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Um, yes, you need this at your tailgate. Make room for a bit of simple syrup and eggs in your cooler, because celebrity chef Michael Symon's bourbon and stout recipe will hit the spot as you finish up your tailgating madness for the big game. (Besides, when the weather starts to get cold, you're going to need that liquid blanket.)
Calories Per Serving408
Folate equivalent (total)52µg13%
Selecting the right cut of meat is a lot like picking the right Bourbon, says celebrtiy Chef Michael Symon.
We haven’t heard this comparison at BourbonBlog.com, but it makes sense as this Iron Chef describes the nose, mouthfeel, and color in the video above .
Look for creamy white chicken, but deep darker colors on a Bourbon.
Chef Symon and Knob Creek Bourbon have teamed up for the Knob Creek Meat Master Class Video Series to refine your grilling skills.
We’re bringing you the first episode here on BourbonBlog.com
Adding bourbon will be a part of each class, (we like that Chef Symon)!
Symon shows how to grill Knob Creek Bourbon Smokey, Salty & Spicy Grilled Chicken Thighs (recipe below).
He recommends setting proteins out of the frig for about 20 minutes to get to room temperature before grilling to ensure your meat cooks evenly.
For more of the hottest Bourbon recipes and whiskey videos, subscribe to our free Bourbon newsletter here.
Knob Creek Bourbon Smokey, Salty & Spicy Grilled Chicken Thighs
Recipe by Chef Michael Symon
Recipe Serves 4
8 Chicken Thighs (Bone-In and Skin-On)
2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
2 oz. Soy Sauce
2 oz. Honey
4 Tablespoons Sriracha
4 oz. Knob Creek Bourbon
2 oz. Olive Oil
2 Limes Cut into Wedges For Garnish
1 Bunch Cilantro For Garnish
1. Whisk together Mustard, Soy Sauce, Honey, Knob Creek, Sriracha and Olive Oil
2. Place chicken thighs in a zip lock bag and pour in marinade. Shake and let marinate for one to two hours
3. Place on grill and cook until you reach 160 degrees internal temperature. Remove from grill and garnish plate with lime wedges and cilantro
Knob Creek has loads of series of its bourbon, to name a few such as Knob Creek straight Bourbon, Knob Creek Smoked Maple bourbon, Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve and Knob Creek Straight Rye Whiskey, etc. And there this select version too of the flavors mentioned above to complete the series. All the flavors mentioned above of the bourbon whiskey come in 750 ML size except for Knob Creek Straight Bourbon, which also comes in a 1.75L variant.
The Knob Creek prices of these products will range from $30 to $47 as per your preference flavor of the bourbon. And if the phrase, as well as the quality reputation of Knob Creek, is to be taken into consideration, which it has maintained for the past 25 years, then it might be not much presumptuous to say that the price of the product is quite perfect for grabbing!
Not there is a specific method mention or ways that one has to follow to drink Knob Creek. It entirely depends on your tolerance and taste. You can either drink it raw or dilute it with a bit of soda or water. Or maybe even try it as a cocktail.
One can even try to mix Soda, Vodka, or Water as per their convenience and taste. You can also try Knob Creek as Cocktail too. There are plenty of classic and exotic recipes out there that can be fused to make an exotic cocktail out of Knob Creek Whiskey. Well, if you still happen to find none! Don’t worry you are backed up here, for, in the next section, we will discuss the exotic recipes for you!
Okay, so if you are a fan of Cocktail parties, then this section might be just for you! Here are some exotic cocktail recipes that can be made using Knob Creek Whiskey, making it all the more tempting and just the party’s ‘boom drink.’
Firstly, let’s talk about the Clermont Cocktail, it’s a taste for a sour tongue, one that doesn’t leave your tongue easily! And the most significant perk of it all is the recipe.
So, that was one of the easiest Knob Creek drinks that one can prepare.
Now, next on the list is Rose on the Rye! It’s quite a classic taste in the realm of Cocktail and also one that will leave you in awe.
Another recipe of the list then, getting fired up! Well, this is just the starting, though. This Cocktail is known as Kentucky Luau. Following is the list of ingredients needed for the Cocktail
So, this was some recipes of cocktails that can be made with Knob Creek whiskey.
Knob Creek was made by Master distiller Booker Noe back in the 19th century, and now it is manufactured by Beam Suntory at the Jim Beam distillery in Clermont, Kentucky, under the brand of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey.
