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View Full Version : Knob Creek.....Single Barrel???



MacinJosh
03-27-2011, 07:41
Hello everyone.

While at my local store the other day picking up a bottle of the recently reacquired Talisker 18 (score!), my eyes wondered over to the pile of Knob Creek SB in the bourbon section. Now, I've tried this bourbon once before and was an instant fan. Uncut and non-chill filtered is always a welcomed addition, but I picked up a little more vanilla and wood than it's small batch predecessor which struck my fancy. On sale for $33 until the end of the month, I decided to go ahead and grab a bottle. I knew this was a bourbon I could sink my teeth into.

Then my mind began to drift a little. I was very surprised the first time I learned that Knob Creek would be releasing a single barrel edition. I began to wonder what they were thinking over there at Jim Beam. Booker Noe was always notoriously opposed to single barrel bourbon. He hated the variances from one barrel to the next....hence his small batch creations. Fred Noe has been quoted saying he thought his father was the best in the business at making bourbon. I just find it very peculiar that Fred would give the "ok" to modify a bourbon that his father created into something his father despised!

Now, I'm certainly not complaining! I think Jim Beam has just raised the bar on the #1 selling premium bourbon in the world......and that's hard to do!

But I still wonder.....:skep:

Josh

fricky
03-27-2011, 08:32
It may be that the bean counters noticed the success of other distillery's single barrels and saw the opportunity to make more money.

ebo
03-27-2011, 08:45
It may be that the bean counters noticed the success of other distillery's single barrels and saw the opportunity to make more money.

Yep. Money... the greatest motivator there is.

hectic1
03-27-2011, 09:06
It may be that the bean counters noticed the success of other distillery's single barrels and saw the opportunity to make more money.
I agree here fricky...although I don't consider KC to be a premium bourbon. To those that aren't rabid bourbon fans they might...but I don't think the majority of us would call KC a top shelf or premium bottle of hooche! ;) I tend to think that it's the #1 selling bottling b/c it's carried by pretty much every single bar and restaurant in the US...I would venture to guess that it doesn't do nearly as well in the home as it does in restaurants.

OscarV
03-27-2011, 09:12
it's carried by pretty much every single bar and restaurant in the US...I would venture to guess that it doesn't do nearly as well in the home as it does in restaurants.

I've only bought one bottle for home and I'll have it after dinner in a resturant if that's the best they have and in most cases it is the best they have.

MacinJosh
03-27-2011, 09:48
To clarify, IMHO, I don't believe it is a "premium bourbon" either. I was simply regurgitating what I heard on the History Channel's Modern Marvels "Whisky".

My idea of a top shelf premium bourbon would be a George T. Stagg, William Larue Weller, or Parker's Heritage. And if it came down to just Jim Beam bourbon......I'll take the Booker's.


I agree here fricky...although I don't consider KC to be a premium bourbon. To those that aren't rabid bourbon fans they might...but I don't think the majority of us would call KC a top shelf or premium bottle of hooche! ;) I tend to think that it's the #1 selling bottling b/c it's carried by pretty much every single bar and restaurant in the US...I would venture to guess that it doesn't do nearly as well in the home as it does in restaurants.

smokinjoe
03-27-2011, 10:03
I would be one who definitely believes KC is a premium bourbon. I think that if you start listing what characteristics of a bourbon make for Premium status, KC pretty much hits them all. Personal preference on taste would not be one of those characteristics, BTW.

Besides all that, a whiskey's segment position is whatever the producer says it is.

callmeox
03-27-2011, 10:19
You may not think that KC is a premium brand, but that's where it is classified.

DISCUS has four brand classifications based on supplier pricing and revenue per case: value, premium, high end premium and super premium. These categories are not based on opinions or taste preferences, though they do admit that consumer perception does matter.

For whiskey in the "Canadian, blends and Bourbon" categories, the breakpoints are:

(Dollar amounts based on supplier revenue/case not retail pricing)

Value = < 60.00
Premium = 60.00 to 100.00
High End Premium = 100.00 to 150.00
Super Premium = > 150.00

Other categories (Rum, vodka, scotch) have their own structure due to the difference in prices.

I do chuckle at the three levels of "premium" in the classification. It's like going to a fast food joint and finding their soft drinks are available in three sizes: Medium, large and extra large

(most info stolen from here (http://www.discus.org/pdf/BrandClassification.pdf))

T Comp
03-27-2011, 11:39
What the world needs now is another thread on Knob Creek Single Barrel, like I need a hole in the head.:rolleyes:

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15315&highlight=knob+creek+single+barrel

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15431&highlight=knob+creek+single+barrel

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14307&highlight=knob+creek+single+barrel

Some insightful information compliments of callmeox though.:grin:

TNbourbon
03-27-2011, 11:42
...I just find it very peculiar that Fred would give the "ok" to modify a bourbon that his father created into something his father despised!..
And I doubt Fred had any say-so in the matter. Whatever one thinks of Fred Noe -- and I like, admire, and respect him -- he's NOT Booker Noe, and wields only a portion of the influence Booker had, I suspect, both within the Beam company, and in the industry, in general. Fred is way more 'brand ambassador' than 'practical distiller' at Beam, whatever his title.

