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Not as nutty and aged as I hoped but more over-oaked with drying and hot tannins. Slight caramel flavors and sweetness but overpowering for a 15 year of hot cinnamon, leather, flambeed orange peel, and burnt sugar. Not really complex either with a medium finish and a medium-light weight to it. Better than most but many other great bourbons out there under $100
Knob Creek 9 is solid. Knob Creek 12 was even better. So the 15 has to be amazing, right? It’s a Single Barrel, it’s Jim Beam, and it’s the oldest bourbon I’ve reviewed. Let’s see what it’s all about.
This is from Batch: KC001, which I guess makes it from 2020.
Nose: Peanut brittle and peanut butter. Cherry and brown sugar. Vanilla, caramel, and toffee. Cocoa and tobacco smoke. Pistachio, walnut, and almond accompany the peanut. Sawdust and lumber. Black pepper, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and a heavy, heavy oak note.
Palate: Peanut brittle, peanut brittle, cocoa, and brown sugar. Vanilla and caramel. Gala apple, dried apricot, golden raisin, and leather. A hint of cherry and cola. Almond. Heavy bitter oak. Black pepper, clove, and nutmeg add some heavy spice.
Finish: Peanut brittle and peanut butter. Caramel and vanilla. Dried apricot, cocoa, and tobacco smoke. Black pepper, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and oak. Long finish, as expected of a 100 proof beast.
As expected, it’s an awesome whiskey. A few years in the barrel works wonders for the KC formula, although that applies slightly more to the 12 than this 15 year. Not saying much about this one considering that I think the former is as good a whiskey you can find.
Extremely well-balanced bourbon. It only has two weaknesses. It is fairly bitter, which can be attributed to the 15 years it spent in the barrel. And compared to the 12, VFM. At $95, this almost double the cost for a comparable (maybe slightly inferior) bourbon.
It may not beat the 12, the Single Barrel 15 is fantastic nonetheless. It is absolutely delicious and potent in all the right ways. 4.75/5.