Knob Creek is a Whiskey bourbon produced by Beam Suntory at the Jim Beam distillery in Clermont, Kentucky, under the brand of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. It’s a high-end whiskey, a 50% alcohol concentration.
Knob Creek is made at the Jim Beam distillery in Clermont, Kentucky, under the brand of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey by Beam Suntory.
You can peel off the waxed tap of the Knob Creek bottle with the help of a sharp object and continue to do all that until all the tape is peeled off properly. Or you might just use a bottle opener that will do the trick more or less!
Knob Creek will cost you between $30 to $47, depending on the flavor you want to purchase.
Yes, Knob Creek is quite a good Whiskey out there in the market. It has a classic and smooth taste, which leaves the tongue wanting more.
A bottle of Knob Creek 1.75 liter price is $46.95. A bottle of Knob Creek 750ml price is $32.47.
Not there is a specific method or way one has to follow to drink Knob Creek. It depends on your taste.
One can mix Soda, Vodka, or Water as per their convenience and taste. You can even try Knob Creek as Cocktail too. There are plenty of classic and exotic recipes out there that can be fused to make an exotic cocktail out of Knob Creek Whiskey.
Knob Creek distillery made at the Jim Beam distillery in Clermont, Kentucky, under the brand of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey by Beam Suntory.
Knob Creek proof is 100 proof.
So far, we have discussed Knob Creek Prices. One thing is crystal clear that Knob Creek might not be the most complex bourbon out there, but it’s nothing any less than that too. It has a smooth and mouth-watering texture to it, which none can deny. Apart from its appealing and alluring taste and well legacy, its price is quite a deal to grab on. So, what are you waiting for yet? If you are a bourbon fan and haven’t tried Knob Creek yet, make sure you do it and soon at that.
As defined by the United States Trade Legislation, bourbon is defined as a kind of whiskey in which the mash bill is between 51% and 80% corn. What is a mash bill, you ask? It’s the combination of grains that are used to make the whiskey itself.
Usually, bourbon distillers will use almost 70% corn along with other grains to round out their mash bill. Of course, the types of grains they choose to use will impact the flavoring and style of the bourbon.
Additionally, there are specific regulations and guidelines which a distillery has to follow if it wants to be considered a straight bourbon.
The vast majority of bourbons begin with sour mash. This is based on taking from the prior batch, setting it out to that it sours throughout the night, then adding it into the newest batch. Going through this process is a lot like beginning a batch of sourdough.
Bourbon is the result of fermented yeast, water, and the mash of grain. We’ve already touched on the 51% of corn required in the mash bill for a beverage to be considered a bourbon. However, the average bourbon contains around 70%. Wheat, rye, and barley are other grains used in bourbon to flavor it.
To be considered a bourbon, it must go through an aging process. The minimum for bourbon is two years. However, there are bourbons available on the market that go through aging processes that range from 5 to 12 years. A select few are aged more than a quarter of a century!
We know that aging has to be a minimum of two years, but what about the barrel? All bourbon has to be aged in new barrels. These barrels are charred on the interior and consist of white oak. There are various levels of char depending on the aging process of the bourbon in the charred oak barrel, ranging from 1 to 4, which labels used to give their bourbon the flavor and taste that makes them unique. If you don’t know which one you prefer, you can always ask for help in your favorite liquor store.
The law states that nothing is to be added to bourbon during the bottling process with the exception of water. No ingredients or mixtures can be added to the charred oak barrels to increase sweetness, alter the color, or enhance the flavor.
Bourbons are bottled anywhere from 80 to 125 proof. If a distillery wants to lower the proof, the only thing that can be used is water.
Bourbons do not have to be produced in any specific place in the United States. However, both a bottle of Maker’s Mark and Knob Creek are considered Kentucky Bourbons, since that is where they are both made.
