This whisky is “patiently” aged, as opposed to the (for now) age statements of 9 years across the Knob Creek bourbons. This is the latest addition to the Jim Beam small batch collection, and much of the best of the Jim Beam rye whiskey goes into this. It bothers me that it’s not labeled as a “straight” rye…are they adding colouring?
Nose: As a rye whiskey, this displays many of the key characteristics of rye – the floral, fruity, and vegetal notes – however, it noses quite a lot like a bourbon. I would imagine this, though more than 51% rye, is not too much more than that. Vanilla, tobacco, lilacs, honey, oak, linseed oil, caramelized dried apricots (I know, that’s a strange one – but if you ever roast dried apricots with meat, it’s a similar aroma), cereal aromas and a bit buttery. Quite lovely. 26/30 (87%)
Taste: A bit sweet at first, leading to some apples before some linseed oil, honey, oak, corn, and rye come in on the finish. The honey and oak fit very much into the general Knob Creek style, and the rye influence isn’t lost. 25.5/30 (85%)
Finish: Quite vibrant, with the floral rye and mint lifting the whole finish at a floral level while there is still earthy oak coming in underneath. The finish has decent length, and good body. The whisky is a bit spicy, and leaves some nice spices in the mouth as well, though sometimes the finish just feels a bit empty and sweet. 17/20 (85%)
Conclusion: This does quite well, especially as one of the more available American ryes. It’s quite a moreish whisky, as with the other Knob Creeks! Lots of flavour here, with great spice, and the integration and overall whisky is very nice, and consistent throughout. 17/20 (85%)