Founded in 1992, Knob Creek is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. And to commemorate the occasion, Knob Creek has introduced its first rye whiskey, a 100 proof spirit that pays homage to America’s favorite pre-prohibition drink. Aside from a 20th anniversary present to itself – and to its legion of Knob Creek Bourbon fans – Knob Creek Rye was introduced to address the growing trend of craft spirits and contemporary cocktail culture, especially within the rye whiskey category. It’s nice to see Knob Creek playing in this field, though it does seem like a late entrance from the pioneering brand that literally created the small batch bourbon category.
Knob Creek Rye is a blend of rye whiskeys that have been aged up to nine years. It pours a light amber color in the glass and has distinctly spicy aromas of rye grains and strong oak. The nose hints at sweet vanilla undertones, which open up on the palate, along with notes of cherry, charcoal and tobacco. It remains rich and full-bodied from open to close, and finishes with a warm, lingering spice.
That’s some good rye. At 100 proof, it’s more spicy than hot, and like the bourbon, it’s easy to drink straight. That said, rye whiskeys always have good application in cocktails, and Knob Creek Rye is no different. Mix it into Manhattans and Old Fashioneds, or try it in an Old Pal Cocktail, a drink which begs for a 100 proof base.
Well done, Knob Creek. It’s been a good 20 years, and between the Bourbon, Single Barrel Bourbon and new Knob Creek Rye, that’s a solid trio.
Knob Creek Rye Whiskey will be available in select markets starting in March 2012 and will be released nationally in July 2012.
– 50% Alcohol by Volume
CE Rating: ★★★★