These run north of $50, all the way up to a month&rsquos paycheck. Buying in this range is high risk, high reward. &ldquoSometimes you&rsquore gonna be disappointed,&rdquo Minnick says. &ldquoJust because a bourbon is 90 bucks doesn&rsquot mean it&rsquos good.&rdquo The benchmark bourbons at this range have upwards of 100 flavor notes to pick out, often happening at the same time and lingering on the tongue for ages. Or, as Minnick put it, the best should make you think, &ldquoIf god gave birth to his bourbon child, this is what it would taste like.&rdquo
It&rsquos bottled at 115 proof &mdash &ldquofor this distillery, that&rsquos the perfect proof,&rdquo Minnick says. &ldquoI&rsquom going through a bottle a month. The notes kind of just linger. You can have five different notes hitting at once. I believe that to be the definition of nuance.&rdquo
Average Price: $60 &ndash $70
Made using a single recipe and barrel per bottle, it&rsquos between 7 and 8 years old and has more complexity than the Small Batch. &ldquoFor being the same brand as the Small Batch, they taste very different. This one is more of a sipper. I want to really sit there and think about it when I&rsquom drinking it,&rdquo Minnick says.
Average Price: $40 &ndash $50
Don't tell your bourbon-drinking friends, but Russell's Reserve 10-year-old bourbon is one of the best values in the bourbon world. Age statement in the double digits for $40 or less? Yes. Produced by a respected distiller (Wild Turkey)? Yes. Nice, easy-drinking proof? Yes. This is what you drink when you need a break from barrel-proof juice.
Average Price: $40
The McKenna distillery was established in 1855, founded by the noted Irish immigrant distiller. Seagrams closed the business in the 1970s, and Heaven Hill purchased the brand name in 1994, but no longer uses the original recipe as Minnick notes in his book, &ldquoThe original yeast, mashbill, and flavor profile are gone, lost with time.&rdquo But one thing the new bottle does have is time: its 10 year age statement makes it one of the older bourbons at this price range. Take heed, though, since it somewhat controversially took home &ldquoBest in Show, Whiskey&rdquo at a recent San Francisco World Spirits Competition it&rsquos been harder to come by, and more expensive than it used to be.
Average Price: $50 &ndash $75 (price varies store-to-store)
One of the best new whiskeys of 2021, Stellum is a more affordable Barrell Bourbon. It's a cask strength blend created by the blending masters at Barrell Craft Spirits and it is a doozy. It's made up of whiskeys from Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky, with ages ranging from 4 to 16 years old. It's dynamic and well worth the $55 sticker price.
Proof: 115 (varies by bottling)
Average Price: $55
Luxco&rsquos Old Ezra line could is one of the best kept secrets in whiskey. Bourbon with an age statement and available at barrel strength for a good price? That&rsquos nuts in today&rsquos whiskey world.
This bourbon won Whisky Advocate&rsquos whiskey of the year, and Minnick was on the tasting panel. &ldquoIt was very, very nice bourbon,&rdquo he says, wistfully. It has none of the harshness you&rsquod expect from a 133.2 proof bourbon, and doesn&rsquot undergo chill filtering &mdash instead just using light filtration to remove barrel char flakes.
Average Price: $65
You might notice there isn&rsquot a price, tasting notes or distillery information listed on this pick. That&rsquos because Barrell is, at this moment, the best blended of American whiskey there is (they have the trophy case to prove it). Each of its releases makes clear what went into it &mdash distillery location, whiskey age, proof, etc. &mdash and all are worth seeking out. Barrell is a blender, not a distiller, and the flavor mastery of founder Joe Beatrice and master distiller Tripp Stimson have won the old bourbon guard over. &ldquoIt won my American Whiskey of the Year award [in 2018] in a blind tasting,&rdquo Minnick says. &ldquoIt&rsquos got so much flavor to it, so much complexity &mdash it&rsquos just brilliant whiskey.&rdquo
&ldquoAre we including bottles that are impossible to find?&rdquo Minnick asks. Sure. This treasure from Buffalo Trace&rsquos Antique collection does its namesake a service, representing some of the world&rsquos best wheated bourbon, a style Weller himself pioneered. &ldquoIf God gave birth to a bourbon child, this is what it would taste like,&rdquo Minnick says. &ldquoIt&rsquos so fucking amazing.&rdquo
Average Price: $800+
Goose Island lists their ingredients on the website, I assumed that it's in order of greatest to least amounts, from left to right. I put it in BeerSmith and played around and here is what I came up with. I brewed this on sunday. To do an all grain version, just up the 2-row to 20lbs and drop the 11lbs of extract. I didn't think 28lbs of grain would work in my 10gal rubbermaid cooler. It's bubbling away right now. My hydrometers scale only goes to 1090, so I don't have an accurate OG. I'm guessing just from where it was on it that it was around 1120. Super sweet, sticky and syrupy. As expected.
