Over the past year I’ve had the pleasure of sampling a variety of Beam Suntory product (Makers of Jim Beam, Knob Creek, Maker’s Mark, etc) due to a good working relationship that the local rep has with Sir Stogies.
Last week I got a message from Tim (Owner of Sir Stogies) asking if I would like to participate in a limited tasting he was doing with Knob Creek. I was happy to accept the invitation and sat in on that tasting on Wednesday.
The premise of the event was that Knob Creek was doing a Single Barrel Select project where a group of people could go in on the purchase of a single barrel of bourbon (roughly 150 bottles). That group would sample three different uncut options and pick their favorite.
The interesting aspect of the tasting was that all samples were the exact same product. The only difference came in the way that it was stored. Due to the location of the barrel in the storage facility, the finished product changed drastically. It was explained that this was due in part to heat higher up in the building and the amount of natural evaporation that occurred during the aging process.
The Knob Creek Single Barrel Select Experience reminded me of tastings I’ve done with Jose Blanco when he was with La Aurora. You had your finished product (Knob Creek Single Barrel Bourbon / La Aurora 1495) and could sample pieces of the puzzle that made up that finished product.
The whole experience was very educational and made me appreciate bourbon a little more than I do currently. It is simply amazing how much ‘juice’ is lost to evaporation when placed in a sealed new barrel for a couple of years.
I don’t know that we’ll be seeing the Limited Edition Sir Stogies Knob Creel Single Barrel Bourbon anytime soon but it was a fun idea. Each of the ten participants were happy to purchase two to three bottles but we are a very long way from the 150 bottle minimum required ($40 per bottle – $6,000 total investment).