Jim Beam and Knob Creek are bourbon stalwarts, but even with that pedigree the lines keep expanding. Let’s explore just some of the expressions on offer
Speaking out against hate
Last week I asked you if you are a risk taker (Taking a Risk). I went on to describe how I took an untested cake recipe to meet my husband’s boss for the first time. It was my normal light-hearted post of humor dosed with a little bit of instruction, and it was a fun post to write (how can it not be, I got to eat cake…twice!). Today’s post is supposed to be me donning my alternate hat of a bourbon reviewer for Jim Beam and Knob Creek, and I will get to that. But first, I’m going to take another risk, and I hope you will indulge me a soapbox for a few minutes’ worth of reading.
Last weekend’s horrible display of hate, of racism, and of anti-Semitism in Charlottesville, VA sickened me to my very core, and these views have no place in our country. I am in shock at the brutality that was on display, the frightened and pitiful and cowardly ideology that we fought and won a World War to eradicate. More so than just the results of an election, the violence perpetrated on peaceful protesters is the consequence of inflaming crowds with contemptible rhetoric and then turning a blind eye to the result. Yesterday (as I write this piece) the Holocaust Memorial in Boston was vandalized…for the 2nd time this summer. What has happened to civil discourse and tolerance? Are those that march for hate so afraid of “the other” that violence is the only answer? I can only speculate as to the education of these small-minded people. I might lose readers (or worse, invite hate) as a result of my opinions, but I can’t and won’t apologize, can’t and won’t be silent. To be silent is to be complicit, and that, Dear Reader, I will not be. This issue is personal, and I won’t stand by and watch hate rise…I will add my small voice to those willing to stand up to the bullies, thugs, and cowards who are trying to destroy our country. Never again.
Ok, now I’ll jump off the soapbox and take a couple of deep breaths. ** SIGH **
Thanks for staying with me.
I will now return us to our regularly scheduled blog post…
The Jim Beam and Knob Creek brands are stalwarts in the world of bourbon. They are standard on most any bars’ shelf, and their prices are reasonable enough to make them affordable starters for beginning bourbon drinkers. Since my entry into drinking bourbon came from tastings I attended, I didn’t start with Jim Beam and had never tried it. Knob Creek I’ve tried, but it was the one I bought at Costco (9-year Small Batch), and I do like it quite a bit (I’ve got a bottle on my shelf right now). So when the chance came to taste some of these bourbons at one of Gordons DTX Whisky Wednesdays, I headed right over (ok, I usually head over for Whisky Wednesday…don’t judge me).
Gordon’s DTX introduced their tasting thusly:
Don’t rule this tasting out! You may think you know Jim Beam, but the product line continues to expand and impress. One of the Beam Ambassadors will be joining us for Whiskey Wednesday to walk through a few of their bottom shelf gems, bottled-in-bonds and even the 25th Knob Creek Anniversary bottling which is highly sought after. This pour list has something for everyone. Come explore the Jim Beam portfolio with us!
Intriguing, no? Time to take a risk and see what all the fuss was about. (yes, lets!). By the way, the header photo is from Gordon DTX’s weekly newsletter. Visit their website to sign up for their Barrels and Kilts program and get advance notice about all the happenings there.
Jim Beam & Knob Creek
At Gordon’s DTX, August 2, 2017
Jim Beam Black Extra Aged Bourbon
- Nose: Corn, hint of caramel, honey, almost a rye buttery-ness
- Taste: Has some body, tingle of alcohol, leads to caramel & oily texture
- Finish: Fades to cinnamon, a little astringent at the end
- Comments: My first taste of Jim Beam and I’m impressed, would be nice to sip on a hot August evening
Jim Beam 100 Proof Bonded
- Nose: Sunflowers and candy
- Taste: Nice & thick that coats mouth, soft, nutmeg & a little hit of pepper
- Finish: Oil lasts, sweet rye fades
- Comments: More of a texture than a flavor, interesting dram
Jim Beam Rye Pre-Prohibition Style
- Nose: Not a big rye nose, slight vanilla, very soft
- Taste: Thick, a little tart, hit of pepper
- Finish: Not much lingers, but has a soft nuttiness
Jim Beam Knob Creek Rye 100 Proof
- Nose: Surprisingly not a lot of nose
- Taste: Rye hits, alcohol follows, corn lingers
- Finish: Indistinct spice & heat at the back of the throat
Knob Creek 25th Anniversary Single Barrel Bourbon
- Nose: Light rye, a little oaky
- Taste: It’s got texture, toffee, rich, pleasant
- Finish: Warm spices, light sweetness lasts
- Comments: It’s the rich texture that makes this dram a treat
Knob Creek Rye
- Nose: Typical corn, vanilla
- Taste: Alcohol first, rye fills in, still thick
- Finish: Cloves dominate
- Comments: A nice rye for a summer night
Overall I liked this lineup…for a major commercial brand, it didn’t disappoint. I even bought the Jim Beam Black Extra Aged Bourbon as it is nice to drink and nice to cook with (I spiked a Raspberry Peach Crumble with it…yummy!). So really, no risk was taken here after all. I found that the large commercial brands are popular for a reason, but that doesn’t mean I won’t still seek out the more top-shelf expressions. After all, everyone is welcome to me.
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!