TYPE: Partial Mash
Batch Size: 5.50 gal
Boil Size: 7.00 gal
Estimated OG: 1.129 SG
Estimated Color: 71.5 SRM
Estimated IBU: 38.0 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.0 %
Boil Time: 60 Minutes
Amount Item Type % or IBU
11.00 lb Pale Liquid Extract (8.0 SRM) Extract 46.3 %
3.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 14.7 %
2.50 lb Munich Malt - 20L (20.0 SRM) Grain 10.5 %
2.00 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 8.4 %
2.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 80L (80.0 SRM) Grain 10.5 %
1.00 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (120.0 SRM) Grain 4.2 %
1.00 lb Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 4.2 %
0.25 lb Debittered Black Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 1.1 %
2.00 oz Northern Brewer [8.50%] (60 min) Hops 33.6 IBU
1.00 oz Williamette [5.50%] (10 min) Hops 3.9 IBU
1.00 oz Williamette [5.50%] (1 min) Hops 0.5 IBU
1 Pkgs American Ale (Wyeast Labs #1056) Yeast-Ale (1L starter)
Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 12.75 lb
Name Description Step Temp Step Time
Mash In Add 12.75 qt of water at 178.2 F 158.0 F 45 min
Edit: After some research, it looks like for an average 53 gallon Whiskey Barrel, your surface area is about 2,500 sqaured inches. This is about 47.5 inches squared per gallon.
With 4 inch squared (2" x 2") wood chips you're looking at 12 woodchips to get the same effect (47.5 / 4).
You can actually add the amount of oak chips you want that will equal the same utilization as a barrel. Your rate of absorption is based on surface area so you'll just need to produce the surface area in woodchips as you would get with a barrel.
(3.14 x Diameter of Barrel x Height of barrel) + 2x(3.14 x Barrel of Radius squared) = (height of wood chips x Width of woodchips) x Number of woodchips
Of course, you've got bigger and smaller barrels so if you're trying to match a certain brewers style, finding out what type of whiskey barrels they use would be clutch.
This would be an interesting calculator for brewers.
Interesting recipe. I'm brewing mine tonight and just stumbled on this thread. Here's the recipe I'm going with. I originally planned to do this as no-sparge (hence the 55% eff), but I'll probably go with a tight mash and sparge a gallon or so.
What type of oak did you go with? I purchased some medium toast American and medium-heavy toast French CUBES. I plan to use a 50-50 mix of the two (soaked in bourbon of course, Makers is a fine choice btw).
Original Gravity 1.133 (1.119 to 1.139)
Final Gravity 1.033 (1.029 to 1.036)
Color 59° SRM / 116° EBC (Black)
Bitterness 68.5 IBU / 26 HBU : Tinseth
Mash Efficiency 55%
Batch size: 5.0 gallons
Alcohol 13.3% ABV
% LB OZ Malt or Fermentable ppg °L
76% 24 0 American Two-row Pale info 37 1
13% 4 0 Munich Malt - 10L info 35 10
3% 1 0 Chocolate Malt (UK) info 34 450
3% 1 0 Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L info 34 60
2% 0 8 Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L info 33 120
2% 0 8 Roasted Barley info 25 300
2% 0 8 Debittered Black Malt info 34 550
use time oz variety form aa
boil 85 mins 2.0 Nugget info pellet 13.0
boil 15 mins 1.0 Willamette info pellet 4.8
boil 5 mins 1.0 Willamette info pellet 4.8
Now that it has been several months, have you made any final conclusions about your recipe would you make any changes? How do you think it compares to BCS? Are you happy with the amount of French oak cubes you uses? What volume of Makers Mark did you end up using?
Just found this floating around the internet. Supposedly this came straight from the brewery in 2007 (Spec-Sheet). Although I can't officially confirm this, the 1.042 FG sounds spot on. Higher than most are assuming on these boards.
Here's a little more info that might help you. This is from a 2007 spec-sheet from the brewery.
Beer Bourbon County Stout
O.G. 30.0 (Plato)
F.G. 10.5 (Plato)
% Abv 12.0
Hops UK Styrian
Malts 2-Row, Munich, Chocolate, C-60, Roast Barley, DB Black
FYI. 30 Plato = 1.129 SG, 10.5 = 1.042
Google for Denny's Bourbon Vanilla Imperial Porter. One of the very best beers I've ever had or brewed. I could drink a pint of the unpitched wort right now- that's how good it is before we even add the vanilla or bourbon.
Great, great beer from one of the masters.
