If you ever get to visit Jim Beam (a distillery well worth a visit), one option that is offered to you is to bottle your own bottle of Knob Creek Single Barrel. When I first went, I opted to do this, and while it sounds exciting – really there isn’t much involved: you get to clean a new bottle before putting it on the assembly line to get a label put on it and to fill it by the machines. There are different ways that bottles are cleaned before they are filled – some use compressed air, some use vodka, some use distilled water -but at Jim Beam they just wash the bottles with bourbon. This whiskey, like the small batch, is soon losing its age statement – sad for a bourbon which already has some good age on it. As a single barrel, this bourbon will vary from barrel to barrel – but the general characteristics should hold. The whiskey comes in at a hefty 60%, which will be quite close to barrel proof.
This whiskey is a core bourbon of the Jim Beam small batch collection, which includes Knob Creek, Booker’s, Basil Hayden’s, and Baker’s – and this whiskey is the oldest of the lot at 9 years (though it is soon losing its age statement which means younger whiskies can make their way in). A small batch whisky means that the whiskey is composed of batches which have a smaller number of barrels (typically of higher grade whiskey) produced in a smaller quantity than the typical higher volume products, though I’m sure a “small” batch at Jim Beam is not that small. The whiskey is named after Knob Creek, which was the home of Abraham Lincoln when he was growing up.
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?