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Knob Creek 12 Year Straight Bourbon might be one of the best noses on a Knob Creek that I’ve encountered, and that includes the 25th anniversary and the 2001 limited edition. Initially, it’s a bit burly with big woodshop notes and secondary aromas of split vanilla bean, ginger snaps, brown sugar, and a trace of candied apple.

The lumber yard subsides as the whiskey opens, leveling off to reveal earthy notes of cigar box, wet tobacco, and cocoa powder, along with a touch of butterscotch pudding. The palate is on the lighter side, not nearly as rich as the nose suggests, but honeyed and mouth-coating nonetheless. Even with the softer profile, there’s plenty to enjoy here with sweet oak, peanut brittle, and caramel candies. It’s easy sipping for the proof with a subtle, warming heat and finishes medium-length and in classic fashion with toasted sugar, cinnamon, and a little flamed orange peel.

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