If you come to my house, the chances are good that you will find a bottle of Knob Creek Rye on my shelf. My local corner liquor store has had the regular expression priced at $25 per 750 mL bottle for almost a year now. The pricing of which makes it a handy pickup when the rye whiskey runs low at my house.
But now, for the second time in as many months, I've found a new expression of Knob Creek Rye on my shelf. The last time around it was a pair of Single Barrel picks at 115° proof and six years old. This time it is Knob Creek Cask Strength Rye at right around 120° and about nine years old.
As you might expect, every proof and age bump comes with an even heftier price bump. When I step up from six years (batched) at 100° proof to six years (single barrel) at 115° proof, the price went from $25 to just under $50. When I stepped up again to the Cask Strength (batched) at about nine years old and with another proof increase of 4.6° proof, the price obliged me by stepping up as well. This time to just under $80 (though if I had waited to shop around, I could have gotten it for $65).
That seems like a pretty hefty increase when you realize that I could have bought three bottles of the standard 100° proof expression for what I paid. Of course, I didn't think of that when I bought it. I just thought: "Ohh! Gotta have!"
Knob Creek Cask Strength Rye Whiskey
Purchase Info: $79.99 for a 750 mL bottle at Ace Spirits, Hopkins, MN
Details: Barreled in 2009. Aged in Warehouse A. 59.8% ABV.
Nose: Oak, vanilla, brown sugar, spearmint, and baking spice.
Mouth: Spicy, as you might expect. Black tea, mint, baking spices, and peanut.
Finish: Long and warm with lingering black tea, spices, mint, and oak.
Thoughts: So yeah, even though I set the intro up as if I wasn't happy with the purchase, I do not regret buying this. Not even a little bit. Sure, I could have gotten it cheaper by waiting and shopping around, but now I know that for when I buy the second bottle (because I do hope to buy a second bottle).
I like it a lot. It is more "bourbony" than many other ryes on the market. Probably due to extended time in the barrel combined with a "barely legal" mashbill. If you like Knob Creek Rye and can swing the price, I'd say give this a try. Heck, even my wife, who typically only wants her rye in a cocktail, likes this one.
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