Knob Creek 25th Anniversary Bourbon Review Header

Knob Creek 25th Anniversary Bourbon Review

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by Lee StangLeave a Comment

Knob Creek 25th Anniversary offers fans the truest expression of Knob Creek Bourbon, as close to standing in the rack house as possible. It features slight nuances in proof and tasting notes within each bottle, while still holding true to the brand’s overall taste profile. Personally selected by Noe for this historic occasion.
Knob Creek Distillery
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Knob Creek 25th Anniversary Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

  • DISTILLER: Knob Creek Distillery, Clermont, KY
  • MASH BILL: 75% Corn | 13% Rye | 12% Barley
  • AGE: No Age Statement on the bottle but label says barreled on 02/25/2004 so about 13 years
  • YEAR: 2017
  • PROOF: 122 (61% ABV)
  • MSRP: $129.99
  • BUY ONLINE: Third Base Market and Spirits
NOSE: Cherries  |  Vanilla  |  Cherrywood  |  Nuts  |  Some Alchohol

TASTE: Vanilla  |  Wood  |  Spice  |  Some Nuttiness

FINISH: A nice long warming finish. Spicy on the tongue and a nice, lingering aftertaste of moonshine cherries. A nice long warming in the chest.

SHARE WITH: I would share this with anyone who enjoys a good bourbon.

WORTH THE PRICE: The MSRP is $129.99. A limited edition celebrating Knob Creek. The question would be: Is it worth the same cost as three bottles of regular Single Barrel Knob Creek? Keep reading.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: If you would like a limited-edition bourbon that is excellent, by all means, pick up a bottle. If you aren’t sure, try this at a bar before you buy.

OVERALL: I have been drinking Knob Creek since not long after it came out. At first with Diet Coke (hate to admit it) and now straight or on the rocks. Knob Creek was another step in my bourbon journey, and so it carries some meaning for me in a couple of different ways. Knob Creek Single Barrel takes the product to a higher level. The 25th Anniversary Single Barrel goes beyond that. I knew the 25th Anniversary Edition was coming out and so when I received an email from Virginia ABC stating this was in the liquor store, I had a bottle within half an hour. It is an excellent bourbon, and I am glad I purchased a bottle. Is it that much better than the regular Knob Creek Single Barrel?

To see for myself, I had a pour of the 25th Anniversary vs. a Knob Creek Single Barrel Private Selection for the New Hampshire Liquor Commission which I reviewed last July. The 25th Anniversary is better, but I can’t say that much better. Now, one bottle is a special edition and one was a private selection so that might mean they are at the upper level. Both were reviewed by Fred Minnick in Whisky Advocate Magazine, and he rated both very high. I am glad I have this bottle in my cabinet. However, I don’t believe at the quoted price it is that much better than a private selection or regular Knob Creek Single Barrel.  It is an excellent bourbon. As I said, if you are unsure, give it a try at a bar.

Learn more about Lee’s whiskey preferences and check out more of his reviews…

In 1992, Sixth Generation Beam Master Distiller Booker Noe created Knob Creek® Bourbon to restore the standards of pre-prohibition style whiskey, pushing the boundaries of an entire category with the introduction of super-premium, small batch bourbon.

Twenty-five years later, Booker’s son and Seventh Generation Master Distiller Fred Noe is celebrating this milestone with the launch of an exclusive, limited-edition release — Knob Creek® 25th Anniversary Bourbon. Uniting the signature whiskey making styles of Booker and Fred Noe for the first time, Knob Creek 25th Anniversary Bourbon is a cask strength and unfiltered single barrel bourbon, aged in barrels for twelve-to-thirteen years and personally selected by Noe for this historic occasion.

“When Dad introduced Knob Creek and the Small Batch Bourbon Collection 25 years ago, he created it with the flavor, care, and craftsmanship that defined high-quality, full-flavored bourbon,” said Noe. “I am honored to keep this tradition alive every day, and am proud to celebrate 25 years with our fans by releasing a special product that features Dad’s preferred ‘uncut and unfiltered’ style, combined with my passion for single barrel bourbons.”

With this unique combination, Knob Creek 25th Anniversary offers fans the truest expression of Knob Creek Bourbon, as close to standing in the rack house as possible. It features slight nuances in proof and tasting notes within each bottle, while still holding true to the brand’s overall taste profile. Each commemorative bottle is presented in a premium, wooden box and features a special label, including a handwritten barreled date and proof.

Knob Creek 25th Anniversary Bourbon is available nationwide in limited quantities for a suggested retail price of $129.99 for a 750ml bottle.

Tasting Notes:

This commemorative release offers the below characteristics, with each bottle’s unique tasting notes varying slightly:

Age: Between 12 – 13 years

Proof: Cask strength varies by barrel, ranging from 120 to 125 proof

Color: Deep amber

Taste: Each bottle features nuanced variations of deep, full vanilla with a surprisingly sweet and nutty flavor

Aroma: Each bottle features nuanced variations of robust vanilla and caramel; slightly smoky, complemented by rich notes of oak

Finish: Long and full

Nose: Fruit  |  Caramelized Sugar  |  Dry Vanilla

Taste: Heavy Vanilla  |  Sweet Fruit  |  Oak  |  Pepper

Finish: The pepper in the taste begins to build into a long finish. Despite the higher proof, this Bourbon lacks any real burn. It can best be described as delightful.

Share with: Folks who can appreciate a great Bourbon and wouldn’t dare use it as a mixer.

Worth the Price: While this is a truly fantastic Bourbon, I’d have a rough time pulling the trigger again on this.

Bottle, Bar or Bust: This is somewhere between Bottle and Bar. Personally, I’m happy to own the bottle.

Overall: Knob Creek 120 is, in my opinion, probably one of the most underrated Bourbons on the market. While the Knob Creek 25th Anniversary isn’t exactly 120 proof, it is close enough to fairly consider the two.

Knob Creek 25th Anniversary states it is uncut and unfiltered – with a disclaimer that it is “quality screened to remove any charred wood from the liquid.” Knob Creek 120 doesn’t claim to be either uncut or unfiltered. Knob Creek 25th Anniversary comes with a nice looking, etched wood box. Knob Creek 120 doesn’t.

When you factor in Knob Creek 120 store picks, the price of the Knob Creek 25th Anniversary starts to become a real issue. I have picked up most of my store picks for about $40 each. I’ve yet to find one I don’t really enjoy. As much as I love them, they’re not worth $130.

Is being uncut and unfiltered and the wood box worth an extra $90 or so? Given the opportunity to buy a bottle again, I’d have to say no.

There is one last thing to keep in mind. According to an August 15th article in the Chicago Tribune, there are 300 variations of the Knob Creek 25th Anniversary Edition. As such, your tasting experience may vary from mine. Cheers!



Learn more about Jeff’s whiskey preferences and check out more of his reviews…

About the Author

Lee Stang


Lee’s bourbon journey started with one mistaken gulp of bourbon and coke as an eight-year-old. While bourbon was always part of his life, Lee followed a beer, wine path for the most part until a bartender poured him a taste of Buffalo Trace about ten years ago. It was at that point Lee’s love of bourbon really took off. Not only does Lee enjoy a good pour of bourbon but he is more than willing and excited to talk about it. Lee believes that bourbon, and for that matter all spirits, is enhanced by the experience of good company, good conversation and good bars. The combination leads to great stories. Say hi to him when you see him. Lee lives in Leesburg, VA, with his wife, best friend, and drinking partner, Patti. You might find her having a bourbon as well. Both Lee and Patti like to read mystery thrillers and travel. Most likely the travel leads to visits to new bars.

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