Knob Creek really is where it all started for me and my love for bourbon. When Jim Beam’s Small Batch Bourbon Collection was released in the early 90’s, it revolutionized the industry, and opened our eyes to a whole new world of adult beverage enjoyment. It just took a while for the rest of the world to catch up. In 2014, when I had my chance to purchase our first true single barrel bourbon, it was serendipitous that Knob Creek was the brand.

Over the years, Knob Creek has released a number of special release whiskies, but none have made a splash in the bourbon world quite like the 12-year-old and the 15-year-old expressions.

White Cap Edition – Knob Creek 15-Year-Old – 2021

Last year, when Knob Creek released its first release of this 15-Year-Old expression, it came with great fanfare and great expectation. It also came in very small amounts, so not a whole lot of folks were able to experience it. This year, production was increased a bit, so there has been a little more available, and the quality… another home run.

  • Glass: Glencairn
  • Temperature: Room
  • Other Prep: None
  • JJ’s VIP Price: $119.99
  • Available: Currently a couple bottles on the shelf, but they won’t last the weekend.

Tom’s Tasting Note: Classic aged Knob Creek. Heavy oak, depth, dried cherries, loads of caramel and nuttiness. The palate is thick and mouth filling, and at 100 proof, a relatively smooth sipper with a hint of mint and rustic wood on the finish. Delicious and nostalgic. If you happen to have any of our older Knob Creek single barrel selections (3,4,13), try them together with this. You will find some striking similarities.

Black Cap Edition – Knob Creek 12-Year-Old – 2021

When barrels are selected for special releases, they are chosen from the best of the best by master distillers and master blenders. The tasting profile criteria required to meet a special release profile is very narrow, and it really is a testament to the artistic nature of bourbon making that we sometimes forget when opening and pouring. In 2020, the Knob Creek 12-Year-Old was named Whisky Advocated #2 Whiskey of the Year. This 2021 batch is just as good.

  • Glass: Glencairn
  • Temperature: Room
  • Other Prep: None
  • JJ’s VIP Price: $79.99/bottle
  • Available: Periodically through the year. There is one bottle on the shelf as of this morning, but it won’t last the day.

Tom’s Tasting Note: Much more caramel forward than the 15. This expression is so sweet, and rich in stewed fruit with just a hint of oak, and no astringency. Truly a smooth sipper and something to savor.

Side Note for both of these: Both are available in JJ’s Bar pretty regularly for flight pours, singles and doubles. We try to keep back what we can so that everyone gets a chance to enjoy them, and they are priced fairly.