Here is my version of this recipe. It turned out to be an amazing stout. I soaked 2 - 8" american oak spirals in Knob Creek for several weeks and then oaked the finished beer for 7weeks.
It's only been aging in bottles for 4 months, so I'm waiting another 2 months before I open another. I will report back with detailed tasting notes.
60% 16 0 American Two-row Pale
11% 3 0 Munich Malt
11% 3 0 Briess DME Golden Light
7% 2 0 Chocolate Malt
4% 1 0 Caraaroma
4% 1 0 Caramel/Crystal Malt 80
2% 0 8 Roasted Barley
1% 0 4 Carafa Special III
Batch size: 6.0 gallons
Original Gravity - 1.109 measured - (1.132 estimated)
Final Gravity - 1.031 measured - (1.033 estimated)
Color - 65° SRM estimated
Mash Efficiency - 75%
Mash Temp - 150 deg. F
USE TIME OZ VARIETY FORM AA
boil 60 mins 3.0 Willamette leaf 6.0
boil 20 mins 1.0 Mt. Hood pellet 6.0
boil 20 mins 0.5 Willamette leaf 6.0
Boil: 6.5 avg gallons for 60 minutes
Fermented with Wyeast American Ale (1056)
OK. I designed this beer based on the following requirements/assumptions:
Assumption #1-- The Ingredients are listed on the GI website from greatest to least, but if two ingredients are used equally, they are placed in alphabetical order. This means I must have the following ingredients in the following order: Pale Malt, Munich, Chocolate, Caramel 60(n1), Roasted Barley, Debittered Black Malt. Now to look for ingredients that might be used equally.. Assuming the common convention is followed where things are listed in alphabetical order when used equally, Pale comes after Munich (alphabetically), so there's more Pale Malt than Munich (Otherwise they'd be listed in reverse order). And Munich comes after Chocolate (So there is probably more munich than chocolate, not equal amounts). And alphabetically, Chocolate comes after Caramel, so since Chocolate is listed first, there should definitely be more Chocolate malt than Caramel malt in this beer. It should be an actual quantitative difference, otherwise the order makes no sense (Caramel would be listed first). But then Caramel comes before Roasted Barley (alphabetically and on the ingredient list) so conceivably, those MIGHT be used at the same quantity. That's just a 50/50 coin flip though. Roasted barley could be quite a bit less. However, since this beer has a ton of sweetness, I have no fear whatsoever about adding too much bitter malt, so equal parts of Roasted Barley and Caramel it is! And then Roasted Barley comes after Debittered so there is a likely quantitative difference there as well. So basically, Roasted barley and caramel are the only two ingredients which might be used in equal parts in this recipe, and everything else follows a definite hierarchy of quantity (assuming the GI brewers know how to put things in alphabetical order and aren't trying to screw with us). So from here, and knowing the OG/FG, and the SRM's, it's just a logic problem to figure out possible percentages. So now off to Beersmith I go.
Requirement #1-- I will not be able to fit 6 gallons of this beer into my 5 gallon MLT, therefore, I will be doing this partigyle-style and creating two 3 gallon batches, mashing twice. Each time, I will take the first runnings for the BCS, and use the second runnings for a session beer of some sort. Maybe even a "Baby Bourbon Stout".
Requirement #2-- Even with the double-batch method, I will still likely need some Extract to increase the SG. I will also have to be watering down my hydrometer sample in order to get a reading.
Assumption #2-- The munich malt must be in there for a reason. It's the second listed ingredient, after 2-row. With all this darkness and maltiness, what's a little munich malt going to do besides take away from diastatic power? In such a complex beer, why not just add a little extra 2 row and some crystal? What's the point? Well, I'm guessing they are using quite a bit of Munich Malt. Otherwise, why not just leave it out? I am hypothesizing that that is the challenge for the brewer. use as much (low diastatic munich) as you can while still getting good conversion.
Requirement #3-- When trying to figure out the recipe, let the grains guide you more than the SRM. This beer will be BLACK. Period. So assuming the Goose Island is brewing All-Grain, I will use the SRM information to help me zone in on the recipe formula. However, since I'm brewing Partial Mash for this (due to the huge grain bill), I'm going let the SRM calculation slide a bit as necessary to get closer to what I think the actual beer recipe should be.
