Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon Whiskey Review

A Single Barrel Version of Knob Creek

Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon Whiskey
Beam, Inc.

Knob Creek, the famous super-premium bourbon made by Jim Beam and revered by bourbon enthusiasts worldwide, is now joined by Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve. Bourbon aficionados should rejoice because Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve is one of the best bourbons in America.

What Is Single Barrel Reserve?

Single Barrel Reserve is a refined selection of the same whiskey that is used to produce Knob Creek. The difference is in the number of barrels from which the whiskey is sourced.

To create the standard expression of Knob Creek, many barrels are selected from the stock of finished whiskeys available. These are then blended together to create that signature Knob Creek taste. 

In the case of the Single Barrel Reserve, individual barrels are selected for their unique flavors and special nuances that make the whiskey just a little bit better than the others. The whiskey is not blended and the flavor profile for each batch of Single Barrel Reserve can change based on the barrel chosen to bottle at that time.

Single Barrel Reserve is also bottled at 120 proof as opposed to Knob Creek's 100 proof. Both are aged for 9 years.

The Review of Knob Creek Single Barrel


At 120 proof, Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve is almost bottled at full cask strength. Some bourbon fans will find this high proof enjoyable, but most will want to add a few drops of cool water to fully release the flavors and aromas of this great bourbon.

Without water, this bourbon packs a big, alcoholic punch, followed by hints of cinnamon, vanilla, and caramel. With just a bit of water, though, Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve opens up, with spicy rye notes, warm oak, and an exotic honeyed brightness begins to emerge.

Body and Palate

This is a whiskey that can handle some water without losing its rich body and as the water works its magic, more flavors begin to emerge.

On the palate, rich dark chocolate notes are dominant along with spicy rye and cinnamon flavors. There is a solid oak component and allspice, nutmeg and clove and undertones of warm vanilla bundt cake. The result is a delicious, sophisticated and utterly remarkable bourbon whiskey.


Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve has a long, complex and utterly enjoyable finish. More dark chocolate flavors appear first, interspersed with rich hot cocoa and black walnut and fudge notes before cinnamon, apple pie spices before ending with a warm vanilla bundt cake tone that gently eases off of the palate.

Final Thoughts

Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve is one of the best bourbon whiskeys on the market and a must try for fans of Knob Creek, Jim Beam or just bourbon whiskey in general.

Enthusiasts will enjoy comparing the difference between Knob Creek and Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve. There are remarkable changes to an otherwise identical whiskey when the distillers begin playing with proof and single barrel versus batch bourbon.

Additionally, at a suggested $40 price point, this is one of the best whiskeys on the market for the money, period.

About Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve Bourbon Whiskey

  • Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey aged for 9 years in a single new charred American oak barrel for each bottling.
  • Produced by Jim Beam Bourbon at the Knob Creek Distillery in Clermont, Kentucky
  • Part of Jim Beam's Small Batch Collection
  • 60% alcohol/volume (120 proof)
  • Retails for around $40/750ml bottle
  • Visit Their Website

Edited by Colleen Graham