While we’re unsure if Knob Creek set out to prove that bigger isn’t always better, we were definitely excited to get our hands on this limited release from the Beam Suntory brand. This is traditional Knob Creek that has been re-barreled into quarter casks (hence the Quarter Oak name) and aged again–then that is blended with Knob Creek to achieve this profile. All in all it’s a cool premise, and twice barreled bourbons and finished bourbons seem to be hot right now. Let’s dig in!
Nose – As you would expect, there’s oak right up front. That oak rolls around with a deep dark sweetness that pops up with a bit more air and swirling in the glass. The expected amount of vanilla is noticeable, but what stands out more is the added woody aroma imparted by the finishing in quarter casks.
Taste – A lighter profile that the nose expected. There is some sweetness mixing with oak and floral notes that seems to work nicely. Nothing crazy going on with the palate, but there is a little more heat than 100 proof would suggest. It’s more complex than standard Knob Creek bottles, and would probably lend itself nicely to someone getting into higher proof sipping.
Finish – The light sweetness gives way to an oaky wave of finish that’s carried by that bit of heat we got. A light touch of spice comes though, but not enough that it’s discernible as any particular spice…suffice it to say baking spice or brown spice.
The Bourbon Finder Grade: B
Thoughts – Full disclosure: we were not expecting much out of this product. It sounded gimmicky, and the premise of a finished Knob Creek product that is blended with regular Knob Creek bourbon just didn’t sound exciting. Fast forward to the wax breaking and first pour, things turned right around. While we aren’t going to stockpile the Bourbon Finder Bunker with it, we are pleased with this limited release.
Have Knob Creek Quarter Oak shipped to your door from Keg N Bottle
Our grading system: As mentioned in our About Us page, we’re excited to share bourbon with our friends, family, and readers. There are enough critics, cynics, and curmudgeons in the whiskey world as it is. Our goal is to foster the bourbon community in a positive way by bringing fun and entertaining content whenever possible, and as such we decided early on that applying precise scores to whiskey was simply too serious for us. We use a simple grade school system to apply a grade to the whiskeys we review because it is indicative of the whiskey’s grade for us on that particular day. A grade of a “B” today may very well be a “B+” or even a “B-” on another day. Pour a bit and enjoy, these are the good old days of whiskey!