Knob Creek Vintage 2001 is the oldest Knob Creek Jim Beam has ever released. At 14 years it sits a full 5 years above the average Knob Creek Small Batch, and Knob Creek Single Barrel, release of 9 years and I got to try it recently while visiting the Jim Beam Distillery for the launch of the Booker’s Rye. It was a welcome surprise to walk into warehouse D for the Booker’s tasting and get handed a bottle of this, and the recently chosen Booker’s roundtable, to kick off the tasting. Heck of a way to wake up the tastebuds.
While tasting the Knob Creek Vintage 2001 Master Distiller Fred Noe regaled us with a little bit of trivia. Until this tasting I didn’t realize that Booker’s and Knob Creek never come from the top or bottom of the warehouses. The top and the bottom are typically used in Jim Beam White and Jim Beam Black with Black typically coming from warehouses D and E. We also learned that Booker’s typically comes from the center-most racks and that warehouses D and E were Booker’s favorites due to them facing North-South and getting sun all day. He liked how this exposure matured his whiskey.
If you ever get the chance to drink with the person who distills the whiskey you enjoy drinking I HIGHLY recommend you do. The insight they’ll bring to the table is is unparalleled and every time I’ve bee fortunate enough to do it I’ve learned something new. They also tend to bring good whiskey with them… like this Knob Creek Vintage 2001.
Knob Creek Vintage 2001 Info
Region: Kentucky, USA
Distiller: Jim Beam
Mashbill: 77% Corn, 13% Rye, 10% Malted Barley
Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: 14 years
Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color | Single Vintage
Knob Creek Vintage 2001 Review
Dark caramel with a bit of red to it.
Big dose of caramel heavy dark sweets followed by waves of oak, dark fruit, spice and a dollop of vanilla with a light bit of citrus peels. It’s a hearty, rustic aroma laced with balancing sweet notes – really quite nice.
Oak, dark sweets, dark fruit, cinnamon heavy spice, vanilla and a touch of nuts and an herbal nature as it sinks towards the finish. Like the nose it’s robust and carries a great balance between rustic and sweet.
A long oaky corridor with bits of vanilla, spice, dark fruit and dark sweets popping their heads in along the way.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Well balanced, full body and a warm dry feel.
Knob Creek Vintage 2001 is hands down the best Knob Creek I’ve ever had. It’s everything I love about Knob Creek kicked up to the next level and contains a deeper oak aspect which I absolutely love. The complex layers of dark fruit and dark sweets couple up with the deep rich oak and warm spice to create the kind of bourbon drinking experience I want every day.
Along with the Booker’s Rye, the Knob Creek Vintage 2001 is one of the new Jim Beam bourbons I got to try while visiting the distillery recently and like the Booker’s Rye it comes from a small selection of casks. Not because there’s a shortage of Knob Creek, but because there’s not a lot of whiskey that makes it to 14 years with the core product being a 9-year-old. Quantity aside it will be interesting to see if this becomes their entrant into the array of existing yearly limited releases.
SCORE: 90-92/100 (A-, not consumed at home)
*Disclosure: I tasted the Knob Creek Vintage 2001 while on a press trip for the launch at Jim Beam. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.