To me, the grain bill seems kind of weird. First you have your base malt (high diastatic, that's normal). But then you have a malt that barely converts itself, followed by everything else that won't convert. Why? What's the purpose of that Munich malt? For a beer that has so much going on already, do you think they would they add "just a handful" of it? "Just for a subtle hint of character"? IMO That doesn't make sense in a beer like this. Especially given that it actually makes it harder to achieve the desired SRM because it adds almost nothing (relatively speaking) to the color. So I suspect that if you want to really nail down this recipe, here's what you need to do: While keeping the ingredients in their proper order, use the maximum amount of Munich and the minimum amount of 2 row. Now, I don't dare push the boundary too closely, after all this beer is going to age for at least 6 months or more! It'd be a shame to screw it up in the brewing process. So I will play it safe with an adequate amount of two row, but based on this theory, I will be using Munich LME.
Remember, this is a 3 gallon recipe. I will make it twice to fill the carboy. And I want to make as much as humanly possible, so I'll be affixing a blow off tube and crossing my fingers.
Ingredients Amount Item Type % or IBU
Batch Size: 3.00 gal
Boil Volume: 3.43 gal Boil Time: 60 min
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.0 %
Ingredients Amount Item Type % or IBU
2.50 lb Munich Liquid Extract (8.0 SRM) Extract 17.2 %
4.50 lb Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 31.0 %
2.25 lb Munich Malt (9.0 SRM) Grain 15.5 %
2.00 lb Chocolate Malt (350.0 SRM) Grain 13.8 %
1.50 lb Caramel/Crystal Malt - 60L (60.0 SRM) Grain 10.3 %
1.50 lb Roasted Barley (300.0 SRM) Grain 10.3 %
0.25 lb Black (Patent) Malt (500.0 SRM) Grain 1.7 %
4.00 oz Williamette [4.60%] (60 min) Hops 59.9 IBU
Estimated Original Gravity: 1.129 SG (1.075-1.100 SG) Measured Original Gravity: 1.129 SG
Estimated Final Gravity: 1.032 SG (1.018-1.034 SG) Measured Final Gravity: 1.042 SG
Estimated Color: 101.7 SRM (30.0-45.0 SRM) Color [Color]
Bitterness: 59.9 IBU (50.0-95.0 IBU) Alpha Acid Units: 6.1 AAU
Estimated Alcohol by Volume: 12.9 % (8.0-13.0 %) Actual Alcohol by Volume: 11.5 %
Actual Calories: 635 cal/pint
And I'll probably substitute UK Styrian for the Williamette, since that seems to be what was used earlier in this beer's history.
n1. Currently, the website just states "Crystal" However in previous years they did specify C-60. And frankly, I've had over 10 years of this beer and sometime around 2005 to 2008 was the best, IMO.
The biggest factor when using bourbon in a recipe is its proof. In general, the higher the proof, the longer the cooking time required to burn off the alcohol and leave behind those pleasant vanilla-spice flavors.
Likewise, higher-proofed bourbons will also coagulate quickly, ruining dessert creams and sauces if added to the dish too early. Be sure to factor in longer, slower cooking times if using a higher-proof bourbon than a recipe calls for — or just stick with its exact recommendation.
Another thing to consider when choosing the best bourbon for baking is whether it’s bourbon or rye. Bourbon tends to be sweeter due to being distilled from at least 51% corn with barley and rye making up the rest of the mash. While rye whiskey is spicier because it’s distilled with a majority rye, instead of corn. In some cases, like Maker’s Mark, the rye in the mash is replaced with wheat, making it a sweeter option.
Test out your favorite bourbons with your favorite desserts to make your signature match. (We don’t judge!) Or, you can stick with these expert-approved pairings:
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To preserve this memory and keep things interesting, I’ve ranked the six variants of Goose Island Bourbon County Brand stouts and barleywine from my least to most favorite. This is based on my notes and memory. Admittedly, both are limited.
The biggest takeaway for 2017 from a production standpoint is the bourbon barrels, which, for the first time, were all first-use, freshly dumped and four years or older. On the shelves, the standout will be this year’s big focus on dessert-like, fruit-forward recipes, with both the national and Proprietor’s variants featuring fruit and almond extracts.
Don’t get me wrong: this is a delicious dessert of a beer, especially—and maybe only—if bananas foster is your thing. I’m not a big banana fan, or almond fan for that matter. Baked banana comes on strong, with warm, nutty flavors from the roasted almond extract sneaking in subtly, then sticking around. Meanwhile, the cassia bark brings in a cinnamon kick, tickling the nose and tongue as it marries the chocolate, nut, wood and roast notes with its pungent spice.
