Saturday, July 17, 2010

Knob Creek Single Barrel Still A Rumor, Except In Virginia.

Last month when I was researching the new Jim Beam six-grain bourbon, the folks at Beam hinted that the next new product would be something in the Knob Creek line. Then word came (not from Beam) that a Knob Creek Single Barrel is presently on the shelves in Virginia. From another source (also not from Beam) I learned that Beam has built a single barrel bottling line at the distillery in Clermont, Kentucky.

Also from Kentucky comes a report that retailers there have been offered a Knob Creek Single Barrel but they have to buy the contents of an entire barrel to get it. (That's 200+ bottles.) Several brands offer such a 'buy a barrel" program to retailers. Buffalo Trace has been the leader in this.

With the Buffalo Trace program the retailer gets to pick the barrel, usually from a pre-screened selection of three or four. Beam is not giving retailers that option, at least according to the report from Kentucky. In Virginia, the bottles come with a neck hanger that says the barrel was specially selected for them by Fred Noe.

Beam is unwilling to officially confirm or deny any of this, but it seems increasingly likely that a national roll-out of some kind of Knob Creek Single Barrel is imminent.


T Comp said...

Chuck, I'll presume you are one of the more connected individuals to the Kentucky distilleries when it comes to being a source of information. So is the secrecy from Beam par for the course or is it even worse in the new management structure in place there? Are they that adverse to advance publicity for us enthusiasts, as in the Makers 46 roll-out, or is it the corporation being wound so tight that they only want to rely on their own marketing?

Chuck Cowdery said...

Beam is bad in that the PR department will continue to deny something, on and off the record, even after I have confirmation from other Beam people. But Beam has gotten better about it and so far Maker's is still Maker's.

Chuck Cowdery said...

To follow up on (and illustrate) the above, two days after I wrote that one of Beam's top executives told someone who told me that a Knob Creek Single Barrel will drop in January, 2011. It will not resemble the "Buy a Barrel" program such as they have had in Virginia since 2005.

The PR department remains mute

StridArt said...

Thougth you'd be interested in seeing my latest painting...the Knob Creek Bottle: