Talking bourbon with Knob Creek

If you’re Canadian and a bourbon fan, you will be happy to hear that Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey has recently re-released its Nine-Year-Old Bourbon in Canada for the first time in five years.

The Knob Creek Nine-Year-Old — and the brand — were originally launched in 1992 and, indeed, Knob Creek was the first bourbon to carry the “small batch” moniker on the label, notes Ray Daniel, American Whiskey Brand Ambassador and Knob Creek spokesperson. 

Produced by Beam Suntory, it is made at the Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont, Kentucky, U.S.A.

“It really is the culmination of 220-plus years of whiskey-making heritage, delivering that big, full-bodied flavour that we all love in a good bourbon.”

The age statement was removed from the label in 2016 but this year, the team decided to re-release the Knob Creek Nine-Year-Old in the market. “It really is about restoring the brand to the vision that Booker Noe, our sixth-generation Beam Family Master Distiller, had when he originally created it back in the late 1980s-early 1990s.”

There have been some changes, however. The new bottle is taller — an inch (2.2 cm) or so more than the previous release, “which allows it to stand proud among the many premium bourbons that followed it,” Daniel says.

The clear glass bottle itself is slightly wavy, “reminniscent of the incredible water sources in Kentucky, where our bourbon is made,” Daniel notes, and allowing the “Small Batch” designation to stand out.

But the bourbon itself? It’s as classically beautiful as ever, Daniel says. “What really makes Knob Creek stand out is its depth. There are so many flavour paths for you to explore, from the sweet vanillas and caramels, to the deep, smoky barrel char, to hints of wood spice and dried fruit,” he says. “It really is the quintessential bourbon.”

And it is versatile, too. “Knob Creek Nine-Year-Old is incredible neat or on the rocks, but also works so well in a wide range of cocktails, from a classic Old Fashioned, to something fruity like a Paper Plane, and everything in between.”

Just like the rest of us, Daniel and the Knob Creek team have felt the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in many ways. “The last year and a bit has been so tough on so many people. It really has been astonishing,” Daniel says. 

“For me, it has for sure meant no travel, which is a shame because I love being able to bring our brands from the James B. Beam Distilling Co. to our friends all across Canada.” 

While video-conferencing has filled in the gaps for now, he’s looking forward to once again hitting the road, spreading his knowledge and passion for Knob Creek bourbon to fans across North America again soon. 

“Nothing can beat the feeling of seeing someone taste our products for the first time,” he says. “I’m definitely looking forward to a time when we can restart that part of life and also be able to get out there and assist our partners in the hospitality industry on their path to recovery.”

Wondering if there are other exciting things on the go at Knob Creek? Maybe, Daniel says, but he’s not sharing any secrets. Yet. “One thing that we are really lucky to have at the James B. Beam Distilling Co. is an ever-growing thirst for innovation,” he says. “Our expert whiskey makers are constantly experimenting with new ways to treat our friends to great new flavours, so I can definitely say to expect some great things from us over the course of the next few years.” 

To find out more, he says, follow @beambourboncanada on Instagram or more information. Suggested retail price is $46.