PlumpJack Single Barrel Knob Creek Rye #6443
Distilled & Bottled by Jim Beam Distillery, Claremont, KY
Barreled on November 21st, 2011 | Bottled at 115 proof (57.5% ABV)
Aged 6 years 6 months in Warehouse Z, Floor 7, Rick 34, Tier 2, Story 7
Fall is here, and that means it’s whiskey season. There is nothing better than a nip of whiskey to counter that cold bite in the air. Settling into a nice glass of whiskey allows us to sip and savor each moment, as we prepare for winter. This PlumpJack Single Barrel Knob Creek Rye almost didn’t make it in time for this quarter’s release, but I think you’ll agree it was worth the wait. Finally we’re getting a chance to see some more single barrel rye in the market! Enjoy!
Whisk(e)y Evangelist, PlumpJack Wine & Spirits
Jim Beam Distillery can be baffling at times. On one hand they are the largest bourbon brand on the planet. You can bet if you travel to a random island, and if they have bourbon behind the bar, it’s Jim Beam. It’s safe to say that Beam has been late to the party when it comes to their private single barrel program, and also late in capturing the hearts of obsessive American whiskey aficionados - it simply doesn’t taste the way it used to. In order to keep up with the volume of their core brands – Jim Beam, Bookers, Bakers, Knob Creek, Old Overholt, Old Grandad – they just didn’t have enough juice to spare for a single barrel program. In the last two years, though, the increase in their limited edition releases, like Booker’s Rye, has been met with smashing success. Just last year they followed that up by debuting a single barrel program for Knob Creek Rye.
Very different than the standard small batch Knob Creek rye, they kept the whiskey close to cask strength, coming in at 115 proof. Presumably, this is the same recipe as both the new Prohibition and the old school Overholt, although some reports have it listed at 55% Rye, 35% Corn, and 10% Malt. If you ask Beam, they are coy about what goes into all of their barrels. The selection process was limited. When I was presented with the different barrel options, each barrel came with a notecard depicting a warehouse filled with barrels. On that card was a bolded barrel with the exact location in the warehouse, the idea being you could visually picture the different life cycles each barrel underwent as it was patiently aging over the last six plus years.
The whiskey pours a beautiful autumn chestnut into the glass. The nose immediately strikes you as bold and assertive with a balance between sweet and savory flavors that entice you for more. The first initial sip brings forth a trio of spice, floral and oaky flavors that linger and are dry on the finish. After a little aeration in the glass, the heat of the alcohol begins to mellow and the more floral aromas from the rye grain begin to show their skin. Honey, heather, caramel and tobacco leaf emanates from the glass. This would pair perfect with hearty fall dishes like beef shank, or pork chops with glazed apples, though Jim Beam’s former Master Distiller Booker Noe probably would have prepared it simply over a full glass of ice in Collins glass. Cheers!