Aroma plays a big role on this one, with a big, warm waft of blueberry pie and then burst of marzipan hitting you with your first and second sniffs. About mid-sip, those berry, sugary almond notes meld with the barrel and dark chocolate roast of the malt to create a truly badass bourbon-laced brew.
Northwoods has become Jared’s pride and joy, and it’s easy to see why. After kicking around the idea for this beer, playing with flavor additions of blueberry juice and almond extract, he and his team clearly put the time in carefully, chemically getting this one just right.
The Barleywine is admittedly delicious, with the high gravity fermentation and lighter malt bill allowing for a fruity, less intense Bourbon County experience. Tasting it on Tuesday, I thought of the lighter, fruitier, more acidic qualities of Third Wave coffees, as opposed to the stout’s big, bold, dark chocolatey, roasty flavors.
There’s no coffee in this barleywine, but tasting it after the BCB Coffee Stout, I found myself wishing there was. Jared did say the barleywine has been put through a Randle with coffee beans in the past, which I will dutifully experiment with at home as soon as possible.
Who doesn’t love a coffee stout? Espresso hits you quick with this year’s variant, with a big, roasty nose reminiscent of the First Wave (think dark chocolate and bitter roast, versus today’s tendency toward single-origin fruit- and acidity-forward coffee flavors). Appropriately, Goose Island returned to their first coffee of choice this year, using Inteligentsia’s Black Cat which was used in the original Bourbon County Coffee Stout. It finishes with an almost salted caramel flavor, likely due to the bourbon barrel.
There’s nothing like the original. Big, boozy, chocolatey notes swirl among bourbon heat and sweetness, with the roasty character and thick, syrupy body of the malt balancing things out. Sticky, supple and self-indulgent, this is the stout from whence all barrel-aged stouts came, and you must respect it.
…That being said, bring more bourbon into the equation, and I’m even more in. For the Reserve, original Bourbon County Stout was aged in 11-year-old Knob Creek bourbon barrels. The special bourbon barrel-aging imparts a whiskey-like heat that you just don’t get from the original. Adding to that aged wood character is a slightly sweet touch of maple, creating a Knob Creek illusion that’s right up my alley.
Along with sitting down with Jared Jankoski and head brewer of R&D, Quinn Fuechsl (who’s responsible for this year’s Proprietor’s Stout), I was also able to briefly meet Fred Noe, Knob Creek’s master distiller. I have a feeling he’s quite a character.
Jared Jankoski, Fred Noe and Quinn Fuechsl at the Goose Island Bourbon County media tasting at Maysville on November 7, 2017.
While many competitors have made their way into the Bourbon whiskey market over the last few decades, few classic bourbon brands have been able to retain their supremacy over their unique genre better than Knob Creek Bourbon has.
Many whiskey aficionados and industry insiders agree that Knob Creek Bourbon delivers a value to the consumer that is simply unrivaled when it comes to small batch bourbons. The bourbon is known for its exceptional quality and refined taste while also maintaining an accessible price point to allow consumers of all budgets the opportunity to enjoy a top-shelf whiskey experience.
While the spirit of the question is easily understandable, given the often cross-referencing of each of these bourbons that takes place, the reality is that each bourbon serves its own unique purpose.
Coming in at a generally lower price point than many of Knob Creek’s bourbon offerings, Makers Mark presents itself as a much more recreational and consumable bourbon for everyday drinking. Maker’s Mark is generally much less robust and stout in its flavor profile and generally has a lower proof rating, enabling the consumer to have a more diluted and less intense drinking experience.
On the other hand, Knob Creek is generally a bit more expensive than Maker’s Mark and has a higher proof rating, making it a more dynamic and full-bodied bourbon. The higher price point makes the bourbon’s carefree consumption a bit less feasible for anyone on a budget but definitely delivers a much more memorable tasting experience.
With so many different offerings in the Knobs Creek Bourbon family, finding your favorite one can prove to be quite a challenge at times.
While each bourbon offering has its own inherent pros and cons, we feel that the best overall value within the Knob Creek family is the brand’s “Small Batch 9 Year Bourbon”.
The opportunity to enjoy a higher-end small batch bourbon with a very respectable age statement at a $30 price point has proven to be a hard bargain for any of its peers on the market to compete with.