We’re continuing to purge our liquor cabinets for Bourbon Heritage Month and this week we’re sampling one of Knob Creeks newer expressions from last year, Knob Creek Smoked Maple. Every season we see a spike in a new trendy flavor. A few years ago it was cherry, followed by honey, this year it’s cinnamon and last seasons “it” flavor was Maple. If you think about it it makes sense, all the flavors mentioned are perfect for fall drinking, a time when whiskey tends to see a huge spike in sales.
Knob Creek isn’t just any whiskey though. In my experience, Knob drinkers tend to be a bit snobbier about their bourbon than others. And while other big brands like Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, and Crown royal jumped at the chances to have Honey, Cherry, and even Cinnamon expressions they stayed out of it, until now.
Tasting Notes: I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for flavored whiskeys this time of year and I’ve tried ALL the maple flavored ones. The Maple flavor in Knob is perfect. When we tried Crown Royal Maple we were worried about what we were going to taste. The aroma was so sugary I felt like I had a stack of flapjacks in front of me. With Knob Creek the maple is there, but the strong oaky-ness of the whiskey is as well.
When we tried this we sipped it straight. I’ve experienced two things with other brands out there using maple or other flavors. One is that they tend to be so overly syrupy that you either need to be mixing it in a cocktail, or adding ice to it to water it down and smooth it out. The second thing I’ve seen is brands that put more emphasis on the flavor than thee whiskey and what you really get is a good sipping liqueur, not a spirit. Knob creek avoided BOTH of these issues. Poured straight it offers an exceptionally smooth sip to start with a spicy finish that warms you up good. The Maple adds to an already tasty whiskey with great oaky character, but doesn’t overwhelm it. Additional flavors round it out like vanilla and cinnamon. Also, at 90 proof it’s definitely not for the lightweights either. So this one isn’t too sweet, and it’s not too weak. That should please many of the Knob Creek loyalists out there.
Price: 30.00 [ 750/ML ]
Proof: 90 Proof [45% abv ]
Final Word: No discussion needed, Knob Creek Smoked Maple joins Tap 357 Maple Rye Whisky as one of my favorites in the category. It’s got an amazing maple aroma, it’s sweet without overwhelming the whiskey flavor, and it’s stronger than others at 90 proof. This is a definitely one I’d recommend as a sipping whiskey but make no mistake it makes one hell of a fall cocktail. If there were any Cons against this one it would be price. While 29.99 is perfectly acceptable for something I would be sipping straight, those looking for a cheaper flavored whiskey for mixed drinks could go after Jim Beam at 17.99. For a great cocktail to try, check out the image below courtesy of the brand.
For more information, including where to purchase Knob Creek Smoked Maple, visit their website at www.knobcreek.com. Looking for similar products? Check out our review of Crown Royal Maple Whisky and Tap 357 Maple Whisky from last year.