By the way, that $33 price tag for the SB is eye-opening, at least to me -- that's less than the standard Knob Creek around here, which runs c. $35 (I won't buy it at that price, but I'll by the single-barrel for the less than $10 more it retails at here). Stock up!

CorvallisCracker
03-27-2011, 11:51
On sale for $33 until the end of the month, I decided to go ahead and grab a bottle.

Damn!

It's $48 here. I've yet to pull the trigger.


What the world needs now is another thread on Knob Creek Single Barrel, like I need a hole in the head.:rolleyes:

How else you gonna get out the brain worms?

MacinJosh
03-27-2011, 12:43
Thanks for the insight and info! I didn't realize "premium" was objective and not subject. Very interesting.

TNbourbon.....most stores I visit here have the KC SB around $43. I got an email from the head of my whisky club (who also happens to run the spirits department at my favorite store www.vineandtable.com) indicating they would have it on sale for $33 until April 1st. I'm sure they're just trying to unload some of their supply.

So if anyone is in the Indianapolis/Carmel area, I'd suggest swinging by and stocking up. Good price!

And I apologize if this is the 8,354,139 post on the new KC. I read through the first few I found but didn't see any discussions on the "Booker Noe was anti-single barrel so what gives" topic. :grin:

jburlowski
03-27-2011, 13:42
Yep. Money... the greatest motivator there is.

Now, now... let's not discount sex. :70358-devil:

jburlowski
03-27-2011, 13:45
I've only bought one bottle for home and I'll have it after dinner in a resturant if that's the best they have and in most cases it is the best they have.

I totally agree with Oscar.

KC (the standard or the SB variant) falls into the category of "OK, I'm stuck here in this bar / restaurant... so what's the best that's available?"
:searching:

ebo
03-27-2011, 13:46
Now, now... let's not discount sex. :70358-devil:
True! But...a lot of the time, money is the greatest motivator there, also. :grin:

squire
03-27-2011, 13:57
A couple of decades back Forester and Grand Dad were considered premiums and have remained relatively unchanged since. What we face now is a wider choice than I thought I would ever have which makes for exciting times for a Bourbon/Rye enthusiast. On the other hand I am reluctant to demote an old tried and true product whose qualities are still there.

cowdery
03-27-2011, 18:36
I suppose you can personalize a word like 'premium,' but I think it's more useful to adopt standardized industry categories. It makes the terminology more useful if everybody means the same thing by it. Therefore KC is premium regardless of how you might rate it personally.

As for "Booker didn't like single barrel," that was more a marketing position than a strong personal opinion on Booker's part, although Booker may well have been an important part of the corporate decision to compete with the emerging single barrels, in particular Blanton's, by creating a category called 'small batch,' instead of just jumping on the single barrel bandwagon.

The term 'small batch' has always been widely misunderstood but to its creators it was parallel to 'single barrel' in that both described the preparation of mature whiskey for bottling, whether bottled one barrel at a time or dumped in batches of a relatively small number of barrels.

What I think has become a corporate imperative at Beam is that all of their major brands are expected to develop and launch appropriate line extensions and Jim Beam itself, as their biggest brand, has done several. They have been doing it outside of the whiskey category too, with Sauza and Hornitos Tequila, Cruzan Rum, Canadian Club Canadian Whisky and Courvoisier Cognac.

I'm sure they tested a variety of concepts for a step-up line extension for Knob and the single barrel at a higher proof tested best.

Doing a single barrel product requires an investment in a special bottling line, or the use of an outside vendor that has one. It's essentially a hand operation, so very labor intensive. I think Beam is the last company to launch a single-barrel product but they do now have a single barrel line so there may be others coming.

SMOWK
03-27-2011, 21:04
KCSBR is $35 in tax-free Delaware. I think it tastes pretty great. The only thing that keeps me from buying it more often is the OGD114 for $20 on the shelf under it.

squire
03-27-2011, 21:19
Grand Dad 114 is an expression I always recommend, even if it were to cost more than it does.

MacinJosh
03-28-2011, 07:47
Grand Dad 114 is an expression I always recommend, even if it were to cost more than it does.

Never tried it......but I will now! Thanks!

soad
03-28-2011, 11:24
Grand Dad 114 is an expression I always recommend, even if it were to cost more than it does.


I would pay MUCH more for OGD 114 than the 24.99 PA charges. I would have tried the KCSB by now (though I will someday), but I can't seem to justify the $15 more it costs than the 114......

Brisko
03-28-2011, 12:35
Shhhh! Let's not give Beam any ideas...

I would pay more too. I love the stuff.

squire
03-28-2011, 13:23
Yeah, they're liable to put honey in it or something.

OscarV
03-28-2011, 13:57
Yeah, they're liable to put honey in it or something.

:slappin: :slappin: :slappin:
Yeah, let's keep quiet about it.