This new single barrel expression of Knob Creek tastes very similar to the original “small batch” Knob Creek (when brought down to the same alcohol level). If anything, it’s slightly drier, more elegant, not as heavy on the palate, and more sophisticated — but I am reaching here. The similarity is a good thing, because I really enjoy the original expression. Keeping in mind that no two barrels are exactly alike, your decision to purchase the single barrel might just come down to whether you want to pay a little more for a higher strength version, and whether knowing that it might taste a little different than the standard small batch bottling excites you. This is a stylish, big, broad-shouldered bourbon with a thick, sweet foundation (nutty toffee, pot still rum, maple syrup) peppered with spice (cinnamon, but also vanilla and evergreen) and dried fruit. Dry, warming, resinous finish. (Incidentally, I would rate the small batch within a point or two, and the tasting notes would be very similar.)
94 points, Whisky Advocate (Vol. 19, #4)
Bright pale amber color. Aromas of buttery nut brittle, cherry cola, peppery spices, creme brulee and faint incense with a rich, vibrant fruity full body and a long, warming dried fruit chutney, anise, and spice finish. Rounds out well with a touch of water, but flavorful cocktails are the domain of this whisky and even a common bourbon and cola will be sublime.
93 points, Beverage Testing Institute (Feb 2011)