Thursday, September 22, 2016
Another One Bites the Dust
This can work because Knob actually finds itself with an over-abundance of whiskey more than 9-years old that will mix well with younger Knob to keep the profile the same. Based on inventory already in the pipeline, they will be able to grow the brand and maintain the profile but only if they are not bound by the age statement. Something had to give.
Older doesn't balance younger with any kind of mathematical precision. You don't get a 9-year-old flavor by mixing half 10-year-old with half 8-year-old, but that is a shorthand way to describe the process. More and more large distilleries are doing this, as they find themselves with various quantities of whiskey across a large and widening age range.
The age statement change only affects the standard Knob Creek expression. The Single Barrel Reserve will continue to have an age statement and the rye, which never had one, will continue unchanged. Nothing else is changing.
Inventory tightness also makes future 'special' Knob releases, like the vintage-dated 2001 expression in distribution now, unlikely.
No one likes to see an age statement go away, but it is part of the times in which we live. Beam has both the inventory and the expertise to keep making whiskey with the same flavor profile in ever larger quantities indefinitely. That is the goal, anyway.
To Knob fans, Noe makes this pledge. "I will taste every batch. It won’t be Knob Creek unless I say it’s Knob Creek.”
You might want to set aside an age-stated bottle just to see how well he does.