May 29, 2012

Knob Creek Rye Whiskey

Knob Creek is among bourbon royalty, running up more sales than any other in the super premium category. Now, it is about to release a new whiskey to get into the competition in a resurgent category -- rye.

Fred Noe is in the direct line of distillers from the Beam family that has give us some of the best American whiskeys for generations. This new product, which will go on the market in July, comes two decades after his father, Booker Noe, created Knob Creek Bourbon.

This is Fred's second Knob Creek expression, the first one released last year under the Single Barrel Reserve name. It was a hit, and there is no reason his rye whiskey shouldn't follow suit.

I tried it both straight -- with an ice cube to help open it up -- as well as in a Manhattan, and give it an eager thumbs-up both ways.  

The light amber color and the spiciness of the rye mash on the nose are immediately appealing. The bold flavor, with notes of herbs, oak and vanilla usually found in good bourbons, is pleasing, but the kick of the rye adds another layer of pleasure. In combination with sweet vermouth, it is powerful enough to maintain its own character while easily blending with the other spirit for an excellent drink.

The whiskey is bottled at 100 proof (50% abv) in the same-shaped bottle as Knob Creek bourbon.

Suggested retail price: $40.99 for the 750ml bottle.

Go to Dowd's Spirits Notebook.

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