourbon.

This could just be an issue with Beam's ryes. With the exception of the $X,XXX priced Booker's rye, I don't think I've enjoyed a single rye produced by Beam Suntory, with the absolute nadir being Basil Hayden's Dark Rye, one of the worst American whiskies I've ever tasted (not exaggerating).

Yet, due to my positive experiences with Binny's's's's single malt cask selections, I picked up a bottle of one of their Knob Creek rye barrel selections. I was on a particularly batshit road trip to Chicago back in January, so I thought I'd bring back as many goodies as possible. That led to this post, which has aged badly.

Anyway, I opened my bottle of barrel 8097 KC rye and HATED it. Nearly undrinkable, the rye had a poisonous edge that make me concerned about continuing to drink it, in a cheap baijiu sort of way. So the bottle sat open for a few months, until I decided to try to infuse the damned thing with goodness. More about the infusions tomorrow. I tried the rye again this past week, and here are my notes.

Owner: Beam Suntory
Brand: Knob Creek
Distillery: Jim Beam Distillery
Location: Clermont, Kentucky
Mash Bill: 55% Rye / 35% Corn / 10% Malted Barley (just passing along the rumors)
Age: 5 years (7 October 2013 - 24 May 2019)
Warehouse: W-K
Floor: F-02
Rick: R-043
Alcohol by Volume: 57.5%
(from my bottle)

I get ketchup (a lot of ketchup) and orange peels on the nose. Then bacon, rock candy, cherry lollipops and barrel char. There's also an aggressive peppery white dog note. The palate is......not horrible. It's still very hot, very sweet and very peppery, but it also has some crispy pork notes and tart citrus. The hot finish has lots of sugar, tart citrus and black pepper.

MANHATTAN, 2:1 ratio
It's, ya know. I mean, the Luxardo cherry was good.

The rye improved after a half year, going from an F to a C, so that's something in its favor. But because life is short and I (claim to) value liver health, I dumped the last few ounces down the sink. This barrel is a small step above the standard Knob Creek rye, so if you like that whiskey you may love this whiskey. I heart neither. On the bright side, my infusions were so much worse than this.

Availability - Binny's stores
Pricing - $44.99
Rating - 75