Monday, October 22, 2012
Rye Two: Knob Creek Rye
A few years ago, Jim Beam made a play for the high-end rye market with something called (rī)¹ (pronounced "Rye One"). They claimed it would be followed by Rye Two and Three, but that never happened, presumably because sales were not what they imagined. Now, Beam is making another attempt at the premium rye market, this time using its popular and expanding Knob Creek label. Knob Creek Rye carries no age statement and is bottled at 100 proof. We can only assume it includes some of the rye that was previously intended for Rye One...or Two.
I should note that I'm generally not a fan of Beam ryes (or Beam anything really). They tend to be sweet and lacking in spice, which is the note I like most in my rye.
Knob Creek Rye, 50% abv ($37)
The nose on this is typical of Beam ryes, very light with some banana and some soapy notes. The palate is slightly sweet with little rye character. The initial sweetness fades to that slightly banana flavor, which is really more like an artificial banana candy. There's a sort of sweet candy finish.
Well, what can I say? It's a Beam rye. Those banana notes are similar to what I get in Old Overholt, another Beam rye. This does nothing for me. I've always seen Beam ryes as rye for people who don't really like rye, and this one is no different. If you like Overholt or you liked Rye One, give it a try. Otherwise, stay away.