Last week I got an email newsletter from a local retailer letting us know that they had received their shipment of Knob Creek 2001 and were selling it for roughly $165. I shook my head pretty well satisfied that I wouldn’t be trying for this one since it was so far above my personal price ceiling.
Thursday or Friday of last week I was reading reviews of Knob Creek 2001 (yeah honestly I don’t know why either) when I noticed that the writer was saying that Beam was hoping to have things price out around $130. Well now. That is inside my personal price ceiling. If I could find it for that price, I’d be willing to pick it up.
Friday night I entered my local corner liquor store for beer to go with the pizza I was making and sure enough right there inside the front door was a bottle. I looked at the price. $145 and some change. Outside the ceiling, but not nearly as far. $10 being easier to justify than $30. Knowing that it was likely this store would still have some the next day (they still have Woodford Limited Releases back from when they were actually good) I decided to wait. Maybe it would be sold and fate would have made my decision for me.
I struggle with things like this for a few reasons. First, I’m a self-employed artist/designer and $145 is a lot of money. Add in the 10% sales tax I pay on hard liquor and your looking at closer to $160. Secondly, the price ceiling is there for a reason. Before I implemented it, I tended to get a bit of buyers remorse when I bought an expensive bottle that didn’t seem to live up to the price that was being charged.
As I’ve gotten over the sticker shock of paying $50 or $80 or $100 or $120 for a single bottle of bourbon, the price ceiling has gone up over time. It's now $135. I’m sure that it will do go up again in the future. That doesn’t mean I’m eager to rush it though.
Saturday while I was shopping I ran across bottles all over the place. All priced higher. I talked it over with my wife and we decided to go ahead and buy it at our local store.
Knob Creek 2001 Limited Edition - Batch 2
Purchase info: $145.97 for a 750 mL bottle at Viking Liquor Barrel, Prior Lake, MN
Details: 50% ABV. Batch 2. Bottle #4052
Nose: Oak, cinnamon gum, and a hint of fruit.
Mouth: Warm and sweet with caramel, cinnamon and cloves, a bit of fruit and oak.
Finish: The flavors continue into a nice long, warm finish.
Thoughts: This is a good bourbon. Very very good. It is oaky without being too oaky. It has a nice fruity sweetness that I don’t normally find in Knob Creek which helps to balance the oak and heat I normally do find there. If price is no object or you are a Knob Creek fanboy (or girl), you should certainly pick this up.
If however, you are like me and don’t usually spend almost $150 for a single bottle of bourbon or if you don’t normally love Knob Creek, maybe think about how much you actually want this one before taking the plunge. When I break my personal price ceiling, it is with the expectation that what I am buying is the best thing that a producer is putting out. This didn’t live up to that expectation. And while this is certainly the best Knob Creek I’ve had, it isn’t the best Beam product released in the last few years. Booker’s 25th was better, it was cheaper and it was higher proof. At $90-110, this would be an easy recommend. At almost $150? I wouldn’t buy it again and probably wouldn’t have the first time if I knew what I know now. So yes, I like this, I just don't like the price.
Oh, hi buyers remorse…thought I’d figured out a way to not see you again…
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