"One of my favorite things about single barrel whiskies is that several brands offer store picks. This can be a good thing or a not-so-good thing. It all depends on the palate of the person picking the whiskies, and the quality of the barrels being offered. A few months back, I helped a local store pick out some barrels of bourbon. It was a fun experience, and once they get delivered to the store, I’ll post some notes here. In the meantime…
Maisano’s Fine Wine & Spirits in Ocean Springs, Mississippi offers a variety of single barrel whiskies hand-picked by owner Jonathan Maisano. I was down there a couple of weeks back. After a great talk with Jonathan (the man knows his whiskey and wine), he kindly offered me a sample of his Knob Creek pick that had just been delivered. So, I thought I’d post the results of my tasting here. This is my first review of a store pick whiskey, and it definitely won’t be my last.
This bourbon is 9 years and 4 months old. That’s right in line with the standard bottling of Knob Creek Single Barrel, which I find to be the best value in the Knob Creek lineup. Bottled at 120 proof, this one carries some weight. And that’s to be expected. The nose is full of slightly burnt caramel, grilled corn, almonds, and dark chocolate. Vanilla becomes a bit more full in character with some airtime. Taste-wise, an initial hit of fresh orange refreshes the palate, followed by concentrated caramel, light herbs, cigar box, and a touch of barrel char. The finish lingers for a good long time. Warming. Leaves behind peanut butter and molasses notes.
Nice pick! It seems a touch more complex than the standard KC single barrel. Maisano’s has it priced at right under $48. If you’re in the Ocean Springs area, definitely make at stop at Maisano’s. Jonathan has a wide selection of barrel picks. If this Knob Creek is any indication of his palate and ability to pick barrels, you’re in for a great time. 8.5/10
Thanks to Jonathan Maisano for the sample!"